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2009 Summer Institute in Dialogue - Creating community

April 2, 2009

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Exploring food, community and urban sustainability—that’s the theme for this year’s Summer Institute in Dialogue. The 20 students enrolling in this intensive seven-week course will collaborate in a project with a local partner organization to create a more sustainable community. The food theme is the starting point and connecting concepts are leadership, dialogue and action.

Janet Moore, assistant professor and a member of the sustainability advisory committee, is inviting several sustainability stakeholders as guest speakers, organizing field trips to local food projects and partnering with the SFU Local Food Project and the Vancouver Food Policy Council. "This course is important because we all need to think carefully about how what we do in this region has implications for the entire world," says Moore. "Our everyday food, transportation and housing choices have big impacts on future generations."

Working closely with local green affiliates, the students will undertake long-term projects that will make positive improvements in those communities. Learning outcomes include developing collaboration skills, engaging with people in powerful positions and communicating ideas to a public audience. As well, students will gain self confidence. The real legacy comes after the course finishes as students continue to do amazing things in communities locally and around the world.

Moore has been committed to sustainability in higher education since her first-year doctoral work in 1999. She says, "I imagine someday we won’t need a sustainability advisory committee because sustainability will be a part of everything we do at SFU."

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