Matching Items (36)

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Beyond Interpersonal Competence: Teaching and Learning Professional Skills in Sustainability

Description

Successful careers in sustainability are determined by positive real-world change towards sustainability. This success depends heavily on professional skills in effective and compassionate communication, collaborative teamwork, or impactful stakeholder engagement,

Successful careers in sustainability are determined by positive real-world change towards sustainability. This success depends heavily on professional skills in effective and compassionate communication, collaborative teamwork, or impactful stakeholder engagement, among others. These professional skills extend beyond content knowledge and methodical expertise. Current sustainability programs do not sufficiently facilitate students’ acquisition of such skills. This article presents a brief summary of professional skills, synthesized from the literature, and why they are relevant for sustainability professionals. Second, it presents how these skills have been taught in an undergraduate course in sustainability at Arizona State University, USA. Third, it critically discusses the effectiveness and challenges of that exemplary course. Finally, the article concludes with outlining the lessons learned that should be incorporated into future course offerings.

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  • 2017-03-07

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Aligning Public Participation to Stakeholders’ Sustainability Literacy—A Case Study on Sustainable Urban Development in Phoenix, Arizona

Description

n public planning processes for sustainable urban development, planners and experts often face the challenge of engaging a public that is not familiar with sustainability principles or does not subscribe

n public planning processes for sustainable urban development, planners and experts often face the challenge of engaging a public that is not familiar with sustainability principles or does not subscribe to sustainability values. Although there are calls to build the public’s sustainability literacy through social learning, such efforts require sufficient time and other resources that are not always available. Alternatively, public participation processes may be realigned with the sustainability literacy the participants possess, and their capacity can modestly be built during the engagement. Asking what tools might successfully align public participation with participants’ sustainability literacy, this article describes and evaluates a public participation process in Phoenix, Arizona, in which researchers, in collaboration with city planners, facilitated sustainability conversations as part of an urban development process. The tool employed for Visually Enhanced Sustainability Conversation (VESC) was specifically designed to better align public participation with stakeholders’ sustainability literacy. We tested and evaluated VESC through interviews with participants, city planners, and members of the research team, as well as an analysis of project reports. We found that the use of VESC successfully facilitated discussions on pertinent sustainability issues and embedded sustainability objectives into the project reports. We close with recommendations for strengthening tools like VESC for future public engagements.

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  • 2015-07-03

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The Role of Transacademic Interface Managers in Transformational Sustainability Research and Education

Description

Working towards sustainable solutions requires involving professionals and stakeholders from all sectors of society into research and teaching. This often presents a challenge to scholars at universities, as they lack

Working towards sustainable solutions requires involving professionals and stakeholders from all sectors of society into research and teaching. This often presents a challenge to scholars at universities, as they lack capacity and time needed for negotiating different agendas, languages, competencies, and cultures among faculty, students, and stakeholders. Management approaches and quality criteria have been developed to cope with this challenge, including concepts of boundary organizations, transdisciplinary research, transition management, and interface management. However, few of these concepts present comprehensive proposals how to facilitate research with stakeholder participation while creating educational opportunities along the lifecycle of a project. The article focuses on the position of a transacademic interface manager (TIM) supporting participatory sustainability research and education efforts. We conceptualize the task portfolio of a TIM; outline the capacities a TIM needs to possess in order to successfully operate; and propose an educational approach for how to train students in becoming a TIM. For this, we review the existing literature on TIMs and present insights from empirical sustainability research and educational projects that involved TIMs in different functions. The article provides practical guidance to universities on how to organize these critical endeavors more effectively and to offer students an additional career perspective.

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  • 2013-10-30

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Do We Teach What We Preach? An International Comparison of Problem- and Project-Based Learning Courses in Sustainability

Description

Problem- and project-based learning (PPBL) courses in sustainability address real-world sustainability problems. They are considered powerful educational settings for building students’ sustainability expertise. In practice, however, these courses often fail

Problem- and project-based learning (PPBL) courses in sustainability address real-world sustainability problems. They are considered powerful educational settings for building students’ sustainability expertise. In practice, however, these courses often fail to fully incorporate sustainability competencies, participatory research education, and experiential learning. Only few studies exist that compare and appraise PPBL courses internationally against a synthesized body of the literature to create an evidence base for designing PPBL courses. This article introduces a framework for PPBL courses in sustainability and reviews PPBL practice in six programs around the world (Europe, North America, Australia). Data was collected through semi-structured qualitative interviews with course instructors and program officers, as well as document analysis. Findings indicate that the reviewed PPBL courses are of high quality and carefully designed. Each PPBL course features innovative approaches to partnerships between the university and private organizations, extended peer-review, and the role of knowledge brokers. Yet, the findings also indicate weaknesses including paucity of critical learning objectives, solution-oriented research methodology, and follow-up research on implementation. Through the comparative design, the study reveals improvement strategies for the identified challenges and provides guidance for design and redesign of PPBL courses.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013-04-23

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Continuing Professional Development in Sustainability Education for K-12 Teachers: Principles, Programme, Applications, Outlook

Description

The next generation will be better prepared to cope with the daunting sustainability challenges if education for sustainable development is being taught and learned across educational sectors. K-12 school education

The next generation will be better prepared to cope with the daunting sustainability challenges if education for sustainable development is being taught and learned across educational sectors. K-12 school education will play a pivotal role in this process, most prominently, the teachers serving at these schools. While pre-service teachers’ education will contribute to this transition, success will depend on effective professional development in sustainability education to teachers currently in service. Arizona State University has pioneered the development and delivery of such a programme. We present the design principles, the programme, and insights from its initial applications that involved 246 K-12 in-service teachers from across the USA. The evaluation results indicate that due to participation in the programme, sustainability knowledge, perception of self-efficacy, inclusion of sustainability in the classroom, modelling of sustainable behaviours, and linking action to content all increased. We conclude with recommendations for the widespread adopting of the programme.

