Fast Company has featured four blog posts discussing higher education's role and progress in moving society towards a healthy and sustainable future. Co-authored by me and Second Nature President Tony Cortese, they are part of Fast Company's Inspired Ethonomics series:
Part 1 discusses how higher education must make creating a healthy, just, and sustainable society an overarching goal of higher education, and how the concept of sustainability, as former Cornell president Frank Rhodes suggests offers "a new foundation for the liberal arts and sciences."
Part 2 covers how Higher education must lead a process of re-thinking how we operate our society. It must transform its teaching, research, operations, and service to communities, and prepare graduates - 3 million per year - for 21st century businessif we are to have a chance at a thriving, peaceful, global society.
Part 3 talks about how students must experience sustainable living first hand and be involved in helping their schools become powerful role models of sustainable practices for the rest of society. As Michael Crow, President of Arizona State University (ASU), has said of the U.S. higher education sector: "We may only have 2% of the carbon footprint, but we have 100% of the education footprint," and as some wise old Chinese person said: Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.
4. Leadership for a Thriving World
Part 4 shows how leadership at all levels - from the students to the presidents and trustees - is making real change happen in higher education. From the 665+ institutions that have joined the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment to the Define Our Decade campaign from the Energy Action Coalition, this sector is providing much needed leadership, challenging business, government and the rest of us to follow suit.