You are brave


Today is election day in the U.S. and hopefully voting day for all of you who have the opportunity to vote!  For some, voting is an act of patriotism, honoring the many very brave women and men that sacrificed so much to make that possible.  

Our national anthem reminds us that we are “the home of the brave.”  But how many of us are brave? How often? Are you brave? 

The dictionary says being brave means “having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.”  We’re used to seeing bravery show up on battlefields and in burning buildings, in courtrooms and on picket lines, in places where people put their lives on the line to save others.  

But bravery can — and needs to — show up in more places and more often, and in ways and shapes and forms that are less explicit but equally as important. The sustainability challenges we face are increasingly dangerous, scary, and difficult. It can take tremendous mental and moral strength to take these on — to become educated and empowered, to envision and enact, to design and create a sustainable future.

For sustainable designers, bravery can take the form of …

… pursuing projects, jobs, and career paths that make the world a better place, but aren’t guaranteed to bring in money, status, or security.

… presenting proposals for bold solutions that may be our best hope, but knowing full well that your audience is likely to quickly and smugly shoot them down.

… working hard at reducing, reusing, recycling, repurposing, and refusing while your family and friends are conveniently and conspicuously consuming, and chiding you for not doing the same.

… keeping up your spirits and those of your colleagues while keeping up with the reports of climate change, loss of biodiversity, toxicity, and exploitation.

… sitting at a Thanksgiving dinner and trying to explain why you are working on sustainable design while your cousin is getting heaps of praise for his latest promotion and newest car.

If you have devoted yourself to working in sustainability or sustainable design, to making the world a better place, thank you, you are brave.

If you want to learn more about the brave women and men that are a part of MCAD’s MA in Sustainable Design program, explore the STUDENTS, ALUMNI, and FACULTY pages of our blog site.  If you want to learn more about our program, please join our next informational webinar.

Denise DeLuca / Former Director

Denise DeLuca is the Director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program. She was co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry Creative for Innovation, a network of creative professional change agents driving ecological thinking for radical transformation. Denise is author of the book Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation, which was illustrated by MASD alum Stephanie Koehler. She also teaches with the Amani Institute.

Denise’s previous roles include Education Director for the International Living Future Institute, Project Manager for Swedish Biomimetics 3000, and Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute. Denise is a licensed civil engineer (PE) and holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on modeling landscape-scale surface and groundwater interactions.  In addition, Denise is a Biomimicry Fellow and a member of the Advisory Council of The Biomimicry InstituteBoard Member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), on the editorial board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering, and an Expert with Katerva. Denise is based in Oregon.

contact:  [email protected]