Dr. Andy Robson Page 2
|Talking World Peace: Dr. Andy Robson sits with COLS Special Reports student reporter for an audio podcast about his part in bringing the Earth Charter principles to UW Oshkosh.
Earth Charter Community Summit - The Early Days
The first Earth Charter Community Summit took place in September 2001
featuring a day of speakers and round table discussions about the
impact large issues connected with Earth Charter had on the community.
Dr. Robson hoped that the event would spark interest in these issues and would serve as a framework in decision-making on campus. Sixty-one people out of the 62 who attended the event signed the Earth Charter. “[The turnout for the one-day event was] quiet small,” Robson said. “The impact, however, was very significant.”
The Earth Charter Summit almost immediately grew into a week-long annual event, Robson said, and that planning the event has always been open to those interested. “This means we have always had students, faculty, staff, and community people involved,” Robson said. “Now we have a chance to think about the future of the event in the light of having a director of sustainability on campus.”
Even after a decade, Robson believes that the Earth Charter Summit events are still important.
“The Earth Charter principles, including those that address social and economic justice, continue to be highly relevant on campus and in the community,” Robson said.
Impact of Earth Charter Community Summit
As founder and co-facilitator of Earth Charter Community Summits,
Robson has witnessed the changes the summits had on the campus community
in terms of infrastructure and academic themes.
In 2006, Earth Charter Oshkosh members realized the need to establish a group that could focus on all of the “green” campaigns on campus and created the Campus Sustainability Team.
According to the Earth Charter Oshkosh, the team was formed, utilizing the many talents of students, faculty, staff, and community members.
In academics, a number of people adapted their courses to include topics that are relevant to the principles of Earth Charter. “They are all different [courses] but quite a few of the faculty that offer these courses are friends of the Earth Charter,” he said. “I think it has helped influence curricular decisions for individual people.”
Robson believes that more can be done to include the themes of Earth Charter in other courses.
“There is a strong interest in the university administration and faculty to have sustainability as a theme that’s widely used across disciplines,” Robson said.
Overall Robson is happy with what Earth Charter Community Summits has done, and the serious work a lot of organizations are doing. He would like others to know that there are many ways for people from campus and the community to get involved with Earth Charter and the community summits.