Over many Thursday evenings this Autumn my colleagues and I from the Collaborative Leadership for Sustainability group have explored many different topics and had the opportunity to meet many talented and passionate people and become a part of the social network – community. This community of people spreads around the globe from the UK to as far away as Guatemala, Nunavut and Nunatsiavut. These people who in spite of being thousands of miles apart, stay connected and are passionate about sustainability, leadership and making a difference.
Every other Thursday evening we meet to learn and discuss various topics concerning sustainability and leadership. We started by looking at and discussing what sustainability means to us. Sustainability is a buzz word these days and means something different to everyone. Our world is in need of great care and our protection if we want to save its beauties, its functions and to preserve the protection it has been giving us over millions of years.
We have covered topics such as identity, values, attitudes and behaviours. I have explored and learned about sustainability from a social, environmental and economic perspective and how to apply these complicated concepts to real world sustainability issues such as climate change, biodiversity or poverty.
We are not isolated individuals, but we are part of a global community and living in a complex and interconnected world in which actions and situations touch and affect all of us on every level. I have also become more aware of the fact that I am the agent of change. As Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”.
Two sessions were devoted to examining how we could become better leaders and how our leaderships could affect sustainability. How could we grow as a leader and demonstrate awareness of our own aspirations and resilience. Developing connectedness is a key issue because improving connectedness to you as well as to others through mindful meditation and focused conversation can make a real difference in the global community.
We had the pleasure of meeting Enrico Wensing of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University and the Caribbean Green Technology Centre at the University of the Virgin Islands who gave us some fascinating insights into the development of sustainability and the role of leaderships within it. On many occasions he joined us via Skype showing how easy it is to connect across the globe and updated us on his research and contributed to the topics we were learning about.
It has been a most useful and thought provoking course. As Einstein said:
‘We cannot solve problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’