Assuming you didn't get here totally by accident, maybe you've decided it's time to really learn something about sustainability. Maybe sites like this have piqued your interest and made you want to find out where you could take a course, meet with other like-minded people, or--as in my case--actually go back to school. Perhaps you're interested in the bigger picture, as in...what is the state of sustainability education in our schools, neighborhoods, civic centers, or houses of worship?
OK...so, in the spirit that lies at the core of theunlikelyactivist.com, I'll take a whack at it. Here's my plan. I'll start with an overview--a survey, if you will--with a handful of jumping off points. As time goes on, I'll try to flesh it out in more detail (this is where readers' feedback will really help out, too).
I'll also say that I'm going into this intending to paint a picture of interdependence. While I fully expect to find many and disparate education 'fiefdoms', sustainability is not, as I pointed out in a previous post, a specialized sport. I can't imaging learning about it in one quarter without knowing what's going on in another. Indeed, I hope to deliver something of interest wherever your need to learn finds you today--in business, at home, serving the public, in school, on a spiritual quest...or whatever.
I have to start with colleges and universities. Why? Because that's where the people who will make a difference today and tomorrow are getting smart. If you're an undergrad, graduate student, or lifelong learner, it's where you'll find out how you can make your most immediate impact. For degree programs, certificates, continuing education, fellowships, and more, the choices are impressive. And you can learn full-time, as a day or evening student, or on-line. Here, take a quick tour...
Learn about sustainability in business with an MBA program:
Presidio School of Management
An organization working with colleges and universities to make sustainability mainstream:
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
For a host of degree, certificate, and on-line continuing education programs:
The Duke Environmental Leadership Program
A newly created program at MIT's Sloan School of Management:
Sustainable Business Laboratory (S-Lab)
An interestingly structured 'intensive' residency masters program in socially responsible business and sustainable communities:
Goddard College (Vermont)
A non-profit organization promoting postgraduate sustainability education in the UK:
Forum for the Future
Interdisciplinary MBA and MS program on global sustainable enterprise:
Erb Institute/University of Michigan
University of Vermont's institute for integrating the social, built, natural, and human capital realms into practical sustainablity approaches:
The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
The Swiss foundation behind a 'virtual campus' concept and advanced PhD studies on sustainability (don't worry, it's in English):
And there are many, many undergrad and graduate programs with an environmental focus. Here's a list, courtesy of Brown U:
Brown University's Center for Environmental Studies
I hate to stop, because there are more. Forgive me for those I've left out (and please send me your comments about them). But now you have no excuse for thinking about how you can connect sustainable learning with your eConsciousness. Go for it.
How else do we learn? Books. Primary schools. Foundations and non-profits. Business consultants. Governmental agencies. Private/public coalitions. There's lots of ground to cover, but one thing is clear: this is here, and it's not going away. Despite what you read in the headlines that may make a sustainable future look very unlikely, there really is a new generation preparing to take the reins.
So, come back again, and keep an eye out for my next installment--on sustainability education in the K-12 world. Ciao.