Halki Summit to Discuss Global Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability

The Halki Summit – sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and co-sponsored by Southern New Hampshire University – is a conversation on environment, ethics and innovation among a distinguished group of activists, scientists, journalists, business leaders, theologians, and academics.

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The Summit is an extraordinary opportunity to bring together some of the world’s great minds and to explore the critical role of values in saving a planet.

(PRWEB) June 01, 2012

The Halki Summit – co-sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Southern New Hampshire University – is a conversation on environment, ethics and innovation among a distinguished group of activists, scientists, journalists, business leaders, theologians, and academics. At the heart of this discussion is the recognition that no healing environmental action can be successful without a fundamental change in values as manifested in ethics and spirituality.

"The Summit is an extraordinary opportunity to bring together some of the world’s great minds and to explore the critical role of values – whether defined as ethics or spirituality or religion – in saving a planet that is becoming increasingly inhospitable to human life due to human driven changes in the climate," said Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc. "As a university, we must lead by example, as we have done by becoming New Hampshire’s first carbon-neutral university, but also through our convening role. The Summit is just such a convening."

On the small island of Heybeliada, just off the coast of Istanbul, at the historical Theological School of Halki, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church and a pioneer in the environmental movement, will host a gathering from June 18-20, 2012, on global responsibility and environmental sustainability.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, often known as “the Green Patriarch” for persistently proclaiming the primacy of spiritual values in determining environmental ethics and action, will preside over this historic gathering. In 2008, His All-Holiness was listed in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for “defining environmentalism as a spiritual responsibility.”

From 1994-1998, His All-Holiness organized five Summer Seminars on environment and society. From 1995-2009, he convened eight International Symposia on Religion, Science and Environment. This year, His All-Holiness is organizing the Halki Summit. While the symposia took place in ecologically sensitive stretches of water as far away as Estonia, Brazil and Greenland, this gathering will be a more focused meeting on the Patriarch’s home ground.

The conversation will cover three topical and timely issues:

  •     Biodiversity and Conservation
  •     Energy and Climate Change
  •     Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

Keynote speakers include three eminent educators and authors:

  •     Jane Goodall, primatologist and conservationist
  •     Gary Hirshberg, president, Stonyfield Farm
  •     Bill McKibben, author and environmentalist
Four prominent panelists from different backgrounds will offer a response. The sessions will be chaired by renowned broadcaster and author, Krista Tippett of “On Being” (American Public Media), while the closing session will be chaired by Metropolitan John [Zizioulas] of Pergamon, the most prominent Orthodox spokesman on environmental issues.

This conference seeks to bring a new dimension of personal and cultural change more firmly into the larger international dialogue on sustainability. Our hope is that the participants leave resolved to include the ethical and spiritual dimension of environmental sustainability in their work going forward. In addition we hope to bring new moral and ethical dimensions to the way we address ecological issues.

Please visit http://www.halkisummit.org for additional information.

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About Southern New Hampshire University
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