Aspen Ski Co. Vice President Talks Sustainability, Human Values

Auden Schendler, author and Aspen Ski Company’s vice president of sustainability, spoke about combating climate change to a packed audience in the University Center on Monday.

The School of Business, and departments of Recreation and Outdoor Education and Environment and Sustainability invited Schendler to share his insights as an expert in the field. The talk combined human values and sustainability with a positive, inspirational tone.

Schendler’s message stressed the importance of embracing measurable action to combat the daunting realities of climate change. He framed this notion around a quote from Thomas Edison, who once said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work.”

Even though Schendler is a formidable climate activist, he maintains a humble and honest approach to his efforts. He acknowledged that nobody is perfect nor is expected to be.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t care about [climate change], you will have to deal with it at some point…just pretend to know how to fight,” he stressed.

Faculty made a collective effort to host a speaker with insights that apply across all fields for cross-department learning. Beyond being an action-inspiring presentation, the event provided an enriching educational experience for students, faculty, and community members alike. 

“These talks are intended to be about what classes are getting at, but bring in different angles to fill in the gaps,” said Dr. John Hausdoerffer, professor of Environment and Sustainability and Philosophy. “They are an opportunity to expose experts from the community and help create community between majors.”

Throughout the year Western will host more notable speakers who will continue challenge, strengthen and broaden what the university has to offer.

Story and photos by Peter Noon. 

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Friday, September 30, 2016 - 10:00am