The University of Wisconsin hosted environmental law advocate and author Gus Speth to speak on his most recent publication Monday.
Speth talked about his most recent book, titled “America the Possible: A Manifesto,” and conclusions citizens can draw from the presidential election.
Speth stressed the importance of America’s future in his speech.
“I’ve got these six little grandchildren now and I think about them all the time,” Speth said. “I think this question of what future do we want to see for our children and grandchildren is the most important question facing America and deserves more critical answers than we got in this election.”
A big part of the question, Speth said, deals with thinking about what kind of economy America wants.
Speth said he believes America needs to decide if it wants to abide by the current system or if the nation wants to transform its economy to one that is hard-wired to sustain human and natural communities.
“Similarly with our politics, do we want to try and work within this broken political system, or do we want to transform the political system as well?” Speth said.
Ultimately, Speth said, the question to consider is if the political economy where Americans live and work should be transformed.
Speth said his book centers on America’s future and whether there is an attractive future for the country that can be realized within the coming decades.
“Do we want to move from a system that gives this full attention to the pursuit of profit and GDP growth and international power, or do we want to get busy”? Speth said. “[We need] driving transformative changes so that we end up with a truly different system of political economy, one that gives priority to people, place and planet.”
Chris Hoffman, UW junior and chair of the College Democrats, who attended the event, noted he would have liked to see more students at the event.
Hoffman stressed Speth’s notion that problems are coming from both parties.
“It’s hard to criticize your own party,” Hoffman said. “But it was refreshing to hear criticism of (President Barack) Obama’s administration.”