* A running start on our topic

Intro to SD course - COlumbia

While we are getting ready for our intensive three-day graduate ISG seminar  in June — on what has to be THE greatest challenge of the international agenda of this century —  let me invite you to see how my colleagues Professor Jeffery Sachs handles some of this in his much longer three week introductory course at Columbia University,

This course, “Introduction to Sustainable Development” is intended to give  an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

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* Final report guidelines

hand pen computer guidelinesThe seminar paper accounts for fully half of your final grade in this course.  The way in which you present it is important and in the following we set out the standards and details of presentation that we expect will be rigorously adhered to.

Once you have absorbed the following, I invite you to have a close look at the section on Bibliographic Referencing and Citation, to which you can link  here.

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Why are all these people in all these places reading SDED?

SD reader map 30jun14

Recent SDED Visitors Map – as per 3 July 2014

What you have here is a modest shared public educational platform being run with close to zero resources, all while looking at  a very arcane and generally muddy area of public policy and practice.  As it happens it is being consulted more often than we would have guessed at first (since our goal was in fact to provide supporting information and guidance for the SDED Master Classes). Yet on any given day anywhere from a dozen to well more than 100 people may check into the site.  Ten leading countries s in order: France, USA, UK. India, Poland, Taiwan, Israel, Sweden, Uganda and Iceland.

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Toward Sustainable Development: Defining Figures

Sustainable development, the topic of our seminar, is pure concept.  It is not a “fact” as such; it is rather an ongoing and ever shifting interpretation of an planet sustainability esl-educationimperfectly understood complex system. And as such it is defined by human minds.  To get the ball rolling on this important aspect of the sustainability phenomenon here you have a very personal and very incomplete  list of a number of the people who in my view are collectively defining the field.  With  all the necessary contradictions that entails.  The one-click references are in each case to Wikipedia, and are presented as only a starting point to understand  the contributions that these splendid people are making to our more than challenging topic.

Any such listing will ultimately be very personal, even if it has been carried out by a committee, which was definitely not the case here. I have developed this particular personal pantheon of independent  thinkers, writers and doers who in my view have been among the leading influences in the move over the last half century from (a) a world not giving much attention to the broader implications of our collective choices and actions, to (b) the one that we live in today where we are at long last starting to become more aware that much of what we do, or make done, actually does impact on the future our small planet and others in many and often drastic ways.

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Source Materials

 [Short intro to follow here]

Sustainia: A World of Sustainable Solutions

sustainia world solutions coverA study released today profiles 100 leading sustainability innovations. We showcase the top 10, featuring carbon-neutral plastic, e-waste recycling kiosks and an ethical smartphone

It’s a very different century. Have you understood?

And just in case that has not yet entirely sunk in, let’s have a look at what Luis Louis von Ahnvon Ahn of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Computer Science has to say about Massive-scale online collaboration. And here, as we think about your futures, is maybe a good time and place as any to get it in our heads that there is a massive tectonic shift between our new century and the one in which people of my generation and younger learned most of their skill sets. How is the triad of sustainable development, economic and society going to fit in this new environment? One thing we can say for sure: it will be very different and would have been well beyond the imaginations of anyone pondering all this back in, say, 1999. Are you ready for that?

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Selected Videos

ws-movie-projectorTime to stretch our minds a bit before getting back to work.

  1. This is an awareness test – http://goo.gl/1T5I8X – 1:08 minutes
  2. It’s a very different century. Have you understood? http://goo.gl/gjC5is  – 16 minutes –
  3. The Fun Theory: – http://goo.gl/Id5Nhm   – 1:47
  4. Averting the climate crisis – Al Gore – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r593zLtZxAU – 06:00 – 16:00
  5. Robin Chase: the Collaborative Economy & Climate Change: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k_rf_Ig4cY
  6. Sharing as a sustainability strategy – http://vimeo.com/6856553 – 0:35
  7. Green Economy/Sustainable Development: Bring Back the Social – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5lBwrJcUOk – 10:00
  8. Honey, You gotta slow down – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipnJbSnmc24  – 1:31
  9. Re-thinking Progress: The Circular Economy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCRKvDyyHmI – 3:48
  10. Finding the exact right moment – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnOPu0_YWhw – 2:38


How to tell a sustainable business from a greenwashing one: Interview

Interview with Paul Gilding

Ahead of the Responsible Business Forum on Sustainable Development, environmentalist and author Paul Gilding speaks to Eco-Business in a wide-ranging interview on the global climate crisis and human nature, and how some businesses will die in the next decade to make way for sustainable ones.

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Real sustainability may not make business sense??

This short article on the business case for sustainability by Charles   appeared in the Guardian on 8 January and the full text is available at http://goo.gl/xGQ6Kj.  You may wish to give particular attention to the copious discussions at http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/blog/sustainability-business-sense-profit-purpose#start-of-comments.

street sign no cars Guardian

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