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Environment

Sustainable prosperity: Building a new 'China Dream'

Global sustainability expert Peggy Liu to share vision for reshaping consumerism in China as part of Ensia Live event series March 27

March 19, 2013

Media note: For press passes, contact Mary Hoff, maryhoff@umn.edu, (612) 626-2670

Is it possible to become more prosperous while protecting the global environment? Internationally acclaimed sustainability expert Peggy Liu will present a plan for doing just that in China as the second speaker in this spring’s Ensia Live event series Wednesday, March 27, 7:30 p.m., at the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis. The series is presented by the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

Called the "China Dream," Liu’s approach has roots in the realization that the number of middle-class consumers in China is expected to double to more than 600 million between now and 2025. In her thought-provoking presentation, Liu will argue for a two-pronged approach to pursuing sustainability that taps the best of our left, analytic brains and our right, aesthetic brains to shape a framework for protecting resources that people embrace rather than fear.

"Sustainability messaging must shift hard from a focus on abstract responsibility to one that helps people make subconscious choices that make them feel good about themselves," Liu wrote in a recent article at Ensia magazine. "We need to speak to the heart, not to the head."

Along with Liu’s talk, the evening will offer a performance by the Twin Cities Women’s Choir. Cutting across musical genres, cultures and traditions, the choir will sing the value of women as leaders, performers, thinkers, artists and heroes, as well as environmental advocates.

Widely recognized for her expertise on China‘s energy landscape and for fostering international collaboration, Liu has a passion for making the world a better place. She is chairperson and co-founder of JUCCCE, a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way China creates and uses energy; an executive advisor to Marks & Spencer; a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader; and an advisor to GE’s Global Insight Network. She was named a Time Magazine Hero of the Environment in 2008 and one of China’s top 50 innovative business leaders by China Business News Weekly in 2012.

The March 27 event, made possible by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Minnesota Public Radio and others, is the second of three environment-themed evenings presented by Ensia. The first, a talk earlier this month by futurist Jamais Cascio, will be viewable online soon at ensia.com/live. Wrapping up the season April 11 will be global architect Peter Williams, who will draw on experience on five continents to discuss the links between housing design and health. Visual artist Gregory Euclide and musician S. Carey of Bon Iver will add an artistic dimension to the event. For more information and tickets, see ensia.com/live or contact the Northrop Box Office, (612) 624-2345.

The Institute on the Environment seeks lasting solutions to Earth's biggest challenges through research, partnerships and leadership development. For more information, visit environment.umn.edu.

Peggy Liu
Peggy Liu will speak at Ensia Live on Wednesday, March 27

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