Title

Is Achieving Sustainability Possible Through Institutions Of Higher Education?

Publication Date

8-17-2008

Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Nikoi Kote-Nikoi

Abstract

As issues of sustainability become increasingly important, there is a need to look deeply at what “sustainability” actually means, and how it can benefit society. This report consists of three parts: research on the field of campus sustainability, an analysis of policy options to improve campus sustainability at World Learning, and a look at specific advocacy efforts used to promote this policy within the organization. There are many challenges to understanding the concepts of sustainability and applying them in a context that could effectively address the problems brought on by global climate change. These challenges are deeply rooted in the philosophical and epistemological tenets of Western society. This paper explores how a re-conceptualization of the dominant worldview is necessary to bring about social, environmental and economic justice. How can a culture of sustainability be promoted at and through institutions of higher education in order to teach about sustainability and to integrate these concepts into society at large? World Learning, as an international NGO and institution of higher education that promotes social justice and global citizenship, should take a leadership role in promoting sustainability. As efforts from students, staff and faculty attempt to advance these ideas, the deep roots of the dominant social paradigm become apparent. An advocacy campaign was launched to make sustainability an institutional priority. This case study outlines those advocacy efforts and evaluates their effectiveness over the past two years.

Disciplines

Growth and Development | Sociology | Work, Economy and Organizations

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