Week 1: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The United Nations’ “Sustainable Development Goals” serve as our starting point in a brief history of sustainability, strengthening our personal understanding of it. Like time, sustainability is in constant movement. The SDGs reveal to us the movement in time of humanity’s changing relationship to sustainable development.
Week 2: Systems Thinking
We will explore, discuss, dissect and apply the “systems thinking” approach, inherent to sustainable development. We will consider systems thinking techniques as a way to make intuitive and counter-intuitive interconnections among sustainability’s three dimensions. We identify some specific social, economic and environmental news stories, to which we’ll apply systems thinking and the SDGs in following weeks.
Week 3: Sustainability Solutions: Social Dimension
Engaging with the social news stories selected in Week 2, we will discuss these before joining together to untangle and dissect their social/economic/environmental interconnections, as reported through independent and alternative media. We will next explore sustainability solutions—which are often counter-intuitive—to these social news stories by applying a systems thinking and SDG lens to them.
Week 4: Sustainability Solutions: Economic Dimension
We will discuss the economic news stories we collectively chose in Week 2, before working together to untangle their economic/environmental/social interconnections as reported through media. We will then explore sustainability solutions to these economic news stories by applying the systems thinking and SDG lens to them.
Week 5: Sustainability Solutions: Environmental Dimension
We will discuss the environmental news stories we identified in Week 2, before engaging together to dissect their environmental/social/economic interconnections as reported through alternative and independent media. We will then explore sustainability solutions to these environmental news stories by applying the systems thinking and SDG lens to them.
Week 6: Personal Action for Current and Future Generations
At its core, sustainable development is about how we, as individual and collective humans, live life to ensure earth has future generations of life. Using the “seventh generation” principle of ancient Iroquois peoples along with reflective exercises, we will come to understand ways we can individually think, plan and act for sustainability.