Southern California presents the most wickedly complex problems of sustainability of any region of the country. Sitting literally on a fault line, its unstable geology is a metaphor of fractured cultures and fragmented ecologies. Southern California is also our bet on a second nature, a place of adaptive experiment in sustainability unfolding across a broadening spectrum of complexity. Not a do-over but a makeover.
The academic activities of the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California represent a composite premise about integrative approaches to closing the gulfs across critical challenges to sustainability.
Academically driven by the liberal arts and activist mission of its home in Pitzer College, the Redford Conservancy projects a transdisciplinary educational program in languages of environmental and cultural literacy and trajectories of engaged discourse and systemic action. The Conservancy focuses on making a next generation of change leaders and problem-solvers who will give transformational insight to the conservation and making of meaningful, sustainable and resilient futures.
Conservancies have traditionally protected lands possessing significant natural and, often, aesthetic and cultural resources. The challenge for the Redford Conservancy will be not just to protect exceptional natural and human resources on its campus and elsewhere in the region, but to be and to educate agents of change through engaged discourse, research, design and activism. Transdisciplinary inquiry and discourse activate analysis and action on critical issues for the region and the globe. The Conservancy will especially focus on underlying causes of and solutions for broad disparities of access and health, nutrition, and other anthropogenic drivers of the degradation of the underpinning resources of all life especially including biodiversity and water.
The foci of this work, then, are problem-defined across a web of six critically linked issues that frame transdisciplinary challenges in this region and, by extension, across the globe: