UVic in the Anthropocene

Photo Credit: Robert Ranisch, 2019 (Photo 1); Ray Troll (Photo 2).

The Anthropocene is a reality of which we are increasingly becoming aware. Together the combination of anthropogenic climate change, widespread environmental pollution, depletion of both renewable and non-renewable resources, species losses due to land use changes, and other human-driven ecological changes provide us ample evidence that humans are leaving an indelible imprint on our planet.

The idea of the ‘Epoch of the Anthropocene’ is that humanity is transforming the planet in profound ways, thereby generating new and unprecedented hardships for communities and societies as well as for non-human beings around the world. How to apportion blame for these problematic, usually unintended though often foreseeable, consequences of human activities may be debatable.

It remains a fact, however, that it is the younger and future generations who will be most affected by these changes in the conditions of life on Earth. This calls on all of us to develop new ways of creating the means for healthy living that mitigates our impact on the globe and helps populations adapt to the changes that are inevitable.

UVic in the Anthropocene is a working group on campus that aims to engage the University and the wider community in addressing the challenges of the Anthropocene in new, creative and effective ways. Our group is supported by the Centre for Global Studies and the School of Public Administration, and aims to engage faculty, students and staff from across campus and the university’s diverse disciplines, as well as the wider community.

To date, UVic in the Anthropocene has organised or co-sponsored the following events on campus:

  • 2016 – Two university/community forums on “Life in the Anthropocene: The challenge for us all”
  • 2017 – Ideafest event “The Anthropocene is here: Living well in a ‘one planet’ region”
  • 2019 – Ideafest event “Bike for the Climate” school visits
  • 2019 – Colloquium “Facing the Anthropocene with Alexander von Humboldt’s Views of Nature”

For further information on UVic in the Anthropocene, contact Professor Astrid Brousselle, Director of the School of Public Administration, University of Victoria, at anthropocene@uvic.ca.

One result of the activities of the UVic in the Anthropocene group is a series of monthly Conversations for a One Planet Region, which began in the Victoria region as part of the 2017 IdeaFest event to explore how to move to a “One Planet Way of Life”. These Conversations are proving to be of significant interest to community associations, environmental and social justice groups, local governments, faith organizations, green businesses, urban planners and architects, the arts and culture community, health professionals and many others.

The Conversations for a One Planet Region group presently is incorporating as a non-profit society and will be seeking funding to broaden and deepen its activities in the Victoria’s urban context. For further information on Conversations for a One Planet Region, contact Trevor Hancock at thancock@uvic.ca.  Events organized by this group are ongoing and can be followed here. 

Events, Opportunities, and Calls for Action, supported by UVic in the Anthropocene but not necessarily organised by our group:

  • New Capstone Course – Human Dimensions of Climate Change: Facing the challenges, transforming the present, creating the future
    The capstone course (HDCC 400) for the Human Dimensions of Climate Change programme addresses the challenges posed by climate change in the times of the Anthropocene. The starting point for this Spring 2021 course is an analysis of the parallels between climate change and pandemic diseases, such as the present Covid-19. The Spring 2021 HDCC 400 course outline is here. A selection of summaries of best papers have now been published on the Uvic in the Anthropocene Blog! See here

  • Please view our NEW UVic in the Anthropocene Blog where we share ideas to address the major challenges Humanity is facing in this new Epoch!

    If you have an idea and would like to write a post, send us your short text (ideally no more than 600 words), your picture, or your art work! We welcome multiple perspectives that effectively engage with our condition in the Anthropocene. We encourage co-writing from different disciplines, as well as responses to existing posts. Debate is welcome! You can also share a future important event, your recently funded research, or your accepted abstract!

  • BAUHAUS, DESIGN AND THE LIVABLE ANTHROPOCENE: Exhibition and Colloquium Celebrating the 100th Year of the Bauhaus School
  • This event celebrates the innovative approach to design and architecture developed at the Bauhaus Art School, founded in 1919. The aim is to reflect on the historical impact of this approach and explore its potential for addressing the design challenges of the Anthropocene.

  • On October 2nd from 11:30-15:00 there will be an opening of the exhibition and colloquium, “Bauhaus, Design, and the Livable Anthropocene” at the Mearns Centre for Learning - McPherson Library, Room 129. The Exhibit is accompanied by an inter-disciplinary colloquium.
  • WHEN:

    Opening of Exhibition and Colloquium: 11:30-15:00, Saturday, 2 October 2021, Mearns Centre for Learning - McPherson Library, Room 129.

    bau1haus Exhibition: 2 – 31 October 2021, McPherson Library, main floor.

    REGISTRATION: register here with Eventbrite for a free ticket 

    More information on the colloquium website here or contact Thomas Heyd Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, University of Victoria, heydt@uvic.ca.  

  • CLIMATE SUCCESS: Making it Happen
  • Event co-hosted by the University of Victoria’s School of Public Administration and the Institute of Public Administration of Canada-Victoria. With Keynote Speaker Mark Jackard, Professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University, whose research focus is the design and application of energy-economy models for assessing climate policies.

  • POSTPONED until further notice, because of Covid-19. Sorry! 


UVic Anthropocene
Photo Credit: Lorenzo Magzul