UWTSD hosts its second Harmony Conference in Lampeter


The University of Wales Trinity Saint David was proud to host its second annual public Harmony conference at its Lampeter campus last Thursday and Friday (March 3rd and 4th).

Harmony Conference 2017

Entitled What is the Relationship Between Harmony and Sustainability?, students were given the opportunity to hear the thoughts of four leading activists and environmental commentators who are also Harmony Professors of Practice at UWTSD – David Cadman, a Quaker Writer; John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK; Tony Juniper, an independent sustainability and environment adviser, including Special Advisor with the Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit; and Peter Davies, former Welsh Government Sustainable Futures Commissioner .

The four Professors opened the event by giving a short statement on the theme of Harmony before discussing their views in a series of Question and Answer sessions with students from disciplines across the University, including Philosophy, Anthropology and Business.

Students also present papers on a range of Harmony themes and discussed a variety of perspectives with the eminent Professors of Practice.  Lecturers from a range of subject areas also presented case studies linked to Harmony.

The event took place on UWTSD’s Lampeter campus last week organised in partnership with the University’s Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE) and the Sophia Centre for the study of Cosmology in Culture.

Dr Nicholas Campion, Director of UWTSD’s Sophia Centre and Conference Chair said: “The University was proud to host another day in its series on Harmony with the University's Harmony Professors of Practice. The University has been developing policies and teaching related to sustainability in recent years – we are now interested in developing the philosophical notion of Harmony within the curriculum and in connection with the wider community.

“The conference was an outstanding success in terms of contacts made and ideas shared. Bringing teaching staff and students from across disciplines together with the Harmony Professors was a vital step towards developing philosophical perspectives which can underpin the University's sustainability agenda and develop its national and global collaborations.”

John Sauven, Professor of Practice and Executive Director of Greenpeace UK was delighted to be a part of the conference.

 John Sauven

“Part of our role is to come and give a lecture a couple of times a year to the students, the staff and to the local community and really to try and find ways in which the whole issue around sustainable development, harmony and protection of the environment can be brought into the university and into the curriculum - to give it a higher profile and also get people out of their silos.  So the important thing we’ve been doing today is talking to philosophy students, anthropologists, economists and so on.  This is the way we need to go – we need everyone to start thinking about these issues.

“It’s tremendously important that young people and students in particular are discussing these issues, because in a way, the future is theirs, the consequences of what we do today - they will definitely feel, so it’s really important that they take responsibility for this - that they feel empowered and have the knowledge to be able to deal with these really important issues.  I think it’s been fantastic today to talk to students across all of these different disciplines and to have this debate with them,” adds John Sauven.

Postgraduate student, M.A. Rashed thoroughly enjoyed the conference and relished the opportunity to discuss the different notions of Harmony in the company of fellow students, staff and the distinguished Professors of Practice:  “Being able to contribute to the Harmony conference of 2017 was a uniquely inspiring experience. Considering the expanding conflict that exists today on many levels, societal, political, and subsequently environmental, it has never been as essential as it is today to understand the philosophical significance, classical and contemporary, of harmony in our everyday lives.”

About the speakers: 

David Cadman

David Cadman is a Quaker writer. He has held a number of professorial chairs and is now a Visiting Professor at University College London and the University of Maryland. He is a Professor of Practice at the University of Wales Trinity St. David. He is a Trustee of The Prince's School of Traditional Arts and a Fellow of The Temenos Academy, of which His Royal Highness is Patron.

David Cadman's recent publications include Speeches and Articles 1968-2012, of which he was co-editor.

This is a collection of speeches and articles of The Prince of Wales, published by the University of Wales, Love Matters, published by Zig Publishing, 2014, Finding Elsewhere, a collection of stories for our time, published by Zig Publishing, 2015 and Why Love Matters, of which he was co-editor, published by Peter Land, 2016. His work can be found at www.lovematters.uk.com .

Tony Juniper

Tony Juniper is an independent sustainability and environment adviser, including as Special Advisor with the Prince of Wales's International Sustainability Unit , Fellow with the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and as co-founder of sustainability consultancy group Robertsbridge. He is President of the Wildlife Trusts, President of the Society for the Environment and a trustee of Fauna and Flora International and Resurgence-Ecologist.

Juniper speaks and writes widely on conservation and sustainability themes and is the author of many books, including the multi-award winning best-seller What has Nature ever done for us? published in 2013. He began his career as an ornithologist, working with Birdlife International. From 1990 he worked at Friends of the Earth, initially leading the campaign for the tropical rainforests, and from 2003-2008 was the organisation's executive director. From 2000-2008 he was Vice Chair of Friends of the Earth International. Juniper was the first recipient of the Charles and Miriam Rothschild medal (2009) and was awarded honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the Universities of Bristol and Plymouth (2013). His latest book, What is really happening to our planet?: the facts simply explained, will be published in June 2016.

John Sauven

John Sauven is the Executive Director of Greenpeace UK. With a background in forests he was instrumental in getting protection for the Great Bear temperate rainforest in Canada. It was an epic battle between logging companies, timber traders and their retail customers in Europe and North America.

John Sauven co-ordinated the international campaign to secure a moratoria on further destruction of the Amazon by soya producers and later similar tactics were used to get a cattle moratorium. Similar tactics were used elsewhere to tackle the drivers of deforestation including for paper and palm oil in Indonesia. Ultimately it changed the supply chains of many of the world's biggest corporations. It was one of Greenpeace's most successful campaigns to protect large areas of the world's last intact rainforests providing both climate and biodiversity protection as well as local peoples livelihoods. In 2010 John Sauven started the campaign to protect the Arctic from oil exploration. It turned into a heroic battle first with Russia's Gazprom and then Shell. In 2015 Shell pulled out of the Arctic.

Peter Davies

Peter's career background is in the field of corporate responsibility working for the Confederation of British Industry, Department of Trade and Industry and Business in the Community.

Awarded the OBE in 1995 for work in establishing links between business and education under the DTI's Enterprise Initiative Peter was Managing Director at Business in the Community UK from 1995 to 2005 . He returned home to Wales in 2005 and was appointed Commissioner for Wales and Vice Chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission, providing independent advice to the Welsh and UK Governments.

Following the closure of the UK Commission Welsh Government appointed him as Wales' first Sustainable Futures Commissioner in April 2011. He played a lead role in the development of the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act, particularly through leading the national conversation on the Wales we Want. He stepped down from this role in February 2016 with the appointment of the Future Generations Commissioner as established by the Act.

He was also appointed to be the first independent chair of the Climate Change Commission for Wales in 2011 and carrying out this role through to March 2016.

Peter has undertaken a range of consultancy projects since 2005 including as consultant to the Prince's Charities in Wales and St James Ethics Centre corporate responsibility research programme in Australia. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Institute for Sustainability and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE) at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 2011.

His project portfolio focused on working in support of communities, citizens and consumers and includes chairing the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Welsh Water's Customer Challenge Group and the Size of Wales charity, being a Director of Pembrokeshire Community Energy and a member of the BT Wales Advisory Board.

Further Information

  1. For further information, please contact Sian-Elin Davies by emailing sian-elin.davies@uwtsd.ac.uk / 01267 676908 / 07449 998476