A HIGHER PURPOSE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION

….in order to act as a driver for change, education itself needs to change, to become transformative, to change values and behaviours. ( Leicht, Combes, Byun, Agbedahin 2018, p29).Steve Sterling and I recently argued in a short paper for the International Association of Universities( https://iau-aiu.net/IAU-Horizons) that in our experience there is a growing and urgentContinue reading “A HIGHER PURPOSE FOR HIGHER EDUCATION”

IS ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY A TRANSFORMATIVE UNIVERSITY?

I once wrote a book review on effective executive sustainability leadership in our universities in which I declared that, in my experience, there were none who could live up to this accomplishment. I can now report that there is at least one: Michael M Crow, the President of Arizona State University. Today I listened toContinue reading “IS ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY A TRANSFORMATIVE UNIVERSITY?”

NEW WAYS of THINKING AND ACTING in the ANTHROPOCENE

Guest Blog by Barry Carney: MSc (Centre for Alternative Technology, UK); Change Agents UK research associate. In the age of the Anthropocene, we urgently need new ways of thinking and acting. Economists are predicting that biophysical limits will determine the post-growth world and, as things stand, this will be characterised by mass migration, profound naturalContinue reading “NEW WAYS of THINKING AND ACTING in the ANTHROPOCENE”

IDEAS FOR A GROWN-UP ECONOMY

As we enter week 8 of the lock down, along with thoughts of returning to work or sending children back to school, there is a growing chorus of voices talking about the need for a new form of economics. One of these voices is called the Wellbeing Alliance (WEALL for short: https://wellbeingeconomy.org/ ) WEALL isContinue reading “IDEAS FOR A GROWN-UP ECONOMY”

THE HIDDEN POWER OF SYSTEMS THINKING Governance in a Climate Emergency

In many of my recent blogs I have begun to focus on how we can implement transformational change. During my time as the CEO of a new company in the fastest growing city in the UK- Milton Keynes in the late 1990s, I found myself engaging with some of the foremost creative and influential academicsContinue reading “THE HIDDEN POWER OF SYSTEMS THINKING Governance in a Climate Emergency”

TRANSITIONING FROM THE PANDEMIC: Sound Advice from the OECD

As governments proceed to reduce the lock down measures implemented to contain Covid-19 they are being encouraged to implement a 5-step decision making framework which takes account of longer-term impacts of climate change. We do not need gung-ho business as usual changes which stimulate carbon intensive industrial and consumption growth, knowing only to well thatContinue reading “TRANSITIONING FROM THE PANDEMIC: Sound Advice from the OECD”

SHOULD UNIVERSITIES BE A FORCE FOR SOCIAL GOOD?

Imagine if a university totally reoriented itself around redeveloping its locality. It would only offer teaching and research directly relevant to this mission. It might bring in local employers, partner with private training providers, and only carry out research that would benefit its local communities.This idea by a leading consultancy firm was headlined in theContinue reading “SHOULD UNIVERSITIES BE A FORCE FOR SOCIAL GOOD?”

The Intelligence Trap: Why do clever people make stupid mistakes?

I have argued that our universities are not yet addressing, at scale and urgency, some of the systemic existential issues of our time. We are currently facing the Covid-19 pandemic and our collective understanding of this crisis is woefully inadequate. And this underpins some of the ill-judged policy decisions made in response to its impact.Continue reading “The Intelligence Trap: Why do clever people make stupid mistakes?”

What is a Climate Emergency?

Many of our governing bodies at both national and local levels are declaring a climate emergency. But what does this mean? Do we carry on as before or are we meant to do something differently? We usually think of an emergency as some event that has happened that requires an urgent need for action toContinue reading “What is a Climate Emergency?”

2020 – TEN YEARS TO SAVE THE PLANET!

This is the front-page headline carried by the Daily Mirror on New Year’s Day. Will this be the year transformative change happens? Or will we face another decade of business as usual?  One relatively simple test of our current trends in decarbonising our lifestyles is to ask ourselves this question: How many cars can theContinue reading “2020 – TEN YEARS TO SAVE THE PLANET!”