Higher Education Sustainability

Can Incomplete Streets Bridge Diversity and Sustainability Studies?

Over the last year or so Julian Agyeman and I have been hard at work putting together the just-released edited volume titled Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices, Possibilities. So far, the book is getting some pretty good buzz…

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Shorter showers or pipeline protests? The personal paradox in teaching Environmental Studies

What would you insist that a student taking an introductory environmental studies course learn? When I teach “Environment and Society,” the foundational course in the University of San Francisco’s Environmental Studies Program, I like to offer a final exam that asks students to read Forget Shorter Showers, a piece by Derrick Jensen that appeared in Orion way back in 2009. Then I ask students to critique Jensen’s argument that individuals taking shorter showers is NOT, ultimately, going to solve the environmental crisis. (more…)

What does Facebook’s controversial study have to do with sustainability?

If you’re not up to speed on the recent Facebook mood manipulation research controversy, check out Everything We Know About Facebook’s Secret Mood Manipulation Experiment at The Atlantic. OK, ready? Now read this Washington Post op-ed piece, Facebook’s controversial study is business as usual for tech companies but corrosive for universities, by NYU journalism professor, Jay Rosen, who also blogs at PressThink.

I’m rehashing much of it here not because I care about the specific ethical controversy at hand, but rather because it highlights so well the struggle of higher education to stay relevant in a rapidly changing world, a struggle that has everything to do with our urgent and collective need to transition to sustainability.