SOURCE: Consulate General of Sweden

May 03, 2007 20:01 ET

"Creativity With a Purpose - ReponsAbility Today for Tomorrow" Events Wrap up Beyond Blond on May 8 and 10 at the Hammer

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 3, 2007 -- Beyond Blond will wrap up a month of lifestyle events with two blockbuster programs featuring new Swedish documentaries focused on sustainability on May 8 and 10. Both events are open to the public and will be held at the Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. On May 8, a screening of "The Planet" will be shown with introductory remarks by Swedish researcher Karin Åström. The May 10 event will present a panel discussion: "Intelligent choices for Sustainable Development" led by David Muyres, Vice President, Educational Initiatives for Art Center College of Design, and four highly knowledgeable speakers, including Jared Diamond, evolutionary biologist and Professor of Geography at UCLA; Christine Alfsen, Senior Program Specialist at UNESCO, covering science and sustainable development; Thomas Elmqvist, professor in natural resource management at Stockholm University; and Kitty Connolly, Botanical Education Manager at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Connolly will introduce Mattias Klum's new documentary "Expedition Linnaeus," about the passion for exploring the natural world and the quest for sustainable development. The closing party for Beyond Blond 2007 will follow.

"With this year's theme, we have strived to communicate the message of purpose, know-how and responsibility within a broad lifestyle framework that positively impacts future generations," says Consul General of Sweden, Mr Tomas Rosander. "Both programs support this message, the type of purposeful creativity we are delighted to support."

The closing Beyond Blond evening is intended to stimulate and provoke higher consciousness and action for sustainable development in the spirit of Carl Linneaus, the Swedish botanist who more than two centuries ago originated the very format by which we give scientific names to all plant life. Linnaeus, who was passionate about nature, was the world's first ecologist -- 100 years before the term was used. What legacy did he leave and how can his passion about nature and the relationships between the species influence the challenges currently facing the planet? Carl Linnaeus is a familiar, and yet somehow shadowy, historical figure of science. Born on May 23rd, 1707 in Stenbrohult, Sweden, Linnaeus is credited with creating order out of chaos -- the chaos of naming and identifying plants. Before Linnaeus, no system existed for giving workable, reliable names to plants, and thus no global capability for scientists and others who studied plants to communicate about them. Most sensationally, Linnaeus brought plant sexuality to the forefront. It was an aspect of plants that had only been discovered a few years before his birth. Using male and female characteristics as the basis for organizing thousands of kinds of plants, he created utility and meaning, as well as a popular parlor game and intellectual fad. The exhibition, "Linnaeus in the Garden" opened at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California on April 28 and will be shown through July 29.

"Expedition Linnaeus" is a documentary film to commemorate the tercentenary of the birth of the world-renowned natural scientist, the Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linné). The film is a journey of discovery to seven continents, into space, down into the depths of the oceans and into the future. At the centre are crucial questions: How should we behave and act today in order to survive tomorrow and how can science and research contribute to a better world? Inspired by Linnaeus' curiosity and the thrill of discovery, the expedition meets some of the world's leading researchers and experts, who try to give answers to these questions.

"The Planet" is a hot from the oven attempt to find answers about the truths and untruths of the alarming global changes that many claim are already in motion. The visual style will unlock the alienated attitude many people have built up in relation to the subject: "Please, not another bloody Climate Doomsday film!" The Planet is about much more than climate change -- it's about the Earth as a whole, it's about the overall global changes we are experiencing right now. Is it true that the Earth is a system disrupted beyond its normal limits? Are people the underlying cause of the changes? Can our activities really affect the Earth's systems? Is it really true that temperatures have risen and will continue to rise? That we should expect abrupt changes in the system? That natural disasters will become ever more frequent and dangerous? That the climate refugee will become the most common of all refugees? And if all this is true, what will the world look like in the future? Can we affect developments, or should we just adapt ourselves to this new world?

More information on Beyond Blond 2007 can be found online at www.beyondblond.org

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