It’s all over… or is it?

(Colin Bell)

The Sustainability in Crisis conference is now in the past. 101 people came to Cambridge last week, and from the feedback we’ve had so far, found it a very rewarding experience, with stimulating and wide-ranging input from speakers and panels at the front continuing into Q&A and beyond. There were clearly many enthusiastic and passionate conversations going on through tea and coffee breaks and at dinner!

We billed the event as a “conversation”, and it most definitely was that, but also moved beyond. We did not come to any one “answer” to the sustainability crises – but did not expect to. Instead, following on from something Elaine Storkey said: although we might not agree on our faith positions, or indeed exactly what the right practical action is, if we come together and share honestly, we can move forward and act together.

And this is what has started to happen: not just one conversation, but many smaller ones, both within and across particular interest groups, with individuals and groups inspired to find out about, encourage, and perhaps participate in others’ work.

Some specific conversations we’re aware of include:

  • between secular and faith-based campaigning/information groups, to see how we can best mutually support each other.
  • between those looking at the issues from different faith-based positions
  • between faith group leaders who have a heart to inspire their local areas but are not sure how to proceed, and those who have thought things through further and can inspire them
  • between those who have a heart for educating the young and helping them develop more sustainable values from an early age.
  • between those working with individuals, businesses and governments in particular geographical areas.

The question posed by Bob White in the closing session was “and now what?” We’ve been inspired to renewed action, but how, what and when?

That is in some sense up to the delegates, and those of you participating just by reading the blog. We hope you will be inspired and informed by the video and audio of the sessions – to be posted over the next few weeks – and by sharing people’s reflections and observations on what we have achieved. And by using the new partnerships made to strengthen all our efforts going forward.

We invite contributions from all delegates as to what they personally took away from the conference – either as a post here (e-mail it to Colin and we’ll put it up) or as comments to another’s observations.

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