Sustainable Development Leadership (SUST 650, 4 credits)
Residential immersion experience
This mostly residential course provides the foundation for the Sustainability Leadership Program. It creates a community of reflective learners that support each other in becoming effective social entrepreneurs and sustainability change agents. We introduce major approaches to and measures of sustainability (e.g., ecological design, permaculture, biomimicry, life-cycle analysis, triple bottom line, natural capitalism, ecological footprint, The Natural Step, Transition movement); explore relationships among sustainability, economic development, and social justice; and apply systems thinking, change leadership and sustainability principles to specific issues. We also use existing models and team projects to examine how personal values, goals, and communication styles influence our roles as change leaders, and we practice a variety of methods (e.g., Scenario Thinking, Appreciative Inquiry, World Café, Open Space) that can promote networking, public engagement, planning, and participatory decision-making on sustainability issues. Prerequisites: Admission into Sustainability Leadership Program or consent of instructor.
Ecological Sustainability (SUST 651, 4 credits)
In the second course of the Sustainability Leadership Program, we use an ecological framework to explore the scientific basis of sustainable systems and the extension of principles of ecology and natural systems design into the realms of organizational change leadership, social science and humanities. We focus on the functioning of natural systems at multiple levels of organization, with emphasis on the fundamental roles of energy flow, nutrient dynamics, and hydrological cycles in ecosystem and biosphere function, and we examine the application of these concepts to social and economic systems. We work extensively with principles of ecological design, resilience, and restoration, and we critically analyze key sustainability indicators and reporting frameworks (e.g., ecological and carbon footprints, green building certifications, Global Reporting Initiative, Genuine Progress Indicator). Key related concepts include: ecosystem services, risk perception, precautionary principle, permaculture, biomimicry, deep ecology, integral ecology, indigenous knowledge systems and ecospirituality. Prerequisites: SUST 650.
Social and Economic Sustainability (SUST 652, 4 credits)
How is public policy made, and how can we best facilitate systematic change toward sustainability in our organizations and communities? In this course, we consider the challenges to such change presented by global trends and by traditional socioeconomic and public policy models, and we introduce alternative models aimed at meeting these challenges: ecological economics, sustainable development, social innovation and participative democracy. We discuss how deeper knowledge of human perception and behavior can help us formulate transformative communication and education strategies and practices. Key concepts include: social capital, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, social equity, urban design, transformational leadership and ecopsychology. Prerequisites: SUST 651.