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Education and Action for a Sustainable Future

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  1. Education and Action for a Sustainable Future Debra Rowe, Ph.D President U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development Professor Sustainable Energy Technologies and Behavioral Sciences Oakland Community College

  2. Part I What is education for a green and sustainable future? • Part II What are our sustainability challenges? • Part III National Trends • Part IV Solutions and Resources for you!

  3. “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” World Commission on Env. and Development. (1987). Our Common Future. England: Oxford University Press. Sustainable Development is often defined as:

  4. Social Well-being Flourishing Environment Strong Economy Sustainable Society Triple Bottom Line of Sustainability

  5. Education for a Sustainable Society:“enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions …, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future.”

  6. Ecosystem Ecosystem Sustainable Communities Public Choices and Behaviors-Laws Applied Knowledge/ Technological Skills Private Choices and Behaviors-Habits Sustainable Economies Ecosystem Ecosystem

  7. Part I What is education for a green and sustainable future? • Part II What are our sustainability challenges andsolutions? • Part III National Trends • Part IV Solutions and Resources for you!

  8. Why is environmental responsibility such a high priority? • Freshwater withdrawal has almost doubled since 1960 and nearly half the world’s major rivers are going dry or are badly polluted (New Internationalist, no. 329) • 11 of the world’s 15 major fishing areas and 69% of the world’s major fish species are in decline (State of the World, Worldwatch Institute) • Climate change (global warming) exists, a major culprit is fossil fuels, and impacts are very serious. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report: Summary for Policymakers: The Science of Climate Change)

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  10. Disruption of food production and the food chain More extreme weather events Disruptions of ecosystems, including water supplies Spread of disease e.g. West Nile, Malaria, Dengue Fever Submersion of land masses – sea level rise 50% of world’s population lives on the coasts = Civilization Disruption and National Security Threat Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, NASA, Pentagon, and National Defense University Effects -Climate Change

  11. Why is Climate Change Important? It is outside of the normal variability of climate. We are the first generation capable of determining the habitability of the planet for humans and other species. The decisions now are crucial. 

  12. Why environmental Issues are so important Our decisions will create: more scarcity and suffering, or a future of greater abundance and higher quality of life

  13. Global Perspective life supporting resources declining consumption of life supporting resources rising

  14. Why is EFS such a high priority? • Much of the public doesn’t know that we are exceeding the carrying capacity of the planet. ( • Public doesn’t know we can reduce human suffering and environmental degradation now while building stronger economies • A rapid shift in mindset is needed andeducation to action is the key.

  15. From Carbon pollution powered Take, make, waste Living off nature’s capital Market as master Loss of cultural & biological diversity Independence Materialism as goal To Non-polluting powered Cyclical production Living off nature’s income Market as servant Maintain cultural & biological diversity Interdependence Reduced human suffering and higher quality of life goal Global Transition – Paradigm ShiftNot a list, a more accurate understanding and a lens for all we do Thanks to Tony Cortese for this slide

  16. Part I What are green jobs? • Part II What is education for a green and sustainable future? • Part III What are our sustainability challenges and solutions? • Part IV National Trends • Part V Solutions and Resources for you!

  17. Read Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester Brown, founder of Worldwatch Institute Explains how to get to sustainable clean energy solutions, sustainable practices and policies, poverty reduction, and economic health, and what each of us can/needs to do Downloadable at Great sections to include in any course – actions near the end

  18. We need engagement in sustainability solutions for all students and the public Examples of what should/could be the norm: • Incredible potentials for renewable energies, and conservation which keeps the money in the community • Benefits of sustainability: • Saves Money and builds college and community economic health, Improve Physical Health, Reduce Financial Risk, Improve Quality of Life • Sustainable Manufacturing Opportunities • Financing and investment for green and sustainable will reap the economic and other rewards • Transition Towns • Sustainable Eau Clair -

  19. KEY THRUST – KEY OUTCOME 21st century learning outcomes require sustainability perspectives and skills Students, staff and community members know how to and choose to be more environmentally, socially and economically responsible. Where? In the personal, career, community and governmental spheres.

  20. Part I What are green jobs? • Part II What is education for a green and sustainable future? • Part III What are our sustainability challenges and solutions? • Part IV National Trends • Part V Solutions and Resources for you!

