Bob Brown's advice to Crawford students

21 December 2012

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Frank Jotzo is Director of The Centre for Climate and Energy Policy at Crawford School, and director of the School’s Resources, Environment and Development program. He currently teaches the graduate courses Domestic Climate Change Economics and Policy and Issues in Development and Environment.

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Environmentalist and former leader of the Australian Greens Dr Bob Brown has some advice for Crawford School students in their future careers – make sure you’re doing something that people will be grateful for a hundred years from now.

Dr Brown was at the Crawford School on 3 December to give the Crawford School Reflections Lecture. While he was here he recorded an exclusive video interview with Associate Professor Frank Jotzo of Crawford’s Centre for Climate Economics and Policy.  When asked what advice he had for Crawford students going on to careers working in public policy areas, Dr Brown said being happy, fulfilled, and involved with work that benefitted the greater good were the most important things.

“It’s just fantastic that Crawford School is here producing people who will be shaping the rest of this century,” he said.

“My advice to young men and women is to go for it, and take your time. The other thing is to recognise that, yes, the world’s full of problems, but put those you can’t solve on the shelf and get on with those you can.

“Finally, the dictum of Emma Goldman – the social revolutionary in Chicago trying to get women out of sweatshops in the late 1800s: ‘I don’t want your revolution,’ wrote Emma to her fellow revolutionaries, ‘unless I can dance’. Have some fun, take time out for yourself, see the world and recognise that life is long and, in my estimation, it gets happier as you go down the line.”

He added that there was one simple guiding principle that those working in the public life should keep in mind at all times.

“I think this should be over the door of every academic, unit, every parliament and every business: will people, a hundred years from now, thank us for what we’re doing? If we can’t say yes to that, we shouldn’t be doing it – it’s as simple as that.”

The video interview is online at the ANU YouTube Channel:

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