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April 2012 Programming

Connected Minds, Resilient Communities April 2012 Programming

Organized in conjunction with Mann Library's ongoing Connected Minds, Resilient Communities programming, this highly collaborative (and award winning) series explored some of the ways we can think, design and act more holistically, engaging across divisions and communities as co-creators of a better future. Work from campus and community based initiatives was highlighted. Systems based perspectives and approaches were used to suggest novel solutions to some of our most challenging problems, including those related to environmental sustainability, social justice, and economic equity. A major area of focus was networks, and their abilities to connect and empower a broad range of stakeholders.

Questions or comments? Please contact us at engaged-mann@cornell.edu.


Mon. April 2nd, 2012, 5:30 – 7:00pm
Sandor Katz Book Talk
The Art of Fermentation
: An Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World
Mann Library Stern Seminar Room 160

Free and open to the public and are funded in part by the GPSAFC.

Sponsored/Hosted by: New World Agroecology Group at Cornell (NWAEG), Food Agriculture and Nutrition Group (FANG) 

Co-sponsored by: Cornell Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, Society for Horticulture Graduate Students (SoHo), GreenStar Community Projects, Buffalo Street Books, Cornell Food Science Club, Cornell Gourmet Club, EcoVillage at Ithaca, Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute, Ithaca Freeskool, IthacCan, Fingerlakes Bioneers, Cayuga St. Kitchen, and Kurt’s Cuisine.

Weds. April 4th, 2012 5:30pm
Empowered Movie Screening, 
Mann Library Stern Seminar Room 160

Cornell alum Shira Evergreen will present her feature length documentary telling the story of our community's role in the energy independence revolution. From solar and wind to veggie oil and geothermal,  "Empowered: Power from the People" shows how in spite of being one of the cloudiest, least windy places in the country, Tompkins County residents are freeing themselves from their addiction to fossil fuels, demonstrating just how accessible and effective renewable alternatives can be. Cosponsored by KyotoNOW!, Engineers for a Sustainable World and Cornell Wind Power. 

Free and open to the public. More details at: http://events.cornell.edu/event/empowered_movie_screening 


Mon. April 16th, 2012, 1:30 - 3pm
Too Big to Know Book Talk 
Clark Hall 700

Knowing in a Networked World

For centuries if not millennia knowledge has held out a hope: If reasonable people sit down with open hearts and examine the facts and their assumptions, they can discover the truth and come to agreement. The Internet has shown us that that's just a dream. We are not going to agree. But with the Internet, disagreements are linked, and this provides some hope. We have been rapidly evolving ways to deal with disagreement, and even gaining positive advantage from it.

Please join us as bestselling author and Harvard senior researcher David Weinberger comes to the Cornell campus to discuss these ideas from his most recent book, “Too Big to Know“ (Basic Books, Jan. 2012). An engaging speaker known for his humor and clarity, he'll help us look at ways in which knowledge is taking on some of the properties of the Internet -including being unsettled and perpetually at odds with itself -and at "knowledge networks" that offer clues about how to make the public smarter by learning in public, and help us to understand that which is foreign to us.

Free and open to the public. More details at: http://events.cornell.edu/event/too_big_to_know  

Co-sponsored by CUL Library Forum, Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research (CCELR), Department of Communication, Yahoo!, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Social Dynamics Laboratory, Networks Journal Club.


Tues. April 17th 2012, 5:30pm
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time, Movie Screening 
Mann Library Stern Seminar Room 160

Aldo Leopold, an author, scientist and environmentalist, had a profound effect on the development of environmental ethics and the conservation movement. In his book A Sand County Almanac, Leopold first coined the term "Thinking like a mountain" to describe a thought process based on a holistic view of the entire ecosystem. Rather than thinking as an isolated individual, such awareness requires a deep appreciation for the profound interconnectedness of the elements in the ecosystems, and our relationship to that intricate web.

