Our flow into a more just and sustainable future — both as individuals and as a society — requires that we engage with others to understand current issues and to craft effective solutions to environmental problems. This seemingly simple statement is, in fact, complex in execution. “Engagement” requires open-minded listening to the views of others as well as persuasive communication about our own views. To “understand current issues” requires that one think critically about both facts and attitudes across a range of lenses used to understand any issue, including history, culture, politics, and environmental science. Only with a truly interdisciplinary perspective to understanding the narrative of how an issue came into being in a particular place can the solutions that will move us forward from the present be seen or effectively advanced. And to “craft effective solutions” requires more than just knowing the scientific facts and the sociopolitical history of an issue. It requires people who have the skills needed to become effective agents of change. It requires leaders.
The School of the Environment seeks to be a doorway into a learning environment that will help students become the environmental leaders of the future. And this blog, The Stream, is one of the tools we intend to use to promote engagement, understanding, and leadership. We don’t think of the School as an isolated six-week experience that comes into being each June and then disappears again in August. The School is an on-going … and growing … network of people who want to be a part of creating that just and sustainable future. The Stream is our way to keep the conversation going and to build the community.
Posts on The Stream will largely focus on topics related to the classes we will be teaching in the upcoming year, so if you are a prospective student, you can get a good sense of what you will be exposed to at the School. We will also post on topics about leadership skills, social change, and the School itself. And I have every expectation that it will grow over time and adapt to meet the needs of students, alumni, and anyone who wants to be part of this community.
Welcome to The Stream.