Event Title

Environmental Sustainability: Challenges and Accomplishments

Start Date

10-8-2010 1:30 PM

End Date

10-8-2010 3:00 PM

Description

Today we are faced with unprecedented environmental, economic, social and political and energy crises. These issues are intertwined and converging exponentially. We are also faced with a crisis of consciousness that calls for the collective embrace of new values, new paradigms. Waking up to successfully confront these seemingly overwhelming challenges requires creativity, courage and clear vision. The hope for creating this new world lies in action. My primary challenge as AD is to create communities of learners and activists who have understanding, compassion, and concrete tools for actively exploring and creating new, alternative models based on principles of sustainability and social justice.

My presentation will look at the theme of “Environmental Sustainability Challenges and Accomplishments” through the lenses of my research and my concrete experience with pedagogies related to fostering awareness and activism around issues of sustainability.

Teaching challenges:

1) Cultivating a sense of empowerment in students while honestly addressing the severity and urgency of these issues.

2) Encouraging creativity and openness to alternatives that imply significant changes in mindsets, lifestyles and commitments.

3) Pointing students in the directions of connecting their experiences on our programs to their lives back home, and encouraging meaningful activism when they return.

I will present three elements—based on key principles of ecoliteracy, ecopedagogy, permaculture, perspectives of Mexico program partners, and other alternative visions—that I believe are key to fostering awareness and activism around issues of sustainability. First, the importance of critical, systemic analysis of the root causes of ecological (and other) crises. To understand where we are and where we need to go, we must clearly reflect on the forces that brought us here. Second, exploring alternative visions based on values that promote deep respect for the environment, equity, inclusion, global social justice, and sustainability. Voices from the global south are calling for profound changes in our social and economic relationships—and the urgent need to discard dominant anthropomorphic, hegemonic systems driven by markets—limitless consumption and growth. They also speak of the need to understand and honor the deep interconnectedness of humankind and the natural world.

Finally, the need to focus on praxis—making the essential link between theory and action—and its faith in collective social action directly apply to the goal of empowering and fostering activism in our students.

In my presentation I will discuss my efforts to integrate the above methodologies and principles into the Mexico program curriculum, and attempts to provide tangible examples of local efforts to create sustainable alternatives. I hold to the conviction that not only is a new world necessary, and possible, but that it is already being born every day. I continue looking for effective ways to facilitate students’ awareness these possibilities and realities.

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Aug 10th, 1:30 PM Aug 10th, 3:00 PM

Environmental Sustainability: Challenges and Accomplishments

Today we are faced with unprecedented environmental, economic, social and political and energy crises. These issues are intertwined and converging exponentially. We are also faced with a crisis of consciousness that calls for the collective embrace of new values, new paradigms. Waking up to successfully confront these seemingly overwhelming challenges requires creativity, courage and clear vision. The hope for creating this new world lies in action. My primary challenge as AD is to create communities of learners and activists who have understanding, compassion, and concrete tools for actively exploring and creating new, alternative models based on principles of sustainability and social justice.

My presentation will look at the theme of “Environmental Sustainability Challenges and Accomplishments” through the lenses of my research and my concrete experience with pedagogies related to fostering awareness and activism around issues of sustainability.

Teaching challenges:

1) Cultivating a sense of empowerment in students while honestly addressing the severity and urgency of these issues.

2) Encouraging creativity and openness to alternatives that imply significant changes in mindsets, lifestyles and commitments.

3) Pointing students in the directions of connecting their experiences on our programs to their lives back home, and encouraging meaningful activism when they return.

I will present three elements—based on key principles of ecoliteracy, ecopedagogy, permaculture, perspectives of Mexico program partners, and other alternative visions—that I believe are key to fostering awareness and activism around issues of sustainability. First, the importance of critical, systemic analysis of the root causes of ecological (and other) crises. To understand where we are and where we need to go, we must clearly reflect on the forces that brought us here. Second, exploring alternative visions based on values that promote deep respect for the environment, equity, inclusion, global social justice, and sustainability. Voices from the global south are calling for profound changes in our social and economic relationships—and the urgent need to discard dominant anthropomorphic, hegemonic systems driven by markets—limitless consumption and growth. They also speak of the need to understand and honor the deep interconnectedness of humankind and the natural world.

Finally, the need to focus on praxis—making the essential link between theory and action—and its faith in collective social action directly apply to the goal of empowering and fostering activism in our students.

In my presentation I will discuss my efforts to integrate the above methodologies and principles into the Mexico program curriculum, and attempts to provide tangible examples of local efforts to create sustainable alternatives. I hold to the conviction that not only is a new world necessary, and possible, but that it is already being born every day. I continue looking for effective ways to facilitate students’ awareness these possibilities and realities.