March 17, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

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Bucknell University's second annual Sustainability Symposium, "Reimagining Prosperity," will be held on Thursday, March 27. All events in the symposium are free and open to the public.

The day-long event include panel discussions, a poster and project display session, a presentation about a local rail-trail project, and a demonstration of unique human-powered vehicles, all in the Elaine Langone Center.

A highlight of the symposium is the keynote talk, "Plenitude: The New Economics of Sustainability," by best-selling author Juliet Schor at 7:30 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building. The talk will be based on her book of the same name which explores issues of environmental sustainability and their relation to American lifestyles and the economy, and the emergence of a conscious consumption movement.

Professor of sociology at Boston College, Schor is the author of the national best seller The Overworked American: The Unexpected Decline of Leisure (1992), which has appeared on best seller lists of The New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, The Chicago Tribune and The Boston Globe, and The Overspent American: Why We Want What We Don't Need (1998).

Each of the panel discussions will feature a moderator and three panelists.

  • "Plenitude and Post-consumerism," from 9:30 to 11 a.m., will be moderated by Jan Knoedler, economics professor;
  • "Integrating Knowledge, Integrating Values," from 1 to 2:30 p.m., will be moderated by Maria Antonaccio, religion professor;
  • "Creating Resiliency, Enabling Prosperity," from 2:30 to 4 p.m., will be moderated by Brandn Green, director of the Environmental Center's Place Studies Initiative.

Following the panels, the symposium will host the talk, "Rail Trails: A Sustainable Transportation Solution," from 4 to 5 p.m., with Shawn McLaughlin, director of the Union County Planning Commission, and Michelle Beiler, civil and environmental engineering professor.

In addition, there are two other related events.

There will be a poster and project display session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Walls Lounge of the Elaine Langone Center. During the session, students will present their research on projects or activities related to the concept of sustainability.

Bob "The Bike Guy" Swaim will present "Unique Human-Powered Vehicles" from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the lower level of the Elaine Langone Center. Swaim is a retired math teacher from the Allentown area who has a collection of about 250 antique and unique vehicles. Several of his unusual cycles include a seven-person Conference Bike, a highwheeler with a 42-inch front wheel, a Sociable bike built for two side-by-side, and a three-person tandem bike, which one of only two in the world and made in Pennsylvania.

The Symposium is sponsored by the Office of the Provost (Social Science Colloquium), Bucknell University Environmental Center, Department of Economics,  and the Managing for Sustainability Program, and is supported by the Office of Outdoor Education, Campus Activities and Program Center, and the Student Environmental Club.