Green Fire provocatively examines Leopold’s thinking, renewing his idea of a land ethic for a population facing 21st century ecological challenges.  Green Fire describes the formation of Leopold’s idea, exploring how it changed one man and later permeated through all arenas of conservation. The film draws on Leopold’s life and experiences to provide context and validity, then explores the deep impact of his thinking on conservation projects around the world today. Through these examples, the film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land community.

The film will be introduced by Cornell Department of Natural Resources Professor James Lassoie. Lassoie is currently working on the ConservationBridge.org project, an innovative instructional tool that links classrooms to conservation practitioners around the world.

Free and open to the public.

Cornell events page: http://events.cornell.edu/event/green_fire_4780


Thursday, April 19, 2012, 1:30 - 4:00 pm
CIIFAD Annual Symposium (partner event)
Mann Library

The Cornell International Institute for Food Agriculture and Development (CIIFAD) will holds its 3rd annual symposium in Mann Library on April 19th, showcasing the program and the work of its students. CIIFAD's mission is "To strengthen the Cornell community's capacity for making significant contributions to sustainable global development by supporting multi-disciplinary research teams with a problem-solving focus, partnering with developing country institutions and facilitating campus-wide dialogue on critical development issues."

The symposium speaker will be Jenny Aker, Professor of Economics, Tufts University.  She will speak in Mann Library Stern Seminar Room 160 on Information and Communication Technologies for Agricultural Information, Outreach, and Impact:  Potentials and Pitfalls.  This will be followed by poster presentations by all 14 of the 2012 SMART projects in the Mann Lobby from 3:00-4:00 pm.


Saturday, April 21, 2012, 11am - 4pm
ILR Conference Center Room 423
Creating a Culture of Community Engagement (partner event)

A panel discussion, break sessions, and group conversations will be held on the Cornell campus, exploring ways we can collaboratively promote a culture of community engagement at Cornell. Lunch and refreshments will be served. Free and open to the public.

Hosted by the Knitting Club (previously Students for Service Learning), a network and platform dedicated to the cultivation of community engaged learning at Cornell University. Their aim is to connect students and build organizational networks as a means to facilitate conversation and collaboration among all those involved. Find more info on their Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/cuknittingclub

Made possible by the generous support of both the Public Service Center (PSC) and the new Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research (CCELR).


Monday April 23rd 2012, 1 - 2:30pm(Food & Refreshments 12-1pm)
Collaborative Engagement and Empowered Food Systems: Lessons from Vermont

Mann Library Stern Seminar Room 160

A growing range of efforts here and beyond are focused on supporting healthy, equitable, sustainable and just food systems. Because these systems and goals are so complex and interwoven, no particular viewpoint or source of expertise is adequate in itself. Working across disciplines and with those we serve is essential (and some times required by funders) in realizing desired outcomes. Many seek to do this through asset based community development and capacity building, empowering and connecting stakeholders within local and regional “food sheds”, from farm to plate.

How might we cultivate and maintain such collaborative partnerships? There are several challenges, including differences in agenda, scholarly approach and language, as well as limited time and opportunity for building healthy relationships based on trust and understanding. Institutional barriers related to tradition, disciplinary identities, turf battles and incentive structures also exist. Geographic, class, culture and economic divides make true dialogue and engagement difficult with and between community stakeholders.

Chris Koliba and Erica Campbell will be visiting Ithaca to talk about their work related to these topics, promoting collaborative engagement in support of healthy food systems in Vermont.

  • Koliba will describe some innovative "transdisciplinary" systems-based approaches being explored within the Land Grant system at the University of Vermont (UVM). Less concerned with a focus on a particular discipline, transdisciplinarity aims instead for an integrated research approach that is respectful of and actively engaged with the real world and its needs. In May of 2010 a "Food Systems Spire" was chosen as one of UVM's Transdisciplinary Research Initiatives.

    Chris will also talk about his work around complex systems and governance networks. These collaborative networks offer unique opportunities for empowering communities and food systems. Decentralized and responsive to local needs, they can also support innovation, equity and resilience across broad regions.

