Dr. Nitin Patwa is deputy director of the undergraduate program and director of simulations at SP Jain School of Global Management in Dubai, which offers a unique try city undergraduate program in Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, and Sydney.
Managing our ecology and building a sustainable future is one of humanity’s core problems in this rapidly changing world. Three essential components must be balanced for sustainable development: social inclusion, economic growth, and environmental protection. All these factors are linked to the welfare of individuals and societies.
Consolidated efforts are required for sustainable development to create an inclusive, sustainable, and resilient future by organizations, culture, society, and, very importantly, the students. Particularly for the younger generation, who must understand concepts like economic prosperity, resource equality, energy consumption, and environmental health and challenges, education on sustainability is becoming more and more crucial. Although educational institutions are where sustainability education begins, it must become ingrained in the curriculum, extracurricular, and daily activities. Education should also equip students who understand the value of living, have the awareness, skills, and motivation to do so, and appreciate the concept of minimalism.
Education directly affects student’s behaviours and attitudes; it affects their perception and attitudes toward the environment and other social causes. Knowledge acquired also involves what they buy and how they perceive value. Therefore, education makes one more concerned about the ecology welfare concerning student’s behaviour. Psychographic profiling has shown that conscious behaviour towards ecological practices is dynamically related to their level of education.
However, to respond to global challenges, they must be given the tools necessary to think systemically and creatively to help solve pressing societal issues. Whether it is an economic or a social cause, proper and efficient communication about a cause and its effects can motivate and shape behaviour. Effective CSR communication also encourages individual’s active participation in a reason during a crisis. With social media now in vogue, they have become active channels for influencing individual and social behaviours and attitudes.
There is growing interest in integrating sustainable development goals into higher education courses (SDGs) to inspire the next generation to work for sustainable development. Raising knowledge of chances to build local solutions, a motivation or drive to make those solutions, and the organizational abilities to implement these solutions in context are all part of education for sustainable development (ESD). Students must acquire practical skills in a way that is consistent with the most current academic requirements. As these courses are added to the academic curriculum, conceptual frameworks focus on theoretical comprehension.
The UN’s Principles of Management Education (PRME) project, introduced in 2007, has made it easier for business schools worldwide to include sustainability in their curricula. As a result, studies on sustainable management education have significantly increased. The importance of education in promoting sustainable development is acknowledged on a global scale. This led to the recognition of numerous scholarly declarations, charters, agreements, reports, and treaties on sustainability. Higher education schools/institutions are on a sustainable journey; some just set out, while others are further along. Reflecting on the influence and efficacy of university sustainability initiatives is convenient as sustainability is becoming more prevalent at schools. These institutions have adopted sustainability as a driver of change within higher education institutions and realized it beyond their borders.
More than only campus greening initiatives are part of a commitment to sustainability, transformative teaching, cross- and trans-disciplinary research, a focus on social problem-solving, networks, university leadership, and a vision that encourages proactive responses to society-changing demands are essential traits of sustainable institutions.