ISG planning note: Expectations, 1 June

This is perhaps the first time that you have ever taken a course in “sustainable development” (whatever that means, though hopefully we shall see). But now the good news: you are not alone. This is also the first time I have stepped away from my work as a policy adviser to government and industry, to develop and deliver a stand-back graduate course for a B school that attacks this hyper-challenging, desperately interlocked three-part combination of (a) sustainable development plus (b) the business sector plus (c) the wide world of society, government and active citizenry. That’s a tall order for three short days. But if we work hard and think smart, we can do it.

Like every other course I have taught in various parts of the world, 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 our fascinating and terribly difficult topic – the collision of these three 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 decided to open up the course in two ways: First, by creating a parallel learning tool in the form of this three-part “Dashboard”, using the web to give us some collaborative working space that I am sure we shall 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, going to be 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 a lot 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.

In the month following the processing and grading of the final written assignments, I intend to write up a short report on what I have learned from our shared experience and send it to all involved.

If in the meantime, you have questions or suggestions, you can find me at eric.britton@ecoplan.org of on Skype via newmobility

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