University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

The topic Abundance & Scarcity, initially motivated by the financial crisis that emerged in 2008, led us to pose questions that have deep and ongoing interest. The University Symposium framework allows us to explore issues of scarcity and abundance in a number of realms and dimensions, taking a long-term and multi-disciplinary view.

Discussion focused on four main areas

  1. Human responses to abundance and scarcity,
  2. Food and water,
  3. Energy and environment, and
  4. Choices and balances: What is “enough?” What does sustainability mean?

Thematic Threads

A number of thematic threads ran throughout the symposium.  Such threads included (but were not limited to) questions such as:

  • How do cultural, political, and geographical differences have an impact on abundance and scarcity?
  • How have decisions about resource allocation been conceptualized by various societies in ethical, philosophical, and moral terms?
  • How do we conceptualize abundance and scarcity as global problems?
  • How have artists responded/are artists responding to conditions of scarcity and abundance?
  • What are the tools we use to measure abundance and scarcity?
  • What does history have to teach us about the present moment?
  • What are various concepts of sustainability, and how do they relate to notions of scarcity and abundance?
  • Abundance & Scarcity Blog

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