USSEE People @ ISEE-2018

The following was written by the three attendees enclosed in ( ). The conference program may be found at http://15th-isee2018.uam.mx/ .

In the morning of 10 September 2018, the ISEE folks attended a joint session that began the proceedings and allowed the attendees to hear the voices of representatives of indigenous peoples. In the first set of parallel sessions, Brent Haddad presented on defining the field of ecological economics, Jim Kahn spoke on integrating economic, energy, and environment policy in Tunisia, Robby Richardson discussed ecosystem services and climate change in Mali and Paul Bartlett put forth on emerging chemicals of concern. In another building, Rich Howarth presented on deliberative methodologies for ecosystem service valuation, work which is a collaboration with Georgia Mavrommati. After lunch, ecological footprint efficiency by consumption category was the topic of Eli Lazarus. Josh Farley discussed finance for a just and sustainable future, and ecological economics education for sustainability. (John Sorrentino)

The second day of the ISEE conference consisted of two parallel sessions with multiple tracks, one thematic session on Ecological Economics research (in Spanish), the plenary session on Agroecology, the ISEE assembly in the evening and the banquet with award ceremony. The morning and evening parallel sessions covered wide ranging ecological-economics topics and geographic regions, including bioenergy, carbon credit, species extinction, urban sustainability, sustainable agriculture, etc. USSEE member John Sorrentino presented on behalf of Jonathan Harris a paper on how to respond to ecological and economic deficits in a morning session. The conference featured several sessions in Spanish only so that Spanish speaking audience could fully participate in the conference. The Agroecology plenary session featured thoughtful debate between the academicians and practitioners of agroecology. Remi Cruset of FAO introduced to the audience their ongoing efforts on conducting international and regional stakeholders seminars in agroecology in different parts of the world. These regional seminars provide forums for experts, agencies, farmers and other stakeholders to exchange ideas on emerging concepts and practices of agroecology as a way to build the discipline from bottom up. Other panel members, namely Omar Giraldo (Colombia), Maria Noel Salgao (Uruguay) and Adelita San Vicente (México), who represented various grassroot organizations, challenged researchers and academies to think about creating a level-playing field for agroecology-based production system along with modern agriculture. ISEE President Clóvis Cavalcanti welcomed the participants at the Society’s assembly. President-Elect Joshua Farley presented a number of ideas on the future directions of the Society and how to expand its membership and their participation in Society’s activities, including international and regional conferences. There were a number of suggestions made by the meeting participants in order to increase participation by industries and stakeholders. The President of the the Russian Society for Ecological Economics presented a proposal for hosting the 2020 ISEE International Conference in Moscow, Russia. The ISEE Board will consider the merit of this proposal and will make a decision later. USSEE President James Kahn expressed concerns that he finds it uncomfortable attending the meeting in Russia, a country that has openly criminalized LGBT members. He further commented that being an organization that supports social justice, USSEE should not support a meeting in Russia. The evening banquet featured the presentation of 2018 Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award to Dr. Inge Røpke, in recognition of her long-term efforts on behalf of ISEE and European Society for Ecological Economics, as well as her contributions to the field of Ecological Economics. Her work focuses on sustainable transitions with a particular emphasis on the essential role of financial institutions and the banking system. (Mahadev Bhat)

The first set of parallel sessions on the final morning of the conference saw Mahadev Bhat speak on a solidarity economy for labor supply, technological improvement, and resource management in agriculture. Eli Lazarus presented on a comprehensive measure of income in California. Joshua Farley moderated a thematic session on a research agenda in ecological economics with Inge Røpke, Sabine O’Hara, Katie Kish, Richard Howarth. In the afternoon, Christina Estela Brown presented on valuing recreational ecosystem services under climate risk in the Florida Everglades. Anders Hayden revisited the subject of his webinar, alternative indicator metrics to move beyond GDP. John Sorrentino presented on tradeoffs in residential development in two Philadelphia-area watersheds, and Nicholas Charles presented on water resources in Karnataka, India. In the evening, the final plenary roundtable of the conference was on the topic of a social and solidarity economy of workers. This was followed by the closing ceremony, a demonstration of traditional cultural dance throughout Mexico’s history, from indigenous to colonial to modern times, and finally a closing toast. (Christina Estela Brown)