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Workshops & seminars

Ecological Fix: Solving Environmental and Financial Crises Simultaneously?

Date & time
Wednesday, April 3, 2024
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Yuxi Zhao, Lecturer, Centre for Engineering in Society


This event is free


Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex
1515 St. Catherine W.
Room EV2.184

Wheel chair accessible


Using green tech and digital technologies to commodify ecosystem services, can entrepreneurs save the environmental crisis and financial crisis simultaneously? Much research to date has focused on the technical aspect of the payments for ecosystem services (PES). Some science and technology studies scholars, however, have raised concerns that the PES has unequal effects on people and society.

This paper extends the views of science and technology studies scholars by focusing on PES’s role as a “fix” to capitalism, the so-called “ecological fix.” Through analyzing how the entrepreneur’s green tech-based digitalization process is intrinsic to the privatization and commercialization of ecosystem services, this paper argues that while entrepreneurs use new green tech and digital technologies to create PES, the entrepreneurs also create new social relations that reinforce existing social inequalities.

This study, through conducting a trans-paradigm analysis that puts marketing 4P’s thesis within the broader context
of political ecology, further argues that the PES created by new technologies may alleviate environmental and financial crises temporarily but inevitably reinforce capitalism by creating a new mode of production that can intensify the unequal social mechanism that the environmental and financial crises are rooted in.

About the speaker:

Yuxi Zhao is an educator, practitioner, and scholar in the field of technology-based sustainable entrepreneurship. She teaches sustainable entrepreneurship at Concordia University. By leveraging emerging green and geospatial technologies and big data analytics, she is a serial entrepreneur who connects landscape pixels with the market to create socially and environmentally sustainable new ventures.

Her sustainable entrepreneurship research has won the “Best Paper Award” at the Social Business Creation Conference held at HEC Montreal. She has been the PI for the research project utilizing big data to conduct social impact design funded by the International Foundation for Science. She has also been the PI for the sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem and community design research project funded by the Environmental Policy Initiatives.

In addition, she has been a co-investigator for a green tech-based green economy industrial transition research project funded by the United States Department of Agriculture Federal-State Marketing Improvement Grant. Furthermore, she has played a key role in two other geospatial technology-based sustainable entrepreneurship research projects funded by the United States National Science Foundation, and the United States Department of Agriculture Foundational and Applied Science Grant.

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