  • Campbell, director of the Vermont Farm to Plate Network, will share work she is doing putting some of these ideas into action, through this emerging statewide multi-stakeholder food systems network. She'll discuss the process of how the network was planned and the implementation process, including the development of support systems such as a Food System Atlas.

Koliba is the Co-Director of the Master of Public Administration Degree Program and an Assistant Professor in the Community Development and Applied Economics Department at the University of Vermont (UVM). His research interests include organizational change, civic education, cross-sector collaborations, network theory and governance networks, and educational policy. Learn more about Chris’s work related to this talk from his co-authored paper, Moving Toward a Trans-disciplinary Approach in the Land Grant System: A Case Study, available to Cornell community members here

Over the past fifteen years, Cambell's work has spanned many integrated areas, including food systems, sustainable community development, education, transportation, and climate change. Prior to joining F2P, Erica was a regional food systems planner at the Center for an Agricultural Economy in Hardwick, where she led the development of the Regional Food System Plan for Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom.

Food and refreshments will be served before the talk, from noon to 1pm. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Mann Library, the Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Group (FANG) and New World Agriculture and Ecology Group (NWAEG). Funding provided by GPSA-FC.

Like us in Facebook!: http://www.facebook.com/events/221204484652384/


Saturday April 28th 2012, 1 - 4pm
An Ecology of Mind Film Screening
, with Producer/Director Nora Bateson (partner event)
Cinemapolis Theatre, 120 East Green St., Ithaca NY

This moving documentary explores the life and ideas of Gregory Bateson, a pioneering thinker and systems theorist whose influence has been felt across a range fields, including anthropology, social sciences, linguistics, and cybernetics.  As conveyed in his books Steps to An Ecology of Mind, and Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, Bateson encouraged us recognize and understand "the patterns that connect" humanity, mind and nature, declaring "The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think."

Previously considered largely inaccessible to many, Bateson's daughter Nora Bateson (producer/director) sets out to show that his ideas are not just fodder for academic theory, but can help instruct a way of life. She presents his thinking using a richly personal perspective, focusing on the stories Bateson used to present his ideas and how the beauty of life itself provided the framework of his life’s pursuits. Through contemporary interviews, along with his own words, practical approaches to the enormous challenges confronting the human race and the natural world are revealed.

This afternoon event will include Nora and other panel members in a stimulating exploration of themes related to systems thinking, biomimicry, indigenous wisdom, and the interwoven economic, political, and environmental problems we face. Details available from sponsor/host Finger Lakes Bioneers.


Monday April 30th 2012, 12 - 2:30pm
Working Across Differences to Make a Difference -Discussion

Mann Libary Conference Room 102 

"all life is interrelated, and we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. "  -Martin Luther King Jr.

Our University, College and Land Grant missions state that we have an obligation to enhance not only the well-being of our students, but New York State residents, communities, and others around the world as well. There is growing awareness that embracing diversity and collaborative, active engagement based on meaningful dialogue and exchange, is essential to achieving these goals and maintaining relevance in the work that we do, including sustainability and translational research initiatives. 

A broad coalition of campus and community partners are coming together to facilitate an ongoing conversation around what “engagement” means, why it matters, and how we might go about it in a way which addresses these challenges in a respectful and empowering manner. Ideally these efforts will result in new and productive partnerships, including innovative whole systems approaches which activate and engage the entire Land Grant system in support of healthy, just, equitable and resilient communities. To learn more about this initiative, please visit our Working Across Differences to Make a Difference page.

As part of the effort, a representative panel will be convened at Mann Library on April 30th to discuss their work, how it relates to our engagement mission and how we might better proceed in "Working Across Differences to Make a Difference". Opportunities for an open discussion will follow. Food and refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to ccelr.rsvp@gmail.com

Confirmed participants include representatives from:

PDF Poster.

Hosted/sponsored by the Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research (CCELR). Free and open to the public.

Cornell events page: http://events.cornell.edu/event/working_across_differences