Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What is a Culture of Sustainabilty?

By Gamal Sherif 
Everyday, teachers work hard to foster passion, engagement, and equity into our schools. What do we need to make this work sustainable? What has to happen within our schools -- or within ourselves -- so that students and staff have beautiful environments that conserve energy and water, foster wellness, and advance social and economic justice?

On Saturday, October 15, 2016, Francine Locke, the Environmental Director at the School District of Philadelphia, and I will be hosting a workshop about sustainability at the Global Education Forum in Philadelphia, USA.
Our workshop, entitled GreenFutures - Local Action for Global Stewardship, will focus on how GreenFutures overlaps with the U.N.'s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). As part of our introduction, we're going to ask participants a series of questions that are designed to cultivate small-group discussion -- and more questions!
One of our first questions is: "What is a culture of sustainability?"

Beautiful green schools that engage students and staff do so, not because of solar panels, farm-to-cafeteria, or clean air and water, though these certainly do help! It's something else.
How would you describe a culture of sustainability? Let us know what you think via email, tweet, or the ProgressEd blog.

Or just feel it.


  1. This is a great question! I associate a culture of sustainability with well-being for all. Something that I call sustainable happiness. Happiness that contributes to individual, community, or global well-being without exploiting other people, the environment or future generations. I teach sustainable happiness and I find that approaching sustainability from a happiness and well-being perspective engages people in a powerful and meaningful way. By exploring their happiness and well-being and understanding how this is interconnected with other people and ecosystems they become motivated and inspired to live more sustainably. There a HUGE implications for education! I have created education resources that are available at no cost on my web site:sustainablehappiness.ca

  2. Thanks for the comments, Catherine. I've also been reading your book Education for Sustainable Happiness and Well-Being. More info. at http://sustainablehappiness.ca/