Green Gown Awards 2015 Learning and Skills - Canterbury Christ Church University - Finalist

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The Futures Initiative:  Our deep-rooted education commitment to the Rio 20+ Global Sustainability Goals: from seeds to roots

The Futures Initiative (FI) mission is to enhance academic staff knowledge, skills and experience in sustainability education to breed leadership in curriculum change. 

Over the past three years the FI has funded 65 projects, engaging hundreds of staff, students and volunteers in planning and delivering new courses and institution wide engagement in the formal and informal curriculum. 

The result is evidence of change beginning to happen, a ground swell from all branches of the organisation that are flourishing to meet the University’s sustainability-related strategic aims.

The FI is underpinned by the conviction that critical and creative engagement with sustainability is an essential component of a balanced university education, and that a forward-looking curriculum will be imbued with a spirit of both optimism and pragmatism.

Top 3 learnings

1 Recognise the importance of building staff capability and capacity relating to sustainability education

2 Value an ‘honest’ approach, which recognises the complexity and messiness of the terrain, and which acknowledges and learns from failures, as well as its successes

3 Acknowledge that staff development happens slowly in unpredictable ways; so enable an informal and organic environment.