Educating for a Sustainability Mindset

Kent D. Fairfield
January 1, 2018
Europe, North America
Ethics & Social Justice
24 pages
teaching sustainability, sustainability mindset, sustainability worldview, identity, PRIME, Principles for Responsible Management Education, United Nations
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Organizations around the world have become increasingly concerned about managing for sustainability, yet undergraduate education about sustainability often presents the challenge of dealing with students equipped with a modest understanding of business and sustainability issues and whose awareness is sometimes politicized. Traditional-aged students are at a stage where they derive their own worldview on many subjects, including their place in a broader world. As such, equipping them to be useful professionals for the future, or even to specialize in sustainability- oriented careers, requires raising their awareness of the global situation in environmental, societal, political, and business terms. A curriculum must get them acquainted with what is needed for the world to reach a more fruitful future as well as with strategies the business sector can pursue to accomplish such an objective. More importantly, however, it should elicit a new worldview about sustainability and, even more profoundly, a deeply felt mindset embracing one’s purpose, feelings, and identity. This article thus proposes a means by which students can embody the ability and confidence to make an appreciable impact toward a sustainable planet.

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teaching sustainability; sustainability mindset; sustainability worldview; identity; Principles for Responsible Management Education; PRME; United Nations