ONEPLANET Sustainability Review

Sustainability Research, Reviews and Signposting

Sustainable Development, Politics and Agency

Recently a private briefing on SD, Politics and Agency caught my attention.  After a good but brief introduction to social agency through an explanation of sociology’s externalities and psychology’s internalities, it brought up a really interesting topic about behavioural transformation (through ‘stimulus’ or ‘release’) and transformative learning.

I am particularly concerned with the current cultural values and stimuli that perpetuate unsustainable behaviours in contemporary western society, a particular problem in the Untied Skates (mental sic), but more importantly how to engender the kind of Perspective Transformation toward more sustainable behaviours in the way Jack Mezirow (1991) suggests. I’m thinking of this at two different scales: the micro scale via (mandatory?) changes to school/university curricula, and at the macro scale via two very different outlets: media dissemination and policy.

I’m also reminded of the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) work previously discovered last year, internationally with the UNDESD (UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development), and more locally at UN’s Regional Centre of Expertise at LSBU.

You can read the following passage on the UN’s ESD website:

Deep in the Namib Desert, in a dune valley in the south of the NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia’s Hardap region is an environmental education centre that is helping Namibians to live sustainable lifestyles.

I’m struck by the audacity and sheer ignorance that western societies continue to perpetuate whilst demanding that Namibians deep in the Namib Desert should learn to live sustainable lifestyles when every single day I see so many ‘captains of industry’ and ‘society elites’ driving their gas-guzzling suburban tanks from their boozy lunches to pick up their brats spoilt with iPads and Mediterranean cruises…!

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This entry was posted on 2 November 2012 by in Education, Environmental Sustainability, Social Sustainability, Sustainable Development.

Part of the Problem? or Part of the Solution?

Rampant consumerism.
Widespread unsustainable lifestyles.
Unsustainable business practices.
Damaging and unsustainable travel and transport.
Extensive environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.
These are some of the problems we face.
Energy crisis.
Financial crisis.
Uneducated and un-empowered.
Environmental damage.
Food and water shortage.
Climate change.
Are you part of the problem,
Or are you part of the solution?

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