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Date Created
  • 2018-07-13

Learning Through Evaluation: A Tentative Evaluative Scheme for Sustainability Transition Experiments

Description

Transitions towards sustainability are urgently needed to address the interconnected challenges of economic development, ecological integrity, and social justice, from local to global scales. Around the world, collaborative science-society initiatives

Transitions towards sustainability are urgently needed to address the interconnected challenges of economic development, ecological integrity, and social justice, from local to global scales. Around the world, collaborative science-society initiatives are forming to conduct experiments in support of sustainability transitions. Such experiments, if carefully designed, provide significant learning opportunities for making progress on transition efforts. Yet, there is no broadly applicable evaluative scheme available to capture this critical information across a large number of cases, and to guide the design of transition experiments. To address this gap, the article develops such a scheme, in a tentative form, drawing on evaluative research and sustainability transitions scholarship, alongside insights from empirical cases. We critically discuss the scheme's key features of being generic, comprehensive, operational, and formative. Furthermore, we invite scholars and practitioners to apply, reflect and further develop the proposed tentative scheme – making evaluation and experiments objects of learning.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-09-03

Mitigating Urban Sprawl Effects: A Collaborative Tree and Shade Intervention in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Description

Communities in Phoenix are confronted with numerous challenges that adversely affect human health and safety, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities. While some challenges are being addressed at the city

Communities in Phoenix are confronted with numerous challenges that adversely affect human health and safety, with disproportionate impacts on low-income communities. While some challenges are being addressed at the city level, new alliances at the neighbourhood level are initiating community development programmes and projects. This article reports on an intervention study carried out in collaboration with community representatives, city staff, and non-profit organisations to mitigate adverse effects of urban sprawl in the Sky Harbour Neighbourhood in Phoenix. Participatory research was conducted to design and test a tree and shade intervention. Challenges associated with navigating community desires and broader principles of sustainable development are discussed. The study offers a replicable and adaptable intervention research design aimed at empowering communities to meet urban challenges.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05-01

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Financing Sustainable Businesses: A Tool for Identifying Finance Options for Micro-Small Sustainable Food Enterprises in Arizona

Description

This thesis project was conducted to create a practical tool to help micro and small local food enterprises identify potential strategies and sources of finance. Currently, many of these enterprises

This thesis project was conducted to create a practical tool to help micro and small local food enterprises identify potential strategies and sources of finance. Currently, many of these enterprises are unable to obtain the financial capital needed to start-up or maintain operations.

Sources and strategies of finance studied and ultimately included in the tool were Loans, Equity, Membership, Crowdfunding, and Grants. The tool designed was a matrix that takes into account various criteria of the business (e.g. business lifecycle, organizational structure, business performance) and generates a financial plan based on these criteria and how they align with the selected business strategies. After strategies are found, stakeholders can search through an institutional database created in conjunction with the matrix tool to find possible institutional providers of financing that relate to the strategy or strategies found.

The tool has shown promise in identifying sources of finance for micro and small local food enterprises in practical use with hypothetical business cases, however further practical use is necessary to provide further input and revise the tool as needed. Ultimately, the tool will likely become fully user-friendly and stakeholders will not need the assistance of another expert helping them to use it. Finally, despite the promise of the tool itself, the fundamental and underlying problem that many of these businesses face (lack of infrastructure and knowledge) still exists, and while this tool can also help capacity-building efforts towards both those seeking and those providing finance, an institutional attitude adjustment towards social and alternative enterprises is necessary in order to further simplify the process of obtaining finance.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

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Community Collective Action: A Case Study Documentary on Phoenix's Sky Harbor Neighborhood Association

Description

This project aims to provide a contextualized history of the Sky Harbor Neighborhood Association‟s community collective action efforts. The Sky Harbor Neighborhood (SHN) of East Phoenix is bounded on the

This project aims to provide a contextualized history of the Sky Harbor Neighborhood Association‟s community collective action efforts. The Sky Harbor Neighborhood (SHN) of East Phoenix is bounded on the West by 24th St., on the East by 32nd St., on the North by Roosevelt St., and the South by Washington Street. SHN is a majority Latino, low-income, working class community (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010) that faces a variety of challenges including low walkability due to inadequate pedestrian infrastructure, low tree coverage, and crime. East Van Buren St., which has a reputation for being one of Phoenix‟s red-light districts, splits the neighborhood in two. In addition, the SHN lacks some key amenities such as grocery stores and is partly considered a food desert by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA Economic Research Service, 2012).

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Date Created
  • 2012-12

A Business Accelerator Model for Advancing Sustainability Transformations

Description

Multi-scalar, integrated and transformational solutions are necessary to address the complex problems of climate change and sustainable development. Cities are using urban living labs to develop and test such solutions;

Multi-scalar, integrated and transformational solutions are necessary to address the complex problems of climate change and sustainable development. Cities are using urban living labs to develop and test such solutions; however, the pace of transformation does not yet match the urgency of the problems at hand. In business, accelerators are used to advance new and potentially transformational enterprises, giving fresh ideas an advantage over more established competition, thereby accelerating the pace of change. This article examines the accelerator model and considers its adaptation to urban living labs. From the literature, a multi-scalar business accelerator model is proposed that addresses both individual and system interventions to advance sustainability transformations. Also proposed is a formative-evaluation framework to guide effective implementation of the accelerator model. This article concludes with recommendations for scholars and practitioners working on urban living labs to utilize business accelerators to advance sustainability transformations.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2019-04-24