Addressing the interconnected ecological crises of the 21st Century - CSAHS’s Fourth Kinross Chair in Environmental Governance, Stephanie Cairns

Posted on Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022

Headshot of Stephanie Cairns. She's looking thoughtfully off to the side, has chin-length brown hair, and is wearing a white shirt with green cardigan.As interconnected ecological crises of the 21st Century close in on us, the solutions demanded have spiralled from comparatively simplistic 20th Century techno-fixes to needing to redesign and reform entire production, consumption, energy urban systems, along with related profit models, legal and fiscal frameworks and socio-economic systems.

Governments are often tasked with leading the charge in tackling environmental issues. But, according to Stephanie Cairns, the new Kinross Chair for Environmental Governance in the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences at the University of Guelph, governments shouldn’t be looked to as the sole architects of environmental solutions.

“Redesigning economic systems to operate within ecological limits demands new, and often challenging, forms of deep collaboration across a spectrum of actors – innovators, producers up and down supply chains, consumers, civil society and activists, governments at all levels-- as no individual party in these interlocked, complex systems can effect these changes in isolation.”

In Cairns’ new role as Kinross Chair, she hopes to share what she has learned from working at the forefront of a range of environment and sustainability issues like natural capital & nature protection, climate change, the circular economy and sustainable communities.

Bringing to light the work on Environmental Governance for System Change, Cairns will be focusing on growing understanding and awareness of the governance processes, policy mechanisms, challenges, and business, social and technological innovations necessitated for systems-level transitions for sustainability.

Established in 2010, the Kinross Chair in Environmental Governance sits within CSAHS and is linked to the interdisciplinary Major in Environmental Governance (Bachelor of Arts), the Master of Conservation Leadership and the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute. Historically, Kinross Chairs have worked to create and strengthen community partnerships to raise awareness of emerging environmental issues. The Kinross Chair in Environmental Governance is funded through a generous endowment from the Kinross Gold Corporation.

For more information on the Kinross Chair in Environmental Governance contact Francesco Leri or visit the Kinross Chair website.

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