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Salon: The Intersection of Environmental Justice, Social Justice and Engineering
The Intersection of Environmental Justice, Social Justice and Engineering
Khalid Kadir

Albert Einstein once famously said “we cannot create solutions using the same kind of thinking that created them.” Join us for a conversation with UC Berkeley Lecturer Khalid Kadir who is offering new ways to think about complex global issues. No matter how technically brilliant a solution may seem, he explains, if it does not address the underlying political and social issues, it may create more of the same kinds of problems.


Join us in an interdisciplinary exploration including the following questions:


  • How can we address climate disruption from a social justice perspective?

  • How can we integrate technical and social/political approaches to complex problems?


Khalid will share some of his research and approaches in solving structural inequalities in clean drinking water access, among other topics. We’ll also watch a captivating short film written by Khalid, “Can Experts Solve Global Poverty” that is a brilliant exploration of the kind of thinking necessary to solve our truly complex problems.


Let’s talk about climate solutions together – bring your best ideas and your questions, and Khalid will guide us in some best-practices in how to approach a solution that respects the dignity of people bearing the brunt of climate disruption, as well as the “expertise” of those who are trying to help.



Khalid Kadir is a Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, teaching courses in Political Economy, the Global Poverty & Practice program, and the College of Engineering. He received his PhD, also from UC Berkeley, in 2010 in Civil and Environmental Engineering. The focus of his graduate research was pathogen removal in natural water and wastewater treatment systems. In addition to the technical focus of his work, Khalid studied the complex role that engineering expertise plays in the politics of international development and poverty alleviation. His current research focuses on engineering pedagogy, the political economy of household water treatment, and technical aspects water and sanitation in emergency contexts. In addition to his teaching and research, Khalid has remained engaged with engineering practice. In 2005 and 2006, he served as the Projects Director for the UC Berkeley chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World. During this time he oversaw five projects focused on providing technical solutions to social and environmental problems. In 2007 Khalid was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work on water and wastewater treatment in Morocco. More recently, Khalid has worked on a number consulting projects related to water, sanitation, and poverty, both internationally and domestically. He also serves on the board for International Water Partners and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water.




Article: Engineering Social Justice (Prof. Kadir featured in Spring 2014 issue of Berkeley Engineer)


Video: Can Experts Solve Poverty? (Written and narrated by Khalid Kadir)


Elizabeth Ferguson, Ph.D.

Elizabeth is a facilitator and educator in the practices of resilience and wellbeing. Combining the wisdom of psychology, contemplative science, internal arts and neuroscience, she offers an approach to climate activism that weaves self-compassion, social justice, and community building. 

Jeremy Lent, Liology Institute

Jeremy is the author of Requiem of the Human Soul, and the forthcoming The Patterning Instinct: A History of Humanity's Search for Meaning. He founded the Liology Institute, dedicated to fostering a worldview that will enable humanity to thrive sustainably on this planet. 

Upcoming Salons

Amanda Joy Ravenhill
Project Drawdown:
Integrated Solutions to Climate Disruption

Is it possible to reverse climate disruption? Join us for an inspiring conversation on this crucial question with Amanda Ravenhill, Executive Director of Project Drawdown.


Project Drawdown is an all-out effort to answer this question in the positive. It has brought together a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, graduate students, PhDs, post-docs, policy makers, business leaders and activists to assemble and present the best available information on climate solutions, in order to describe their beneficial financial, social and environmental impact over the next thirty years.


If you’ve been feeling disheartened about climate disruption, this is the salon to regain your enthusiasm and feel encouraged again by what is possible.


Amanda will share with us not only some of the constellation of solutions Project Drawdown is researching, but how we can all be engaged in turning the corner on climate disruption, and achieving drawdown, the point at which greenhouse gas levels begin to decline.



Amanda Joy Ravenhill is the Executive Director and Co-founder of Project Drawdown, where she brings her passion and expertise in environmental and social justice to the organization’s solution-based approach to addressing climate change. Prior to Project Drawdown, Amanda was a Professor of Sustainable Business at Presidio Graduate School, where she taught sustainability, systems thinking, and environmental and social justice to MBA and MPA candidates. Previously, she co-founded The Hero Hatchery, a nationally recognized fellowship for climate activists, served as the Head of Business Partnerships at, served as the Executive Director of Ananay, a fair trade organization in Bolivia, and held an Americorp Fellowship. Amanda is an established expert and speaker in the fields of Systems Thinking, Climate Change, Regenerative Design, and Biochar. She received an M.B.A. in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School, and received a B.A. in International Development and Social Change from Clark University.

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