Goggles Project

Goggles Project

September 17, 2010 08:00 ET

Traveling Theatre Troupe Calls on Universities to Step Up for Sustainability

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2010) - A street theatre troupe is visiting university campuses across Canada this month with the hope of directing attention to a hot topic: sustainable development. Their coast to coast tour officially kicks off today at Dalhousie University.

Known as the Goggles Project, the troupe will stop by high traffic areas on 18 college and university campuses to deliver their version of a classroom lecture. Their approach is quirky and creative, but their message is clear: it's time for the environment, society, and the economy to be part of every decision we make.

"Canadian universities have begun to factor sustainability into their decisions, operations and programs, but there is much more that can be done," says Dr. Tarah Wright, Associate Professor of Environmental Science at Dalhousie and Co-Creator of the Goggles Project. "As experts in problem solving, experimentation, and knowledge growth, who better to lead the way to a sustainable future than universities?"

A two-year study funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) investigated what Canadian university presidents thought the role of the university could and should be in creating a sustainable future. Rather than allow the findings to sit idle on a shelf, a second grant from SSHRC has brought the discussion to life through the creation of the Goggles Project. The Goggles Project wants to get these communities of critical thinkers talking about sustainability and the university.

"The troupe engages the audience in a thought-provoking way, asking them to rethink things and suggest solutions that go beyond reduce, reuse and recycle on campus," says Dr. Wright.

The messages and facts the Goggles troupe shares with their audiences are a reminder of the challenges humanity and the planet face. However, the goal is not to focus on grim predictions for the future or on difficulties that may lie ahead. Rather, it is to encourage university students and educators to refocus.

"By embracing change, universities can empower their students to rethink the world around them in a way that benefits all of us. There are possibilities for improvement right in front of us, right here on campus," says Dr. Wright.

With a little prompting from the Goggles Project, Canadians from coast to coast can begin imagining ways for universities to become leaders in sustainability, then start asking them to take action.

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