Introduction: Trained as a development economist, Francis Eric Knight Britton is MD of EcoPlan International, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government, industry and civil society on policy and decision issues involving technological, environmental and social changes which are creating new circumstances for decisions of public policy and private practice. Born in Mississippi, his university education took him to Amherst College, Columbia Graduate Faculties, University of Rome (Sapienza), and the École des hautes études en sciences socials, combining studies in the physical sciences, international affairs, and economics. He was an Amherst and Columbia Scholar, International Fellow, and Fulbright Scholar (in Italy, 1966-1968) As a PhDc in economics at Columbia University, he was an instructor of economics at Mills College and New York University Department of Economics (theory, economic history, statistics), and has since lectured at university programs in Britain, Colombia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, the UK and the US.
His life work is a commitment to the principles of sustainable development and social justice through broad-based collaborative problem solving. He has worked with industry and financial clients, ministries, public agencies, cities, NGOs and civil society on five continents, as well as for the United Nations, European Commission, and OECD.. He is a founding editor of World Streets and the Journal of World Transport Policy & Practice, winner of the 2000 Stockholm Challenge Environment Award and of the 2002 World Technology Environment Award, and Chair of the Stockholm Partnerships for Sustainable Cities. His main frustration in 2011 is that he would like to be doing more on his long time interesting of “rethinking work in a knowledge society”. For more: http://britton.worldstreets.org
Like every other course I have taught, including of very young children with learning disorders, I expect to learn a lot from this roughly six weeks that we will be spending together, starting on 1 June . In light of its fascinating and quite difficult topic – the collision of two quite different worlds over time and space – I have had to struggle with finding a way that we could make some real inroads in the short time we have together. For that reason, I have opened up the course in two ways: First, by creating a parallel a three-part “work book” of sorts that you will find at https://sustainabiltyseminar.wordpress.com/, using the web to give us some collaborative working space that I am sure we will be able to put to good use. Beyond that, by starting with the opening day on June 1 and by putting the web element to good use, I am fascinated to see how we all respond to this challenge. This is not, we can be sure, an easy ride for any of us. But no one ever said that the path to a sustainable world was going to be a free ride. I am sure that we will come out of this adventure all knowing more about our topic and more too about what happens when we find good ways to put brains together on the economic and social challenges that we now face. I will write up a short report and send it to all involved in the month following the processing and grading of the final written assignments.
If in the meantime, you have questions or suggestions, you can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org of on Skype via newmobility