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Student Stories

Sustainability beyond the buzzword

This article was originally published by Verve Magazine. You can read the full article on Verve’s website.

With articles, packaging, movements, and conversations in sustainability everywhere you go, it’s hard to know where to start in learning about the globe-sized topic.

Often it can seem as if a brand is a shining beacon of ethical consumption, then you later hear that isn’t the case and they were faking their environmental points for cachet… so it’s easy to become cynical.

And though it’s good to know that businesses can be fined up to $600,000 if found guilty of false environmental claims, it can still be tricky to navigate the supermarket aisle or online shopping space with so many brands that look green but aren’t as squeaky clean as they seem.

The Mind Lab seeks to remedy this with their Leading Beyond Sustainability Micro-credential – an eight-week online course designed to fit in alongside full-time work.

“Leading Beyond Sustainability is a course focused on supporting students to explore diverse and holistic approaches to enhancing genuine, authentic sustainability,” says Hayley Sparks, the National Academic Manager for The Mind Lab. “Contemporary perspectives on sustainability, including systems thinking, indigenous and collaborative approaches to leadership for sustainability, and the role of scientific evidence and education, are covered.”

Hayley Sparks, National Academic Manager for The Mind Lab

The idea is that anyone can take the course to develop the knowledge, awareness, and capability to avoid greenwashing and take steps toward real, genuine, sustainability in their everyday lives – as well as in their business.

“Sustainability has become a bit of a buzzword,” says Hayley. “However, it is important to question and think critically about how that is achieved, and whether being sustainable is enough. Hence the title of this micro-credential being ‘Leading Beyond Sustainability’.

Leading Beyond Sustainability is a course focused on supporting students to explore diverse and holistic approaches to enhancing genuine, authentic sustainability

“It is also important to consider different perspectives on sustainability, and the way in which indigenous perspectives can provide a lot of insights and learnings.”

It’s a heavy topic, and it can often seem overwhelming – certainly for Anna Reid, a copywriter for Tech Futures Lab and recent graduate of the course, the course was a balm to a growing sense of helplessness around climate matters. “I was learning about what is happening, the speed at which the world is changing, and I felt rather helpless,” she says.

“Sustainability, at first glance, felt like a move in the right direction. But when you break down what sustainability means, it’s about retaining the status quo and that is not what we need. We need radical systems changes, we need an overhaul of our values structures, we need to regenerate.”

Anna Reid, copywriter for Tech Futures Lab and recent graduate of the course

This article was originally published by Verve Magazine. You can read the full article on Verve’s website.

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