Africa geography

Marginal sustainability

Professor Tony Binns is the Ron Lister Chair of Geography at the University of Otago. Tony has written extensively on the geographies of marginalisation. His recent books include Sustainable Development (2007) and the Geographies of Development (2008).

We explore the role of geography in sustainability education, then traverse Tony’s journey from secondary school teaching in the UK to an academic career focussed in African development – he summarises as “Marginal lands, marginal people, marginal geographies”. In a fascinating interview we talk poverty, inequality, Sierra Leone diamond mines, resource conflict and food systems. Despite all this, Tony stresses the positive – there is much we can learn from Africa.

Sam’s joined-up-thinking: With the recent release of a great visualisation of technology trends from Envisioningtech, Sam wonders what we could put on an additional column – global societal change mediated by technology. When, for example might truly globalised education appear on the timeline?

Train-spotting: we talk train-spotting!