Get to know the movers and shakers, the facilitators and agents of change – and expand your network.
Who are you?
I’m a researcher and research project coordinator at the Charles University Environment Center in Prague. My academic background is in politics, international relations and development studies. I’m originally from New Zealand and I’ve been with the Environment Center for only the last two years. I live with my Czech wife and daughter in a small town called Louny about 60km north-west of Prague, so I have to commute to the capital each day by bus. Previously, I worked as a Senior Policy Advisor for the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (responsible for identity issues, i.e. passports, citizenship, births/deaths/marriages, etc) and before that the Tertiary Education Commission (the NZ government’s funding agency for all post-compulsory education).
What do you do?
I mainly coordinate projects on education for sustainable development (ESD) and I’m currently helping to establish the first Regional Centre of Expertise on ESD in the Czech Republic and the first behind the former Iron Curtain outside Russia. I’m also trying to work toward building and expanding ESD capacity and capability in the Czech Republic outside the capital. A lot of the job is about ensuring our own economic ‘sustainability’ by applying for project grants from various sources. My research interests are in governance issues related to environment NGOs and their impact on the public environmental policy making process, the barriers to ESD in formerly communist societies, and the politics of climate change.
What do you dream to achieve?
I’m too cynical and pragmatic to dream, particularly as someone working to strengthen the concept of ‘sustainability’ but whose personal carbon footprint is huge thanks to occasional travel across half the globe to New Zealand. However, I would like to think that I can help in some small way to improve public understanding of the environmental, social and economic challenges that face global society by enhancing the relationship between higher education research and the wider public, whether it’s through RCEs, university outreach programmes or the advancement of ESD in the Czech Republic and Eastern Europe. Great public awareness and understanding is the route toward achieving life styles that can be sustained over the distant future without further undermining our environment.
How can you be contacted?
I can be contacted anytime at the Environment Center (http://www.czp.cuni.cz/) by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.