February 29, 2012

Upcoming Event: "Away is a Place"

On Thursday, March 15, Colby Self, Green Ship Recycling Campaign Director, Basal Action Network, Seattle, WA.  Mr. Self will present a talk titled “Away is a Place.”  This lecture will be at 7:30 PM in the Trustee’s Room, Upper Convocation Center.   It is free and open to the public. 

This lecture will “speak to the realities of our globalized economy, realities that are often overlooked in traditional economic value assessments. We will focus on the issue of toxic trade, and in particular the examples of the global shipbreaking industry and the mounting e-waste crisis that arises due to the ease by which current trade rules, or lack thereof, facilitate the externalization of costs to developing countries and the disproportionate burden of harm on them – environmental degradation, human health damage and human rights abuse. We will discuss the role of the Basel Convention and market strategies to internalize costs of hazardous waste production upstream and at source. In this age of mass consumerism and post-consumer wastes now flooding across national borders, we are all part of the problem, and thus we must all become part of the solution, always remembering that Away is a place that others call Home” (see essay at www.ban.org).

Mr. Self is an environmental policy analyst and Director of the Basel Action Network’s international ship recycling campaign. Working on human rights and environmental protection, he addresses the issue of environmental justice with the aim of developing fair and sustainable solutions to the world’s growing waste crises. His recent work on the international shipbreaking issue (see http://ban.org/ban_news/2011/110407_navy_abandons_plan_to_sink.html), a problem that has profound global economic, environmental and human health implications, recently took him to the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Basel Convention in Cartagena, Colombia, where multilateral agreement was reached, decisions that will someday be remembered historically as the turning point for global waste trade.  

Mr. Self is also a social entrepreneur, working to establish innovative solutions that internalize costs of waste production to disincentivize the externalization of costs to emerging economies downstream. To this end, he is co-founder of Ecorate.com and the Automotive Science Group, both product rating platforms for consumer durable goods aimed to help consumers make better informed purchasing decisions. He has a B.S. from the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development, has been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Oxford, and is a select member of the Cambridge-MIT Institute Enterprisers Forum.