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What the willow teaches: Sustainability learning as craft

Molly Scott Cato

Whilst the importance of mainstreaming sustainability in higher education curricula is now widely acknowledged, the challenge for educators at university level is to develop and maintain authority and confidence in an area dominated by limited knowledge and uncertainty. This article suggests that the most empowering and authentic response is to adopt an approach of shared learning, but with the pedagogue demonstrating expertise and inspiration. I suggest that this is an approach to learning and teaching more familiar in areas of craft learning, characterised by apprenticeship and learning-by-doing. The article relies heavily on the work of Richard Sennett in providing a sociological account of craft learning, which is then applied to the field of sustainability. I explore how his three modes of instruction – 'sympathetic illustration', 'narrative' and 'metaphor' – are being used in the field of sustainability education, and draw parallels from the craft of basket weaving in particular, to show how these approaches might be developed. I conclude by suggesting that sustainability education is best undertaken within a community and in place, rather than abstractly and in the classroom.

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Sustainability in the Water Sector: Enabling Lasting Change through Leadership and Cultural Transformation

Charles Herrick and Joanna Pratt

There is great interest within the water sector regarding the prospect of sustainable operations. Water utilities tend to be conservative entities characterized by organizational inertia, making achievement of sustainable operations a challenge of cultural transformation. We suggest that the construct of "wicked" problems provides a useful heuristic for leaders and other champions attempting to transform water utility culture to achieve sustainable operations. We observe that the cultural transformation toward sustainable water operations seems to be facilitated through the exercise of particular leadership traits, including the ability to craft and communicate a sustainability narrative, willingness and ability to diffuse authority, and an adaptive or learning-oriented outlook. Based on literature review and case research with US water utilities, we identify factors that can act either to enable or constrain efforts to transform utility culture so as to be more amenable to sustainable operations. We explain how each of these factors pertains to the circumstances of water utilities and provide a matrix with which utility leaders and sustainability champions can enact a plan of organizational transformation. We conclude by outlining research topics that flow from our arguments and observations.

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Sustainability Metamorphosis

An Inconvenient Change

Erland Mårald and Janina Priebe

The institutionalization of sustainability led by economic, social, and science-based principles is a familiar narrative of success. After World War II, fears of overpopulation, natural resource degradation, and nuclear war overshadowed the future

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Corporate Sustainability

An Academic Review

Varghese Joy

continents are aware of the relevance of societal processes for the world's ecosystems, but many remain confused about the supposed differences between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate sustainability (CS). Explanations and key constructs

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Theology and Sustainability in Oil-Producing Norway

Jens Bjelland Grønvold

This article attempts to draft the constructive role religion can play in a rich, oil-producing Western country. The article presents a brief history of environmental commitment within the Church of Norway, and shows how this commitment is making an impact both theologically and politically. Theologically, the result is a reorientation of classic, anthropocentric theology toward a more biocentric theology in which all of creation is viewed as equally important. As a concretization of such a theology, this article looks to the circle of life advocated by the Sami theologian Tore Johnsen. Bridging theology and politics, this article also presents the commitment of Bishop Tor Berger Jørgensen in the political debate about oil exploration in certain areas off the coast of his diocese. Jørgensen's commitment and Johnsen's work are examples of how Christian churches can address the global ecological crisis using their best tool: theology.

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Towards a Sustainable Society

Considerations from a Natural Science Perspective

Frans W. Saris

ecological and economic stability that is sustainable far into the future. 3. If the world's people decide to strive for this second outcome rather than the first, the sooner they begin working to attain it, the greater will be their chances of success

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Navigating the sustainability landscape

Impact pathways and the sustainability ethic as moral compass

Matthew Archer

People who work in sustainability are usually motivated, to some extent, by a desire to generate positive impacts in the “real world.” These social and environmental impacts are one of the main reasons they choose to pursue careers in

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Automobiles and Socioeconomic Sustainability

Do We Need a Mobility Bill of Rights?

Daniel Newman

consumption—while Europe and North America show little sign of reducing their ownership levels. This car system, though, is patently not sustainable. Cars are at the fore-front of global oil usage and carbon dioxide emissions, exerting a detrimental impact

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Pursuing sustainable development from below

Harlan Koff and Carmen Maganda

June 5 is World Environment Day, also known as Eco-day. It is an environmental awareness day run by the United Nations (UN). Of course, the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, also run by the UN, now dominates our discussions of sustainability in

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Is Green the New Red?: The Role of Religion in Creating a Sustainable China

James Miller

The Chinese Daoist Association has embarked upon an ambitious agenda to promote Daoism as China's "green religion". This new construction of a "green Daoism" differs, however, from both traditional Chinese and modern Western interpretations of the affinity between Daoism and nature. In promoting Daoism as a green religion, the Chinese Daoist Association is not aiming to restore some mythical utopia of humans living in harmony with nature, but instead to support a nationalist agenda of patriotism and scientific development. At the same time, as I shall argue, this agenda may deliver positive benefits in the form of protecting the local environments around important sacred sites that are located in areas of outstanding natural beauty.