“Big Data” is a term referring to all the massive amount of information with which people can work in this 21st Century. It is fundamentally different from the casual denomination of “simple” or “historic” data because there is such a huge mass of information generated with Big Data that normal tools of treatment cannot deal with it. This change in the data itself is due to the technological revolution we call “digitalization”.
This for-credit graduate course is proposed as a collaborative learning process which combines the usual classroom sessions with a somewhat ambitious internet support platform, the goal of which is to explore the topic of Sustainable Development, Economy & Democracy with a class of graduate IMBA students of the Institut Supérieur de Gestion in Paris. The classes are conducted in a round table setting, with full computer and communications support for all participants. Students are required to participate in a selection of assignments in the week prior to the actual seminar, and have to the end of the month to prepare and submit a term paper.
- If you click to https://sustainabiltyseminar.wordpress.com/tag/2016/ you will be taken to all of the postings and various instructions intended to prepare you to get best value out of the 2016 ISG seminar. If you work your way through these you will be fully prepared and ready to go as we sit down together to try to understand one of the world’s most complex and pressing challenges, starting at 09:00 on Day 1, 9 June 2016. Continue reading
Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy in three short days? Instead of the usual full semester at the university with weekly lectures, heavy reading, extensive class discussions, working papers, visiting speakers, tea with your professor, and the rest. With one full week between classes for all that extensive preparatory work to be done each time. But that is not our case here. It’s 2015 and the dynamics of life, learning and work are not standing still. We need a strategy for our time.
For each of our six sessions, we nominate one of our number to serve as rapporteur: their task being to follow closely the discussions and presentations during their assigned four-hour session, and to prepare a short report of activities, presentation, discussions, findings, conclusion and, if any, recommendations.
The objective in each case is to “report to your boss who is interested but cannot attend”. This approach is intended to ensure that the rapporteurs do not only make lists of topics presented, but that you show understanding and judgement. This is a situation in which you will find yourself often in your careers, so let’s get started today. This exercise will be taken into account in determining the final mark for the course.
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 imperfectly 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.
The term paper is the heart of the course and the learning process behind it. We ask you to start organizing your thinking on this even before you come into the seminar the first time on Thursday morning. The present website is content rich and sets out a number of clues and ideas for this that we hope you may find useful.
And to the extent that this is agreeable to you, we would like to ask you at the very least to consider having at least some of the report dealing with ideas concerning the relationship between sustainable development and the problems, attitudes and opportunities within your own country. For example . . .
ISG 2016 Graduate Seminar
Attestation of Original Intellectual Property
(All students are required to sign and return the following attestation with their final report)