Presentation on theme: "Colin Trier School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences Fellow of Centre for Sustainable Futures University of Plymouth,"— Presentation transcript:
Colin Trier School of Geography Earth and Environmental Sciences Fellow of Centre for Sustainable Futures University of Plymouth,
The context for all this: The current social, economic and environmental model for society is recognised to be unsustainable, and at one level this means that the long or even medium term survivability of this form of society, globally, nationally and regionally is severely challenged. (but this has ever been so?)
The beginning of a new era of the Anthropocene There is by implication the need for a rapid transformation of society towards a more sustainable form. (can humans shape their destiny?)
Where we are at Plymouth University committed to ESD Five-year HEFCE funded CETL set up the Centre for Sustainable Futures (CSF) and has agreed a Sustainability Ploicy The University adopted a four Cs approach to raise profile of ESD
The four Cs model Curriculum, Campus, Community and Culture are identified as the key areas of focus within the first Sustainability Policy (2008), for the implementation of ESD in the University
What is the culture of a university?
Statements on culture found in the Sustainability Policy The university Recognises the need to be an adaptive learning organization whose staff and students contribute to a culture of collective reflection on the sustainability agenda; Acknowledges the importance of open, inclusive and effective communication and dialogue in the process of transformation towards a culture of sustainability; (University of Plymouth 2008 pp.1-3) My comment: These seem very worthwhile objectives, if a bit non-specific
Transformation Towards a Culture of Sustainability What kind of initiatives might be useful in exploring and facilitating change in the internal culture within a university, in an engaging and non-threatening manner?
How to Set Up a Suitable Experiential Meeting Place in which staff can engage with each other avoiding the established patterns of discourse, based on agenda, hierarchy, formal perspectives, financial concerns, individual professional competiveness and tribal loyalties and seek new collaborative opportunities
The Earthship Was Grounded Originally I was going to report back on a two week short course at Schumacher which aimed to build an Earthship. An Earthship is an experimental structure pioneered by Michael Reynolds using car tyres and rammed earth as the materials. Unfortunately the course has had to be postponed because old car tyres in large quantities are a waste stream that requires authorisation from the Environment Agency and a waste license or exemption for the site.
Embercombe Instead I joined a CSF sponsored group of academics from across the University on a two day visit with overnight stay to the Embercombe education centre. The plan was broadly top explore the issues I have already raised and find out if the unique setting made a difference. I intend now to show some photos of that experience to capture something of what transpired.
Outcomes? There was an unexpected sense of closeness with other colleagues We had all listened far more than talked Although none of us had met before it felt like future collaboration was likely It felt that there was something new to take back to our working situation I decided to retire and enjoy the good life
Does Place Affect Our Connection With Each Other? Of course! But might there be something useful in extending what is broadly an Environmental Education perspective to help shape a more holistic kind of university organisation as a whole?