WAUKESHA, WIS.— Charles Fishman, the nationally known author of “The Big Thirst: the Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water,” will be the keynote speaker at Carroll University’s Opening Convocation on Aug. 31, 2011. The event will be at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of the Shattuck Music Center, 218 N. East Ave. It is free and open to the public.
Fishman’s previous book, the New York Times bestseller “The Wal-Mart Effect,” exposed what has been described as “Wal-Mart’s wall of secrecy,” and has become the standard for understanding Wal-Mart’s impact on our economy and on how we live.
Fishman’s talk at Carroll will be the kickoff event in the university’s yearlong exploration of WATER: the essential element of life on earth, an interdisciplinary-themed series that will explore our relationships with water on personal, regional and global levels. During the 2011-2012 academic year, the Carroll community will examine how water informs cultural, environmental, spiritual, economic and political issues.
Fishman is a former metro and national reporter for the Washington Post, and was a reporter and editor at the Orlando Sentinel and the News & Observer in Raleigh, NC. Since 1996, he has worked for the innovative business magazine Fast Company. Fishman has won numerous awards, including three times receiving UCLA’s Gerald Loeb Award, the most prestigious award in business journalism.
In a recent interview with National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” segment, Fishman said, "The last 100 years has been the golden age of water in the developed world: water that has been safe, unlimited and essentially free. But that era is over. We will not, going forward, have water that has all three of those qualities at the same time: unlimited, unthinkingly inexpensive and safe."
In “The Big Thirst,” Fishman examines a multitude of industries and discusses how – and how much – water they use. He also looks at different areas of the world already grappling with water shortages.
Opening Convocation is Carroll’s official welcome to new students. The new students will be led by a single piper from the Billy Mitchell Scottish Pipe Band in Carroll’s traditional march to the Shattuck Music Center, where they will be greeted by faculty in academic regalia.