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Sustainability in Education: Second Nature
Second Nature was founded in Boston in 1993 by a small group of forward-thinking leaders that included: Dr. Anthony D. Cortese, Senator John F. Kerry (D-MA), Teresa Heinz Kerry, Bruce Droste, and others. This group developed Second Nature, an organization dedicated to bringing about the change in society that is vital to the success and livelihood of every current and future living being: a change for a just and sustainable future.
Second Nature envisions a world in which all present and future humans are healthy, have their basic needs met, have fair and equitable access to Earth's resources, and have a decent quality of life. We imagine a sustainable world.
In a sustainable world, we imagine society would celebrate cultural diversity and increase the biological diversity and complexity of the ecosystems on which we all depend. Simultaneously, we would have stabilized population and resource consumption at a level that is within the carrying capacity of Earth's ecosystems. To attain this, we must reinvent the world socially, economically and environmentally.
A sustained, long-term effort to transform education at all levels is critical to the change in mindset necessary to achieve this vision. Higher education has the power to lead in this endeavor by exercising its role in training future leaders, teachers and other professionals and in producing wisdom needed to face the challenges of an increasingly complex world.
A transformative educational experience will be essential in creating the shift in thinking, values and action necessary for a healthy, just and environmentally sustainable society. In shaping education for the twenty-first century, we envision a new framework for learning in which higher education would operate as a fully integrated community that models social and biological sustainability itself and in its interdependence with the local, regional and global community.
Suggested Readings on Sustainability
The following are a selection of suggested readings on sustainability. In addition you may also want to consult Second Nature's writings.
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