WHOLE EARTH? Aligning human systems & natural systems


Car dump, Montana, USA © David Woodfall/Hard Rain Picture Library

The Hard Rain Project (HRP), the UK National Union of Students (NUS) and Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS)

will launch the WHOLE EARTH? exhibition simultaneously at universities in North and South America, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Europe in autumn 2015.

Hard Rain Project (HRP) in collaboration with the National Union of Students (NUS) will launch the new exhibition, WHOLE EARTH?, simultaneously at universities in North and South America, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Europe.

Help us reach a million students at 100 universities in 2015.

WHOLE EARTH? is our successor to Hard Rain. Launched in 2006, Hard Rain has been seen by some 15 million people on every continent (see sidebar text).

WHOLE EARTH? brings the college-age generation more firmly into the sustainability debate, helping them understand the threats as well as the solutions and opportunities that these challenges open up.

The exhibition is not prescriptive.  Students and academics have done more than identify and assess global problems.  Universities around the world, often funded by business, are researching solutions in the areas of climate, energy, fresh water, oceans and agriculture, as well as areas such as poverty, human rights, economic rule-making and politics. Courses in sustainable art and fashion and positive psychology bring in students who offer new insights.

The exhibition presents sustainable development challenges in a wide range of disciplines and invites university researchers, academics and students on every continent to share solutions they are devising - solutions that underpin security for future generations.

We will propose that the United Nations exhibit the future universities are creating at the UN Headquarter building in New York.  Hard Rain was shown there in 2010.

National Union of Students: Jamie Agombar, NUS Ethical & Environment Manager, “The NUS is really excited to be partnering WHOLE EARTH?  We are especially keen to use it as a way of creating dialogue between students in different countries, exposing them to the commonalities of the global challenges we face, and which they will inherit, and to create a network of interested students that we can draw on to inform and influence the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals initiative.”

WHOLE EARTH? is written by Lloyd Timberlake, an acknowledged expert in the field of sustainable development. The Stockholm Resilience Centre provides scientific support to the project with the latest insights on planetary boundaries and global sustainability.

The original Hard Rain exhibition - a vivid reminder of the price of inaction - introduces the new display. The combination of art and rigorous science gives the exhibition wide appeal.

 It will be the first exhibition to open simultaneously to a connected, international audience at multiple venues. This innovative approach will ensure media coverage at each university and public venue and an opportunity to bring students, academics and the public together with political and business leaders.  WHOLE EARTH? supports a programme of talks and events designed to give students a voice. Rather than signatures, we aim for a million selfies, collaged together as a mosaic artwork: a reminder to political leaders that they are responsible for future generations as well as today's voters.

Media partner: The University of Salford is our media partner. UoS students will link visitors at all the venues from their state-of-the-art facilities, part of BBC Media City in Salford. Students, academics, the public and people at the sharp end of the environmental debate will be able to explore global issues with a global audience.

Dissemination will include online, new media and social networks, bringing in student creativity and talent at all partner universities. UoS will ensure the widest circulation and engagement by schools, universities and the public.

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