Sustainability in Higher Education: An Agenda for Transformational Change: A Manifesto for Change and ‘Third-way’ People

Session 1. Sustainability in Higher Education: An Agenda for Transformational Change: A Manifesto for Change and ‘Third-way’ People

Tuesday, June 7th, 9:00 – 10:30 Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)

Description

Higher education (HE) is essential for the transformative change of sustainable development (SD). Adopted as a driver of change within HE institutions (HEIs) and/or realized beyond their walls, HEIs are on a sustainability journey – some are just setting out, while others are further along – no one institution has yet arrived.

Sustainability-led transformation may take place at the level of the institution, organization, culture, place (anchor), and/or students. Different local and national contexts, institutional archetypes, and academic missions influence the pursuit of SD in and by HEIs. But HEIs must change – what they do, how they do it, and with whom. Relatively incremental and small-scale projects will not deliver on the new ways demanded by the challenges of the Anthropocene – certainly not fast enough. We need to ‘power-up’ to realize fully the transformational potential of HE as a route for SD.

A manifesto for change in HE[1] relies on new leadership and governance models and ‘third-way’ professionals, i.e., those able to traverse academic and professional domains to advance pan-HEI projects. The session will explore a 10-point manifesto for change in the context of articulating definitions of ‘boundary spanning people, able to navigate the inherent tensions of bounded discipline-based scholarly communities, professional domain groupings, and students from all fields to advance sustainability projects that are multi-faceted, unbounded and emergent.

[1] Purcell, W. M. & Haddock-Fraser, J. (2023). Handbook of Sustainability in Higher Education: An Agenda for Transformational Change. Bloomsbury Press.

Session organiser

Presenters

  • Julie Newman, Director of Sustainability, MIT
  • Julio Lumbreras, Professor, Technical University of Madrid (UPM)
  • Dave Gorman, Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability, The University of Edinburgh
  • Shana Weber, Director, Office of Sustainability and Lecturer, High Meadows Environmental Institute at Princeton University

Slides

Wendy Purcell
Julie Newman and Shana Weber
Julio Lumbreras

Relevant Links

Handbook on Sustainability in Higher Education: An Agenda for Transformational Change

Session recording

Coming soon

Other sessions

Radical Reforms for the Campus of the Future

Visualizing Societal Impact: Research and Education Dashboards of the Sustainable Development Goals

Accelerating Sustainability in Higher Education: Perspectives and Experiences from Latin American Universities

How to Report the Transformation in Higher Education for Global Sustainability

Embedding Climate Change Education within HEIs