Plenary Speakers

The International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

Linda Te Aho Spencer Stober
Eva Collins
Veronica Dujon
Dr. Robert Howell

Garden Conversation Sessions

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations – unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.


The Speakers

Linda Te Aho
Linda Te Ahois of Waikato-Tainui, Ngāti Korokī Kahukura descent. Associate Dean Māori, International Director, and Senior Lecturer at the Te Piringa Faculty of Law, University of Waikato, Linda’s teaching and research focuses on contemporary issues in Māori Law and Society, including the sustainable development and management of Māori resources. Linda is a trustee of the Ngāti Korokī Kahukura tribal entity mandated to lead Treaty of Waitangi and environmental issues and has published a collection of the tribe’s oral history. Appointed by Waikato-Tainui, Linda served on the Guardians Establishment Committee charged with formulating a vision and strategy to restore and protect the health and wellbeing of the Waikato River pursuant to the Waikato River Settlement. Linda has completed commissioned research for Crown agencies and government departments on topics such as relationships between tangata whenua and government agencies; freshwater for a sustainable future; climate change; impacts of amendments to the Resource Management Act upon Māori; and traditional knowledge, intellectual property and bioprospecting.

Eva Collins
Eva Collins is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato, New Zealand (BS Hons, Portland State; MA, Essex; PhD, George Washington University). Her area of research and teaching is business strategy related to sustainability. She is an award-winning writer of sustainability case studies. In 2009, she and her research team received a prestigious Marsden Grant for a 3-year study examining the vulnerability of New Zealand’s global environmental positioning.

Veronica Dujon
Veronica Dujon is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Portland State University, in Portland, Oregon, USA. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995. She publishes in the area of natural resource use and Third World Economic Development. Her latest publication is the edited volume Understanding the Dimensions of Social Sustainability (2009) with colleagues Prof. Mary King and Jesse Dillard.

Prof. Dujon teaches courses in environmental sociology, sociology of globalization, social sustainability, and the sociology of women. One of her major research interest areas is the role of women in the global economy and how to build socially sustainable societies.

Prof. Dujon is a three-time winner of the John Eliot Allen Teaching Award. In 2005 she was nominated for the U.S. Professor of the Year Award. In 2008 Prof. Dujon received the PSU Distinguished Faculty Award.


Dr. Robert Howell
Dr Robert Howell is currently CEO of the Council for Socially Responsible Investment. He is a highly experienced CEO, consultant and university teacher, with competencies in strategic visioning, strategic planning, governance and policy setting, organisational and systems design and implementation, and business ethics. He has a wide ranging experience having worked in advisory, teaching and CEO positions in the health, local authority, international education, and non-profit sectors. During recent years he has developed competencies in writing and teaching the ethical, economic, business, policy and conflict implications of climate change, environmental degradation and sustainability. He has played a significant role in the introduction of social and environmental factors into aspects of New Zealand investment. He led a Quaker 12 year Project dealing with the introduction of non-violent conflict resolution training into the Indonesian police. He is one of the authors of Strong Sustainability for New Zealand: Principles and Scenarios, and one of the Quaker authors of Right Relationship: Building a Whole Earth Economy.

Spencer Stober
Dr. Spencer S. Stober is a Professor of Biology, and Director of the Center for Ethics and Leadership at Alvernia University in Reading, Pennsylvania, US. He has taught Biology for 30 years including undergraduate course in Genetics, Botany and Environmental Science. Since earning his doctorate at Temple University, with a specialization in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, he teaches graduate courses in education and leadership. In 2005 he received Alvernia’s Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Stober has also served in a number of key administrative positions at Alvernia College, including Department Chairperson, Dean of Arts and Sciences, and Dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies. His research interests include environmental sustainability, and the intersection between religion and science. He publishes regularly in the International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability. Dr. Stober recently coauthored a book with Dr. Donna Yarri, Associate Professor of Theology at Alvernia University, entitled God, Science, and Designer Genes: An Exploration of Emerging Issues in Genetic Technologies, published by Praeger in 2009. They are also working on a second book forthcoming in 2013, God, Darwin, and the Origins of Life, Mercer University Press.