Hola Amigos! A few weeks ago I heard about the national Campus Sustainability Day (24 October 2012) for the first time, and I wanted to get involved however I could. As per the website, it is ” a national day of action and reflection on the success of the sustainability movement in higher education. Together, colleges and universities, and the people and organizations that support them are moving new programs and initiatives in education forward in order to create the leaders of a sustainable future.” Ten years into this annual event, which is supported by an organization called Second Nature, this year’s theme was “Preparing Students for a Changing Climate.” My campus’s Office for Campus Sustainability organized a zero-waste event viewing for the Keynote Broadcast (see link for details and featured speakers). It was a really good panel discussion, and it also introduced me to different organizations around the US that deal with the sustainability in different systems (wildlife, post secondary educational institutions, not for profit organizations, etc.). One of the best segments, from a student’s perspective, was when each speaker recommended one tangible skill that every student should have. These rules apply to sustainability, but they can also apply to other subject areas, and life in general.
Tangible Skills You Should Have
1. understanding a systems approach to activities
2. ability to work in diverse groups and across disciplinary boundaries
3. change agent skills (relative and contextual, based in core competences) using our unique talents
4. systems thinking & adaptability of systems thinking – thinking broadly about interconnectedness, being able to adapt when settling different problems
ability to be self critical – about your own assumptions, about what you value, specifically in the sense of sustainability
5. be a rule breaker! Learning when to step outside of the box is a critical skill to think of solutions that have never been thought of before, because problems that we will be facing (in the present and in the future) have never been faced before
Some presenters gave more than one reason, but I believe they provided a thorough foundation of skills that are necessary to master if one wants to ignite change to create a more sustainable world. I will always keep these in mind as I try to be the change I want to see for the world – thanks Gandhi =)
Until next time, Ci Vediamo!!!