Dr. Devon Graham is a tropical ecologist and professor at Florida International University who has worked 6 months a year in the Peruvian Amazon for the past 16 years. He the president and scientific director of the non-profit organization, Project Amazonas, which works to conserve the rainforest and help the people of the Amazon with medical and other needs. Join us for a lively, dynamic lecture performed by an expert field ecologist.
Selfish Altruism: Making the World a Better Place for All the Wrong Reasons
Lessons Learned in the Amazon and Elsewhere
Globally, wealth is increasingly concentrated, yet more and more countries are officially “emerging from poverty.” In the case of Peru and its natural resources, a booming national economy has transformed central urban areas, yet, in the slums and outside the cities, vulnerable populations still live as their grandparents did—or worse. Rural-urban inequalities, slow progress on social justice, corruption, greed, and the environment itself are great challenges, but individuals, organizations and institutions can make a real difference, even if their motives are often selfish. The non-profit Project Amazonas works in the Amazon on a range of humanitarian, conservation, and education programs. Drawing on the experiences, successes and failures of hundreds of volunteers, students, researchers and others, I maintain that nice guys (and gals) don’t finish last, and that looking out for #1, can, and should be an opportunity to reduce socioeconomic inequities and environmental degradation– to the benefit of all.