Empowering Mindset Transformation

At the moment, I am working  with a new team of teachers to be a part of developing a new course about global challenges on a new program we have at our business school. In my talks with different lecturers who have experience teaching in different universities in different countries, most disclose difficulties when trying to change even the smallest part of a higher education activity. For many, the process of designing and establishing a program and syllabus are in the hands of those who follow the bureaucratic traditions at universities. Instead some choose a bottom up approach to influence a transformation in mindsets for sustainability education. While many may not be on board (yet) there can be a great influence from the success had with new approaches to higher education.

I plan to include an experiential activity with a reflection assessment. The students explore their own understanding of sustainability in organisations and their own sustainability competencies. Art will be used as a source for inspiration for students to discuss possible solutions to the sustainability challenges they identify. The ideas come from others who have shared their expereinces with me and openly discussed what has worked well and what has been challenging. Do you have a community where you can share your ideas?

At the European Symposium for Sustainability in Business Education, Research and Practice, a lecturer group, led by Liam Campling at Queen Mary University of London, presented their new program design, which creates new opportunities for students to gain an education fit for their purpose. A student-centred approach to a higher education. Other lectures have gone further to suggest a whole new approach to an international exchange where students drive their own courses through a transdisciplinary approach to education. Whether we are struggling to transform within traditional education or pitching new ideas of program design to traditional minds in higher education, or pushing the boundaries of higher education design where the students  create what they need, we all make steps forward toward an advanced education for sustainability. Well done!

We have also met with an Executive Coach, Carina Vinberg, who discussed her work at Values.se with organisations that develop values understanding for individuals and teams. The work is based on a from of assessment that ask participants to rank values most important to them.  The tool was designed in Lund, Sweden and has devloped over several decades. The participants use story-telling to help the group reflect on each other’s interpretations of their values. People can create deeper connections in a short space of time and transform mindsets by a better understanding of who they are working with and what type of organisation they work in together.

Working with the results of an assessment as formative information about how students understand their sustainability competencies in real time, helps the students to better understand their mindset for sustainability. Over time, as we assess the students, they will be able to follow their own path to better understand how their sustainability competencies develop during their studies. This reflection work will help empower students to act for sustainability in their daily life and future career. How have you helped your students to gain the confidence to act for sustainability? How can we help each other to help our students to gain the confidence to transform mindsets?

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