  21. U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development: Convene, Catalyze and Sector Teams: Business, Higher Education, K-12, Communities, Faith, Youth…

  22. www.uspartnership.orgJoin for free and use the extensive resources

  23. Business principles of sustainability: • Cradle to Cradle (McDonough) • Biomimicry (Benyas – Like nature, efficient and not toxic) • World Business Council for Sustainable Development ( • Natural Step (Sweden and U.S.) • Natural Capitalism (Lovins, Harvard Business Review) • More accurate economic indicators and markets – Hazel Henderson

  24. Trends in sectors – some examples • Business – LOHAS - Japan, SOL Sustainability Consortium, Businesses for Social Responsibility, Shareholders, Investors (e.g. Swiss RE) • Communities - Mayors Climate Protection and Smart Growth, Sustainable Communities Partnerships, Coalitions, Community Planning • K-12 – U.S. Summit and collaboration, national webinars and resources • Faith - Religious Partnership and Interfaith Alliance, Regeneration Project • Youth –Action Campaigns: Powershift,, National Teach-in…

  25. Higher education is taking a leadership role to prepare students and provide the information and knowledge to achieve a sustainable society. What does it look like?

  26. legislation public awareness Curricula Research For higher education, Sustainable Development is being integrated into: Mission and Planning Operations Purchasing CommunityOutreach and Partnerships Professional Development Student Life

  27. Internationally, a taste… • In Sweden, it is a law that all undergraduates be educated about sustainability • High priority in higher education principles in European Union • U.N. Decade and other ESD international conferences in Mexico, Bonn Declaration • Earth Charter in Costa Rica – vision • Association of Canadian Community Colleges • Global Sustainability Group out of MIT • Japanese campaign for sustainable living as patriotism

  28. GREAT NEWS!!!Growing National Trend in U.S.:Over seventeen national HE associations and twenty national disciplinary associations are creating initiatives on Education for Green and Sustainable

  29. Committed to the advancement of sustainability throughout higher education

  30. AACCAmerican Association of Community Colleges AASCUAmerican Association of State Colleges & Universities AASHEAssociation for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education ACCED-IAssociation of Collegiate Conference & Events Directors - International ACEAmerican Council on Education ACPACollege Student Educators International ACUHO-IAssociation of College & University Housing Officers International AGBAssociation of Governing Boards of Universities & Colleges APPAAssociation of Higher Education Facilities Officers CCCUCouncil of Christian Colleges & Universities NACANational Association for Campus Activities NACUBONational Association of College & University Business Officers NAEPNational Association of Educational Procurement NAICUNational Association of Independent Colleges & Universities NIRSANational Intramural-Recreational Sports Association SCUPSociety for College & University Planning

  31. Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium • Presidents • Academic Officers • Student Affairs • Trustees • Campus Activities • Facilities • Business Officers • Planners • Events Directors • Recreation Directors • Purchasers • More….. On campus Sustainability Committees

  32. Resources • Higher Education Sustainability Fellows Programs • HEASC News Digest and shared publications • HEASC Resource Center - Socially, economically and environmentally responsible procurement, operations, planning, leadership, learning outcomes and more!! • Media Strategies for Sustainability • Informing Legislation

  33. DANS – the Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability - click on ResourcesInclude this in all disciplines and gen ed • American Psychological Association • Sociology • Religion • Philosophy • Math • Broadcasting • Architecture • Engineering (civil, mechanical, eng. ed.) • Business • Ecological Economics • Chemistry • Biology • American Association for the Advancement of Science • Computer Research • Humanities • STEM disciplines • Political Science • Anthropology • More…

  34. Academic Disciplines and U. S. Partnership created DANS Infusing green/sustainability into: • Curricula, including textbooks • Promotion and tenure and accreditation • Informing legislation and policy • Informing the public • Professional identity as an academic See the resources at Include sustainability in your courses. Request it for all degrees and certificates and in gen ed core!!!

  35. The American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment Climate Leadership in Higher Education Over 650 presidents in all 50 states

  36. Resources (for presidents, students and you!) Education for Climate Neutrality and Sustainability – very good!! Energy Performance Contracting Toolkit ACUPCC Voluntary Carbon Offset Protocol ACUPCC Climate Action Planning Wiki ACUPCC Reporting Tool ACUPCC Implementation Guide ACUPCC GHG Inventory Brief ACUPCC Webinar Series ACUPCC Solutions Page (includes links to further resources)

  37. So many examples at so many colleges! Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher EducationAASHE (AY-shee) Sign up for the free bulletin Search the extensive resources and the digest Join as an institution

  38. HE Sustainability Examplesmore at Annual Digest • Systemic integration • Georgia Tech • University of North Carolina • Arizona State • Moraine Valley Community College • Lane Community College…. • Transportation • UC Boulder • Many community colleges

  39. HE Sustainability Examplesmore at Annual Digest • Green Computing • League for Innovation (comm. colleges) • Educause • Food • Marshalltown CC Organic Garden • Yale • Institutionalization in job descriptions and performance reviews • From Cornell to Lane CC to ASU

  40. HE Sustainability Examplesmore at Annual Digest • Energy Conservation, Renewable Energies & Climate Change – Modeling solutions • Over 400 greenhouse gas inventories completed • University of Minnesota Morris – wind power and biomass • Turtle Mtn CC - wind • At least 11 campuses installed or announced plans to install more than 1 MW each of solar energy in 2008-9, including Contra Costa Community College District (CA) • Many more!

