Creating the Triple Bottom Line of Sustainable Development: Healthier Economies, Communities and Ecosystems Debra Rowe, Ph.D. President
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Debra Rowe, Ph.D.President
U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Developmentwww.uspartnership.orgSenior FellowUniversity Leaders for a Sustainable Futurewww.ulsf.orgCo-coordinator
Higher Education Associations’ Sustainability Consortium
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
“meeting the needs of the present Healthier Economies, Communities and Ecosystems
without compromising the ability of
future generations to
meet their own needs”
World Commission on Env. and Development. (1987). Our Common Future. England: Oxford University Press.Sustainable Development is often defined as:
Social Healthier Economies, Communities and Ecosystems
The Three Components of Sustainable Development
What Businesses call “The Triple Bottom Line”
Education for a Healthier Economies, Communities and EcosystemsSustainable Society:“enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions …, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future.”
Ecosystem Healthier Economies, Communities and Ecosystems
Public Choices and
Applied Knowledge/ Technological
Private Choices and
We are the first generation capable of determining the habitability of the planet for humans and other species.
“There is no longer any doubt that every ecosystem that life depends on is compromised and in danger.”
U.N. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005
“Climate change is for real. We have just a small window of opportunity and there is not a moment to lose.”
Dr. Rajendra Pachavri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, January, 2005
Disruption of food production and the food chain Healthier Economies, Communities and Ecosystems
More extreme weather events
Disruptions of ecosystems, including water supplies
Spread of disease e.g. West Nile, Malaria
Submersion of land masses –
was 1 to 4 foot sea level rise - now up to 48 feet
50% of world’s population lives on the coasts
(75% in 2050)
= Civilization disruption
Sources: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, EPAEFFECTS IN OUR LIFETIME
life supporting resources
life supporting resources
From Healthier Economies, Communities and Ecosystems
Take, make, waste
Living off nature’s capital
Market as master
Loss of cultural & biological diversity
Materialism as goal
Living off nature’s income
Market as servant
Increased cultural & biological diversity
Human satisfaction goalGlobal Transition
We bear a profound moral and social responsibility/opportunity to increase the awareness, knowledge, skills and values needed to create and implement viable solutions to the interconnected environmental, economic, and social problems that now threaten our physical survival as a species and threaten to increase human suffering.
Tzedakah – righteousness
Tikkun Olam – repairing the world
National Trends and Resources
GREAT NEWS!!! through which we collectively examine and act upon our shared world systems and through which we analyze our own individual lifestyles.Growing National Trend:Over 2 dozen national HE associations are creating initiatives on Education for Sustainable Development
ACE–Am. Council on Ed. through which we collectively examine and act upon our shared world systems and through which we analyze our own individual lifestyles.
AACU – Ass. of American Colleges and Universities
AACC – Am. Ass. of Community Colleges
AASCU – State Colleges and Universities
10. SCUP – College and University Planners
11. ACUI – Student Unions
12. ACPA – Student Affairs
13. NACUFS – Food
14. ACEED-I – Events and Conference Directors
15. NACS – Campus Stores
AND MOREEngaged National Associations
U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development through which we collectively examine and act upon our shared world systems and through which we analyze our own individual lifestyles.
Sector Teams: Business, Higher Education, K-12, Communities,Faith…
Part III through which we collectively examine and act upon our shared world systems and through which we analyze our own individual lifestyles.
Sample Resources for your members to use and improve from ACPA and others:
Change norms so all students and the Jewish community becomes:
Programming for student life
Programming for the community
Hillel and HE Mission and Planning
Interaction in the community and the world
(i) the facts regarding ecosystem degradation, human suffering and economic regulations;
(ii) the importance of real economic and social and political freedom;
(iii) what social scientists and others know about how to change societal culture and
CHANGE IT! It is powerful and fun!!
Make sustainability behaviors and policies the new norm!!!
Examples of how students can make a difference in this world:1. South Africa divestment2. Jewish involvement in civil rights… 3. The Nike story4. Campus climate challenge (www.climatechallenge.org)
Building self-concepts in yourself and others world:You can help change society!!Imagine students literate in the real world sustainability challenges and engaged in the solutionsProvide the models and opportunities for practicing the changing of behaviors and policies
Imagine a country where all college students get credit for helping to solve our societal problems through their academic assignments.
Match making website –
Students can work on real world sustainability projects from government, business, non-profits, etc.
Assignments that make a difference in the world.
Build a positive change agent self-concept!
“We Can Afford to Solve the World’s Problems – The World Game Institute - 18 strategies for confronting the major systemic problems confronting humanity”
Provide academic and student life
opportunities to build
CHANGE AGENT identities, skills and behaviors
Help students understand the world:
consequences of their choices as consumers and investors
Preventing world:Burnout - The ABCs
Ask for help - Build Support Systems - Celebrate the Baby Steps of Success
Dream big! - Eliminate Griping & Move to Problem Solving
Foster Self-care, Physical & Mental Health
Get Flexible and Take a Multi-pronged Long-term Approach
Humor those who participate - Involve everyone affected by decisions
Jazz up meetings with creativity - Keep on keepin’ on to get energy
Laugh a lot - Make light of problems - Nature is renewing: connect with it!
Open your eyes and heart to the beauty around you
Picture your joy when the tide starts to turn
Quit worrying! - Re-live past successes to renew commitment
Say the kind things every time you think of one - Thank all who helped
Understand that slow beats stop - Visualize the joy of success
Wait with confidence that your persistence will matter
Xeroxa joke of the day with your logo to hand out
Yell a little, just for fun
Zealously assure yourself a good night’s rest every night!
Thanks to Norma T Bauer
Create new norms at the university
national trends in the business sector, higher education sector and faith sector come together…
to demand and support legislation that will foster a sustainable future
1. The U.S. public is not educated enough about sustainability issues and solutions.
2. We need sustainability literacy and engagement for ALL. We all need skills to change consumption, investment and civic behaviors and to support appropriate market modifications (legislation) for sustainability.
3. Learn systems thinking and change agent skills
4. Model life long learning and change agent identities
5. Some exciting developments, too many to report, but much more needs to be done. You are in a key position to make this happen.
6. There are many resources and strategies to help you infuse sustainability into Hillel, higher education and the larger society. We can assist you.
7. Document all you do and share.
Core Questions for Next Steps world:1. What low hanging fruit can we implement immediately?2. What are the key strategic actions we can take to shift to a sustainable society as soon as possible?Let our enthusiasm show!