At the 11th International Conference on Geosynthetics (September 2018, Seoul), Dr. Nathalie Touze (Vice President, International Geosynthetics Society) delivered one of the most inspiring lectures the geosynthetics field had seen in a while. Her topic, “Healing the World: A Geosynthetics Solution,” highlighted UN Development Goals, climate change, and philosophy while emphasizing what we can do in geotechnical engineering to change the world for the better.

It was a magnificent Giroud Lecture.

Ahead of April’s “30 Days of Earth Day” series here on Geosynthetica, we look back at the Touze’s presentation by stopping first with the IGS interview conducted at the time. This Two For A Few installment see’s Dr. Touze interviewed by Dr. JP Giroud, for whom the prestigious Giroud Lecture is named.

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“The IGS is a human society and we tend to forget that. People attach more importance to social connections and values. The IGS can show the way to many people. For example, in environmental justice, the IGS can show the way by bringing more environmental justice, sharing resources and information.”

“Geosynthetics play an important role in the protection of the environment but in many countries the economic situation is not so good so the tendency is to reduce the budget for measures aimed at protecting the environment. There is a belief protecting the environment costs money but at the same time geosynthetics can protect the environment and save money on the projects. This is a very important statement.”

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