  41. HE Sustainability Examplesmore at Annual Digest • Green Building • Built into all bid requests • So many examples, from Maricopa colleges… • Socially and Environmentally Responsible Purchasing • Rutgers, Stanford, OCC • Waste Minimization • 400 colleges in RecycleMania

  42. Student Learning OutcomesACPA President’s Sustainability Taskforce, 2006 – College Student Educators International Each student will be able to define sustainability. Each student will be able to explain how sustainability relates to their lives and their values, and how their actions impact issues of sustainability. Each student will be able to utilize their knowledge of sustainability to change their daily habits and consumer mentality. Each student will be able to explain how systems are interrelated.

  43. Student Learning Outcomes (cont.)ACPA President’s Sustainability Taskforce, 2006 Each student will learn change agent skills. Each student will learn how to apply concepts of sustainability to their campus and community by engaging in the challenges and solutions of sustainability on their campus. Each student will learn how to apply concepts of sustainability globally by engaging in the challenges and the solutions of sustainability in a world context. These outcomes match international declarations and other countries’ learning outcomes …Svanström, Lozano-G, Rowe (2008) “Learning outcomes for sustainable development in higher education”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education; Volume: 9 Issue: 3; 2008

  44. Making a positive change • Faculty - Take a big idea you have to teach in your course and a big sustainability idea. Create a learning activity that includes both. • Everyone else - Take your job activities and/or your daily activities and think about how you can make them more sustainability oriented in your behaviors, the normal practices or the policies in the institution. Describe the actions you can choose to help build a culture of sustainability.

  45. Curricula – Systemic Change, not a fad more examples at Annual Digest and • Sustainability Learning Outcomes for all students • Miami Dade, Some of the Maricopa, Oakland Community Colleges… – learning outcomes in general education • Univ. of Wisconsin – Oshkosh – essential learning outcome • Arizona State University – required for all students • 650 colleges in the ACUPCC – part of the Presidents’ Climate Commitment • S in the schedule and recognition for graduation/transcript • Positive scenarios and futures fairs (description at DANS website) Core pedagogy – real world project based learning!

  46. Curricular Trends – national “transformation is underway in the academy.” Hundreds of colleges are: • Starting renewable energies and energy management programs, sustainable manufacturing, transportation, horticulture, etc. • Integrating sustainability principles into alltechnical and other disciplines, • Integrating sustainability into general education core requirements for all degrees

  47. Solutions (cont.) via professional development: • All of us engaged as effective change agents* to create a sustainable future –include as professional/personal development focus • Connect the silos on campus – campus as a living lab and open to the public – use the media • Catalyze movement from apathy/fearful/obedient caring, effective involvement (healthy self-concepts & emotional/interpersonal intelligence) • Essential instructional approach – real world problem solving for sustainability (affects completion too) • Sustainability literacy and engagement for all students – a 21st century core competency – in all jobs * Change agent skills list -

  48. Key Actions beyond the norm with excellent benefits for you: 1. Colleges are the neutral high credibility source for the public – work with your state energy and social service and economic development offices, utilities, news outlets and others to motivate the public to take actions. 2. Convene sustainability partnerships, community forums, community education, etc. to catalyze entrepreneurship, and organizational and government policies that will build a healthy green and sustainable economy! Include pathways out of poverty, discussions on quality of life and happiness research 3. Reach out to associations of builders, mechanical contractors, plumbers, engineers, manufacturers, chambers of commerce, economic developmt agencies, non-profits and others to show them how to go green and sustainable Economics as if people mattered!!!!

  49. For the Public • Individuals at the college doing it and telling their stories too – posting their stories and the stories of students – e.g. MTV’s Breaking the Addiction to Oil • Sharing the links – e.g. low cost energy conservation and solar, environmentally/socially responsible purchasing and investments ( and • and

  50. The lab and the campus can also be a community demonstration center for sustainability