Sustainability in Graduate Education: Opportunities to Embrace Leadership Development and Cross Cultural Team Building Viniece Jennings Florida A&M University AASHE 2011 Senior Fellow, Environmental Leadership Program
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Guess What Activity
Guess the following information: What is her ethnicity? What kind of vehicle do she drive? What is her favorite type of food? Does she have kids? What is her zodiac sign? What sport has she participated in? What is her age? Does she have siblings? If so do you think she’s the oldest, middle, youngest, or none of these?
The exercise can demonstrate how perception can influence our assumptions of others - implications can be positive or negative
Sustainability provides an exceptional platform to encourage holistic thinking that crosses disciplinary and cultural boundaries while developing skills to address complex problems (Fortium & Bush, 2010). Maxwell’s (1999) invaluable leadership qualities such as being competent, a problem solver and a visionary. Its vision should connect diverse people and programs to address collective concerns. This approach fosters creativity and strategic planning.
Demographic Dynamics and Sustainability 5.1. Links between demographic trends and factors and sustainable development Policy connection Connecting knowledge with program implementation
Youth Encounter to Sustainability (YES) Program - Braunwald, Switzerland - Three week program in July 2010
According to the United Nations, equity, solidarity, and mutual respect amongst various people are foundational principles of sustainable development (UN, 2011).
Student Report Back: Studying Sustainability in Switzerland Eudora Welty once stated, “Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it.” During a module on Energy and Materials, I explored governance strategies using the simulation game EcoPolicy where participants balance decision making for environmental, public health, and socioeconomic concerns of their constituents. These represent critical issues the higher education community can help with in the grooming of our citizenship. Societies ultimately sustain what they choose to value. One of the challenges of campus sustainability initiatives is establishing and promoting the value of a project in the midst of other concerns. Communicating Sustainability: How to produce effective public campaigns. As we consider the human dimensions of sustainability in higher education, it is pivotal to keep in mind how we are developing the sense of community on our campuses. www.aashe.org
YES Participants recently published a Roundtable in Sustainability: Journal Of Record (August 2011)
Invest in Analyzing Yourself Self-awareness is a powerful tool Take an inventory of your personal strengths and weaknesses - Ask for anonymous feedback from personal and professional contact Example questions: - Am I willing to take responsibility for my actions? - Do I try to beware of how others think and feel? - Am I a reliable team member? - Does my tone or body language encourage others to contribute and feel valued in conversations?
Practice Empathic Communication Source: Covey, S. 1989, 2004 Seek first to understand, then be understood. People generally do not listen with the intent to understand but with the intent to reply. Do not underestimate the power of sincerity, vibes, and body language. Exercise: - Watch people communicate; cover your ears, and just observe what emotions are being communicated without words - Video an interview of yourself to observe your emotions and response to questions
A Few Rules of Engagement Be visible and accessible - are you reaching out to multicultural groups? Allow the strengths and interest of your membership to become apart of initiatives Create a space where weaknesses can be improved Avoid Cliques! - specific groups do not encourage inclusion
Be open minded Do not allow stereotypes to dictate how you interact with individuals. - Discourage inappropriate language that does not esteem group members Promote and develop team spirit - Serve as a mediator and neutral advocate Practice the Golden Rule: Treat others the way that you want to be treated. “ People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Thank you! Contact information: Viniece.firstname.lastname@example.org • Prospective YES Course in the US Mailing list for interested instructors, sponsors, students, collaborations, etc. General information can be accessed at our website: www.actis-education.ch.
References • Fortuin, I., & Bush, S. R. (2010). Educating students to cross boundaries between disciplines and cultures and between theory and practice. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. 11 (1), 19-35. • Jennings V., Baud, R., Mahat, J., Demashqieh, L., Otieno, D., Mabrouk, A. (2011)Engaging Multicultural Audiences in Sustainability Education.Sustainability: The Journal of Record., August 2011, 4(4): 183-187. • Jennings, V. (2011). Teaching Sustainability in Graduate Education: A Call to Leadership Development. 2011Journal of Sustainability Education, March 2011 Edition. • Maxwell, J. (1999). The 21 Indispensible Qualities of a Leader. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.