THIS DOCUMENT IS A WORK IN PROGRESS
Change Management in the Context of “Human Sustainability”
A Curriculum Designed for Emerging Adults (college)
Who is this for?
Students who want to have a clearer sense of personal mission and purpose related to repairing homo sapiens’ mark on Planet Earth, and who want to actively and effectively engage in that repair.
Part 1: Reframing the Issues: Wrestling with Worldviews
Part 2: Personal Effectiveness: Values, Commitment and Motivation
Part 3: Community Cohesion: Solutions and Action
Each part is outlined below with
Each session will include a brief meditation practice.
There will be at least one extended “nature in the wild” experience in each Part.
There will be Intake and Exit surveys to gauge course impact.
PART ONE Reframing the Issues: Wrestling with Worldviews
So much confusion around terms and topics can lead to ineffective action or inaction.
Transdisciplinary perspectives* promote advanced critical thinking.
Fine-tuning a personal worldview supports intrinsic motivation at act.*
Core framing paradigms and worldviews, including
Students will be challenged to fine-tune their own worldview by engaging with the paradigms above. Example: assignments will include questions such as What do you (strongly) agree with? What do you (strongly) disagree with? What piques your curiosity? What makes you uncomfortable? Assignment also includes a personal waste mitigation practice challenge.
Exploring our relationship with...
Exploring our relationship with...
PART TWO Personal Effectiveness: Values, Commitment and Motivation
Unused personal resources are wasted energy.
Knee-jerk reactions often get us into trouble.
Heightened awareness about how what inspires, attracts, distracts and repels us allows us to more intentionally set our course and make better decisions about how we spend our time,** leading to a richer and more meaningful, engaged, fulfilled life.
Personal (adulting-oriented) Coach
Framed in a 6-worlds*** model (physical, emotional, social, intellectual, sensual, spiritual worlds), students will respond to personal assessment questions related to strengths, challenges, triggers and preferences.
How and when do you manifest your best self?
How will you best manifest your best self in your repair work?
PART THREE Community Cohesion: Solutions and Action
Good intentions without adequate resources will not move us forward
Good intentions without effective community support will not move us forward.
Communities are large ecosystems with energy constantly flowing between members
Taking advantage of and contributing to this flow increases the probability of success*
Project Shepherd and Community Catalyst
Invite active feedback
Stay open to passive/observational feedback
*The 3 ½ Critical Factors for Successful Action
**”How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” (Annie Dillard)
***Modified from Lurianic Kabbalah 4-Worlds model of Physical, Emotional, Intellectual and Spiritual worlds
Possible academic ecosystems for this curriculum
This curriculum is designed to take people through a process of understanding the issues, clarifying their values and their most effective personal style, and ultimately joining with others to spring their good intentions into powerful, meaningful action. Highlights include “Exploring our Relationship with Convenience, Consumption, Separateness and Resilience” and lots of out-in-nature time in order to experience universal sensuality and tune-in to natural rhythms.
A strong/healthy community ecosystem where personal and institutional regenerativity and resilience are continuously nourished and cultivated.
To bring power to a new wave of community engagement in projects related to human sustainability.
All efforts related to human sustainability are placed into a comprehensive diagram, a constellation of a strong and healthy community ecosystem.
Rich with content and process, structure and intention, including models such as behavioral economics (human motivation) and deep ecology (e.g. understanding the mycelial/life connections in the forest).
To prepare, we define Human Sustainability and “Why Bother?“
We identify our best modes of personal and organizational effectiveness.
The deeper level of sustainable and regenerative content will be guided and informed by the projects selected (see “Project Examples“ below).
“In-Residence” Delivery Platform
My personal lifestyle goal (“how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives") is to be a visiting Activator/Catalyst/Shepherd-in-Residence in communities around the country, working across ages and institutions.
My intention is to set-up an effective place-based mechanism to activate individuals, catalyze the community and shepherd projects. I will immerse in the local culture and offer my approach to regenerative practice to the mix, including lots of time “out in nature”in order to learn and experience universal sensuality and deep ecology. I will also offer follow-up tracking/check-in to support ongoing success of projects and activities initiated during my residency.
For example, while in residence, I may be connected with a combination of the following: a fourth grade class, an eighth grade class, a high school club, a university course, a municipal department, a local civic organization, a nonprofit, and a corporate organization. With each of these groups, I would activate/catalyze/shepherd community engagement in human sustainability projects and activities of their choosing.
In working with a class or club, after they learn about issues that challenge human sustainability, I will lead them to clarify their own values and priorities, and guide them them to understand what motivates them personally and in what settings they are most effective. After brainstorming possible projects, my focus shifts to 100% support of chosen projects. Let’s say that they (or a sub-group) choose a project such as composting food waste from their cafeteria. We would target critical research topics, incorporate skills of project management and strengthen strategic alliances with community partners in order to plan and implement the composting project.
Another example for older students or adult community members might be getting involved in local or regional policy, possibly related to stormwater management or nighttime lighting regulations. In this case deep skills would be more oriented to credible research and building a persuasive case while identifying and cultivating allies throughout the community.
How to anchor this project?
This is my current challenge.
Will it work best anchoring in a school system?
National or international sustainability organization?
About the Author
Sarah Gabriel has been learning and teaching about "Human Sustainability" - the flow of energy and resources that keep us healthy - for decades. She finds deep nourishment in the Aha! moments that expand our world view.