Sustainability in brief

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Sustainability in brief


Understanding sustainability is critical to how we live as global citizens. But sustainability, and related terms like resilience, adaptive capacity and sustainable livelihoods, can be difficult to grasp for educators, students and lifelong learners.

Members of the Sustainability Community of Practice for Transformative Education (SCOPE) have shared their insights on foundational sustainability concepts in these 2–3 minute videos.

You can use them in your lectures, tutorials or to just refresh your understanding. Lifelong learning is an important aspect of sustainability and this gallery of sustainability vignettes will continue to develop over 2014.

Why sustainability?

Dr Dana Thomsen discusses the complexity, dynamism and everyday relevance of sustainability.

What is resilience?

Professor Tim Smith explains the evolving understanding of stability and change, and how systems thinking can build resilient communities.

Adaptive capacity – of what? To what?

Dr Noni Keys explains the importance of enhancing adaptive capacity in a climate changing world.

How do we govern for sustainability?

Dr Pedro Fidelman discusses how government, industry and other community interests manage to share critical environmental resources like the Great Barrier Reef.

What are sustainable livelihoods?

What happens when tradition meets sustainability? Professor Bill Carter discusses how we can choose sustainable livelihoods and achieve well-being.

Integrating sustainability across curricula

Theresa Ashford discusses sustainability learning activities and assessments that support educators and graduates as agents of social change.

Adaptation to climate change

Professor Tim Smith, Director of the Sustainability Research Centre, explains and compares three overarching responses to this challenge.

Surfboards and sustainability

PhD researcher, Tom Wegener, examines the links between the local surfboard industry and global trends in consumption and manufacturing.

Sustaining places

Professor Jennifer Carter's research explores our collective sense of place on the Sunshine Coast and the extent and nature of our place identity.

What is adaptive management?

Dr Chris Jacobson explains adaptive management which involves a systematic process of learning about the effectiveness of management actions and adjusting them accordingly. The complex nature of sustainability issues means that outcomes are often uncertain it is therefore an imperative to learn from our attempts to address them.

Sustainability for what and for whom?

Most people in the world eat what they grow or what they find in the environment close to where they live. This is the situation we find in rural locations in many poorer countries today. Professor Patrick Nunn's research address how sustainability fits into such a way of life.

Climate Change Adaptation and Water Governance (CADWAGO)

Reconciling food security, renewable energy and the provision of multiple ecosystem services.

Communicating climate change

Climate change is increasingly recognised as a super wicked problem. Associate Professor Dana Thomsen explores the challenges for climate change communication. Dana addresses that communication about climate change is about establishing a connection with others so that they think and feel a certain way.

Support for this resource has been provided by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching and a partnership between the University of the Sunshine Coast and the University of Tasmania. The views in this resource do not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching.

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