International Joint Commission Sustainable Cities, Healthy Watersheds

Stewart Brand to Give June 6 Keynote Address at the International Joint Commission Great Lakes Biennial Meeting and Conference

Stewart Brand

Mr. Stewart Brand will present the keynote address "Eco-Pragmatism," a concept which is also the topic of his forthcoming book , at the International Joint Commission's Great Lakes Biennial Meeting and Conference in Chicago. The address will kick off the biennial meeting at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, on the campus of the University of Illinois, Chicago, Office of Admissions Student Services Building, 750 S Halsted Street. The theme of this year's IJC meeting is "Sustainable Cities, Healthy Watersheds."

"Climate change introduces whole new levels of risk balancing and new kinds of urgency that forces some profound changes in traditional environmentalism," Brand said about eco-pragmatism. "Suddenly nuclear power looks good. Suddenly genetic engineering looks necessary instead of optional. Meanwhile rampant urbanization of the developing world is changing humanity's relation to the natural world, mostly to the good."

Mr. Brand first gained world wide renown as the author of the Whole Earth Catalog (1968). A later work, The Last Whole Earth Catalog, received the 1972 National Book Award. He followed this work with Two Cybernetic Frontiers (1974), The Media Lab (1987), How Buildings Learn (1994), and The Clock of the Long Now (2000). He founded The Long Now Foundation ( in 1996. In 2006, he received Erdman Campbell Award for Creative Contributions to the Contemporary Mythopoetic Imagination from the Joseph Campbell Foundation.

Following the keynote address, at a morning plenary session on June 7th, key federal and state government officials will report on progress toward restoring the Great Lakes and will also discuss the status of the ongoing review of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. In the afternoon, a panel of mayors will lead a plenary session focusing on successful sustainability initiatives. The day concludes with Great Lakes Town Hall, an opportunity for the public to provide their input on priorities and plans for restoring the lakes. All events on Wednesday and Thursday are free and open to the public though online registration is requested.

On Friday, the Great Lakes Conference provides the opportunity for more in depth learning opportunities and discussion in seven workshops on topics ranging from the Asian carp threat to the Great Lakes to the challenge of inadequate and deteriorating wastewater treatment infrastructure. Other topics include the status of cleanup efforts in toxic hotspots; green building and sustainable development; groundwater protection; enhancing health in urban environments; and effective urban policy lessons for sustainable cities. There is a registration fee for Friday's conference.