Eric Berlow

Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab


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How can we scale up sustainability education so it permeates all businesses and makes isolated CSR departments unnecessary?

How do we best take advantage of digital media to enhance sustainability education? What level is best to target - basic principles for beginners? or cutting edge ideas for innovative 'influencers'? How does this dynamic field of sustainability get integrated into traditional educational institutions that are slower to change?

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    Mar 1 2011: Perhaps it is a cultural thing so make change from Bottom -> Up and from Top -> Down (if possible)
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    Mar 1 2011: What is a "CSR department?"
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    Feb 17 2011: Thanks Vilo. Those toys sound amazing. I like the idea of bringing 'gaming' into education but through real tangible toys. In a related vein, how do you think digital media like apps and online content could be used to *enhance* face-to-face learning about sustainability?
    • Feb 19 2011: One issue with sustainability is the distance between the cause (here) and the consequences (there).

      Digital media could provide this feed-back. Let's imagine:

      1• Some apps about real-time sea level, North Pole or South Pole ice surface, deforestation map

      2• Some online web-cam to monitor endangered spots, like the Amazon

      3• Some online chat service to interact with global warning victims, Australian flooding or drought

      4• A net to share sustainability initiatives between schools

      Positive news should be shared also.

      I hope those ideas about tools could enhance the awareness about sustainability, place people at the very core of the issue and urge answers to "What can I do hic et nunc —here and now?"
  • Feb 16 2011: One problem with sustainability is the rather abstract meaning for children. But there are solutions: here's my story.

    During a journey in Germany, I contemplated the front display of a nice toy shop. Among others toys, there was a full line-up of working eco-models: photovoltaic powered petrol-pump, water-fall produced electricity, wind activated LED, and even a small hydrogen reversible cell.

    Those models are built from blocks, much like Lego. But the sets are manufactured by fischertechnik, and come will an instruction manual to build the models and an activity manual to go deeper into the technologies.

    What best way could we imagine to learn and / or teach sustainability? Building a model that works, discovering how it works (no light, no electricity, but here comes the capacitor or the hydro-cell!), learning sustainability the soft way and actually being eco-responsible since no battery is required!

    I use to be a child many decades ago, but I went into that shop and bought the sets. I enjoyed myself very much building and playing with those models. They're just amazing!

    And sharing that education to sustainability with children is very easy: No speech, just facts!