President Cabrera Initiates Presidential Forum

Mason News  March 12, 2013
Tara Laskowski


March 21 will mark the first in a new series of conversations called the George Mason University Freedom and Learning Presidential Forum that Dr. Ángel Cabrera will host with today’s creative thinkers. Cabrera will talk with scholars, activists, artists, and corporate and government leaders — people that challenge our thinking and actions around George Mason University’s mission to create a more just, free and prosperous world.

Pavan Sukhdev

Pavan Sukhdev

The first of the forums will take place at noon on Thursday, March 21, in the Meese Conference Room in Mason Hall. Cabrera will host Thomas Lovejoy, University Professor at George Mason, and Paven Sukhdev, founder and CEO of GIST Advisory, for a lively discussion on economic and environmental challenges.

Lovejoy will speak about how the scale and acceleration of environmental change can’t be addressed by government alone — “the private sector engagement is essential,” he says, and Sukhdev will address the role of corporations in particular, as well as ways to bring the values of the natural world into economic decision-making.

Sukhdev is the founder and CEO of GIST Advisory (Green Initiatives for a Smart Tomorrow). He works across the spheres of private sector, public enterprise and civil society. He is a visiting fellow at Yale University, where he was awarded the McCluskey Fellowship in 2011. While at Yale, he wrote “Corporation 2020,” a book that envisions tomorrow’s corporation and shows how corporations and society can work together to achieve common goals and build a green economy. Until March 2011, Sukhdev was special adviser and head of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)’s Green Economy Initiative, lead author of UNEP’s “Green Economy Report,” and also study leader for the G8+5 commissioned project on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB).

Thomas Lovejoy

Thomas Lovejoy

Thomas Lovejoy is University Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at Mason.  In addition, he is the biodiversity chair at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment and was its president from 2002 to 2008. An ecologist who has worked in the Brazilian Amazon since 1965, he works on the interface of science and environmental policy. Lovejoy helped bring attention to the issue of tropical deforestation and in 1980 published the first estimate of global extinction rates. He served as the senior advisor to the president of the United Nations Foundation, chief biodiversity advisor and lead specialist for the environment for the Latin American region for the World Bank, assistant secretary for environmental and external affairs for the Smithsonian Institution, and  executive vice president of World Wildlife Fund-US. Also, Lovejoy has served on advisory councils for the Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton administrations.

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