Inspiring sustainable practitioner

Posted on November 4, 2008


Lizzie Gillett

Yesterday we hosted Lizzie Gillet, producer of “The Age of Stupid“.     Back in Dunedin for a while, she gave an inspirational talk about the making of the movie.  

Otago Polytechnic is committed to sustainable education and from 2009 every graduate will have been trained in sustainability practices.   With that goal in mind we’re always looking for new ways to talk about what it means to be a sustainable practioner.  

Lizzie highlighted the challenges in making a sustainability movie in a sustainable way.  She tells great stories about the whole gamut of funding, travel, animation, casting and so on – making decisions that sometimes have to mix a bit of bad and lots of good.

We were lucky that busy environmental campaigner and film producer Lizzie Gillett could make the time to give us some insight into the international production, and her motivation.   Lizzie is an inspiration in making a difference above and beyond concerns about her own footprint.  We can all learn from that.

I especially liked Lizzie’s descriptions of some of the messages that emerged from the making of the movie: that we are all part of the problem and the solution; that we can be doing good and bad at the same time; that we need to move beyond blame and anger to changing behaviours; that people need to be able to see positives, even in the face of traumatic conditions.  

We’re unlikely to produce many documentary makers from Otago Polytechnic, but if our graduates can emulate this process we’d be proud to call them sustainable practitioners. 

Thank you Lizzie.  Come and see us again (when we solve the small problem of Dunedin being the most remote city in the world from London).