2. Course blog”: Go to top right column and click the slot where it says “* Click for free subscription. At that point you will be sent a welcoming informing you see that you are “following the log along with xx “amazing people” (their words, not mine ;- ). Since we are working on such a compressed timetable, I suggest you sign up for the daily updates.
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.
Registered students are asked to prepare:
1, Short bio note with your background, country of origin, language(s), education to date and current/eventual career expectations or hopes – 100-200 words, with photo please.
2. Paragraph or so giving your first definition/understanding of sustainable development, and finally a
3. Short statement setting out your reasons for signing up and well as your expectations, hopes for the course (A paragraph or so will do).
Sustainability starts with each of us. So in that spirit each member of the class is asked to calculate their own ecological footprint, and then in a round table presentation report it and comment in less than five minutes. A reasonable starting point for background is the WP entry at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_footprint, which you are invited to read and eventually comment.
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.
We all know the story about The Blind Men and the Elephant?
Fine, but do you know the one about The Blind Men and “Sustainable Development”?
The 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.