The Campus Sustainability Movement: A Strategic Perspective

Society is facing a crisis of un-sustainability. The sector of higher education is well poised to support transition to a sustainable society. This thesis assesses the efforts of the Campus Sustainability Movement (CSM) in the US and Canada relative to a Strategic Sustainable Development Framework. Key findings indicate that the CSM is utilizing tools and engaging in a variety of actions towards sustainability. However, it is largely failing to use systems thinking to understand the complex interrelationships of its actions. Most efforts lack a strategy, and when strategy is present, it follows more from barriers than from a long-term goal. Current efforts mostly focus on environmental sustainability. The authors present a backcasting from principles of sustainability approach …


1 Introduction
1.1 The role of Higher Education in Sustainable Development
1.2 The Campus Sustainability Movement
1.3 Aim and Scope
1.4 Research Questions
1.5 Limitations
2 Methodology
2.1 Iterative Approach
2.2 Conceptual Framework
2.2.1 Systems Thinking
2.2.2 Framework for Strategic Planning
2.2.3 SSD Framework
2.2.4 Human Needs
2.3 Research Methods
2.3.1 Phase One
2.3.2 Literature Review
2.3.3 Survey
2.3.4 Interviews
2.3.5 Phase Two
2.3.6 Web Blog
2.3.7 Vision Development
3 Results
3.1 Foci, Strengths and Weaknesses
3.2 System
3.2.1 Structural Barriers
3.2.2 Operational Barriers
3.2.3 Leverage points
3.3 Success
3.3.1 Common definitions
3.3.2 Principles, Conditions, Criteria
3.3.3 A need for a stronger vision?
3.3.4 Long-term goal
3.4 Strategy
3.4.1 Institutionalization
3.4.2 Focus on Process
3.4.3 Backcasting
3.4.4 On the ground
3.5 Actions
3.6 Tools
3.6.1 Current breadth
3.6.2 Importance of Assessment
3.7 Phase Two
3.7.1 Web Blog
3.7.2 Vision Development
4 Discussion
4.1 Strength and Focus
4.2 Emphasis on Barriers
4.3 Defining the destination
4.3.1 The Limitations of Brundtland
4.3.2 Environmental Focus
4.3.3 What is the goal?
4.3.4 A common vision?
4.3.5 A need for a goal?
4.3.6 Potential for Strengthening
Planning for Sustainability
4.4.1 Backcasting
4.4.2 Process Management
4.5 Towards a Needs-based Vision
4.6 Validity
5 Conclusion
Interviews Conducted
Cited References
Additional References

Author: Michael Henson, Merlina Missimer, Stephen Muzzy

Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology

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