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Sustainable Futures
The complex world
Paul Warwick &
Mark Goodwin
October 2012
Email: [email protected] and [email protected]
The global rationale for ESD
• Our collective
ignorance over
the impact our
lifestyles are
having on other
people and the
Regaining a sense of wonder
about the place where we live
Re-inventing universities
for the 21st century
• A time for change?
• HEFCE’s strategic statement
and action plan
for ESD
“Within the next 10 years, the
Higher Education sector in
this country will be
recognised as a major
contributor to society’s efforts
to achieve sustainability –
through the skills and
knowledge that its graduates
learn to put into practice”
(HEFCE 2005/28)
The global rise of Sustainable
UN Decade of Education for Sustainable
Development (2005-2014)
was declared at the second Earth
Summit in Johannesburg in South
Africa in 2002.
The overall goal of the UN Decade of
ESD is to integrate the principles,
values and practices of sustainable
development into all aspects of
education and learning. This
educational effort will encourage
changes in behaviour that will create
more sustainable future in terms of
environmental integrity, economic
viability and a just society for present
and future generations.
What is Education for sustainable development?
Landmark definition of Sustainable Development?
"Development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own
(from the Brundtland Commission/World Commission on Environment and Development’s
report Our Common Future Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987).
An emerging ESD model
4. Critical
1. Biosphere
2. Temporal
active concern
for well being
3. Spatial
5. Creative
6. Active
Relational – Content Dimensions
Transdisciplinary – Pedagogy Dimensions
Building upon the work by Pike and Selby 1995 and Hicks 2003
4 Critical Literacy
A great practical solution to provide safe water
to the world’s poorest people?
2 hours constant play every
day provides the bare
minimum water requirement
for about 200 people
Complexity of
the pump
means that it
makes local
operation and
difficult leading
to dependence
on international
Does this represent a form of
child labour?
Criticism of
the high cost
of play pumps
approx). This
can by 4
hand pumps
for the same
Put simply ESD is
People learning
Active concern for the well
being of:
• oneself
• each other (across
cultures, distances and
• the environment (both
near and far)
ESD is about inspiring
people to read their world
and transform it.
We live in a time of
exponential technological
change – Eg. Moore’s law
states the density of
transistors on a chip
doubles every 18 months
ESD Rationale - Changeleaders are
waiting in the wings?
The future holds many
challenges for young people
A new and positive rationale for
ESD is that it is also an apt
educational innovation in
response to the potential of
young people as change
leaders and care takers.
ESD has the potential to be a
pedagogy of hope.
An issue of complexity
“Global climate change is the single biggest
environmental threat facing the planet.”
The Earth Summit 1992
• Held in Rio de Janeiro Brazil in
• Attended by over 170
governments and more than
2000 representatives from
• Included the Agenda 21
agreement – a wide ranging
comprehensive action plan for
achieving sustainable
development worldwide
• Also included the UN
Framework Convention on
climate change
Summit Groups
1 Seychelles: Scott
2 Multi-national mining
company: David
3 USA: Skye
4 Friends of the Earth:
5 Multi-national nuclear
fusion technology
company: Joe
6 China: George
Summit agenda item
• By 2050 every nation needs
to reduce by 50% their
reliance upon nonrenewable sources of
energy and give 5% of GDP
to research into adapting to
the consequences of
climate change.
Workshop 2 on Nov 2nd
Earth summit simulation activity
To explore the complexity of the climate change issue – in our next session we will
debate a single agenda item.
Each country/interest group will be expected to present a 5 min speech including a
PowerPoint presentation. The PowerPoint presentations will be used as one of the
elements of informal assessment for this module.
The aim is that you will use this activity as yet another way to engage in the
complexity of the issue and to draw from a systems thinking approach where you
develop your argument in consideration of social, environmental, political,
economic, present, futures, local, global dimensions etc.
The timetable for our next workshop will be as follows
12.00-12.15 Time to check presentations/ speeches are ready
12.15-12.40 Open forum for different countries/interest groups to lobby each other
12.40 – 1.50 Earth Summit and vote
1.50 – 2.00 Reflections and evaluations