What is SoS?
Students of Sustainability (SoS) is the largest student-run environment based conference in Australia. Each year SoS offers an amazing opportunity for students, activists, academics, environment and Indigenous groups, and members of the wider community from around Australia to come together to share and gain knowledge, skills and information on environmental and social justice issues. Featuring a vast array of inspiring speakers, practical workshops, field trips and empowering activities, SoS is the most important event of the year for environment activists and people wishing to learn more about how to create positive social change in their communities.
The conference began in Canberra in 1991 under the name 'Students, Science and Sustainability'. This first conference attracted 300 students to discuss matters of sustainability with respect to students and science.
Throughout the past fourteen years, interest and enthusiasm for the conference has grown, and the number of participants has steadily and exponentially increased. As SoS moves around the country, it spreads its unique, life-affirming, change-making energy to the University and community that hosts it. In 2006 we aim to accommodate over 600 delegates to participate in a week of forums, workshops, skill shares and field trips exploring sustainability and environmental justice issues on the individual, local, national and global level.
The vision is to provide a conference that will bring together diverse groups of people to share inspiring and thought-provoking experiences, which encourage positive discussion and action aimed at creating ecological, political, economic and social sustainability in the world. SoS provides an opportunity for us to become empowered with the confidence, practical skills and motivation, required so that humanity can have a healthy relationship with the earth and all of it diverse ecosystems.
SoS: An Ethical Conference
SoS aims to create the change we wish to see in the world, even if just for a week. The conference is designed to foster a sense of community in the student environment movement. For the week of SoS, we camp together, cook together, live together, learn together.
People of all languages and ethnic background are particularly encouraged to attend, as are queer and women students. Queer and women's' spaces will be open every day of the conference, and there will be sessions focusing on how to overcome homophobia, sexism and racism in the environment movement. Parents are welcome to bring their children and childcare arrangements are being made. Finances permitting, AUSLAN interpreters will be employed for hearing impaired participants.
The whole conference is planned and run entirely by volunteers; this is the reason we can make the conference so affordable and this is why all who come to SoS must be willing to be a part of the volunteer crew in some way during the week.