It’s been a while, since I wrote a blog and the blogs I have written are about IxESN, but I’d like to make a change this time. As you may know half of the board follows a course in period 3 and the other half in period 4. I’m doing a course now and I’d really like to tell you a bit about it. By the way, it’s so weird to do a course and focus on that fully, it’s half enjoyable because I genuinely enjoy studying (nerd), but I also miss my boardies like crazy.

The course is called empowerment for sustainability, it’s an elective course, which means that it’s not included in any study programme, you have to choose it. Because of that we had a really small class of super motivated people, which was really nice all by itself. I study management and consumer studies, so I’m used to huge lecture rooms and professors having no idea who I am. The aim of the course was to raise awareness, but also to help you to think critically about sustainability. Ultimately it is meant to empower you to take action.

The reason I wanted to share my thoughts about the course with you is because I’d like to do (even a little bit) for you what the course did for me. It made me think critically about sustainability and all the concepts attached to that. Did you know that the word sustainability on its own is already a source of confusion and problems? We started the course with trying to distil our view of what sustainability is and we spent a whole lecture on that. To explain the term sustainability I personally find this diagram very helpful (bottom of the page), but that’s more my personal understanding. Sustainable for me means that one thing supports and doesn’t harm the other thing. More widely used however is the definition by the Brundtland Commission, in 1987 they defined sustainable development in a report for the World Commission on Environment and Development.

“Sustainable development is the kind of development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Do me a favour and spend a couple of minutes discussing the previous quote with someone, or just think about it by yourself. Do you agree? If you agree, how do you suppose the needs of the future can be predicted? If you disagree, what do you feel is sustainability and sustainable development? Do those two go hand in hand? These are questions that we learned to ask and discussed during the course (amongst many others).

I feel really grateful right now to have a platform like this blog to share these thoughts on, because this course was honestly very special. I haven’t made up my mind yet about the definition of sustainability or about what I’m going to change to behave more sustainable, but it has made me think about this topic that I hadn’t before. I’ve received tools to tackle this subject, now the only thing that remains is to actually start doing just that. Read more about the topic, talk about it and figure out ways to take action, however small, every day. I hope that today, with this blog, I made a small change within your attitude or at least or maybe even more importantly, made you think about it.

If you’re still with me, thanks for reading and don’t worry, next blog will be about silly dogs and IxESN again.