This is the third post focused on the "Enabling the future we want: education for sustainable development in the UK – a manifesto for dialogue, collaboration and action post Rio+20". It looks at the connection between ESD and the economy. It begins like this:
Emphasise the connection between ESD and the economy – both the need for a thriving Green and Fair Economy, and the reassessment of the effectiveness of GDP as a global tool to measure progress, moving towards a GDP+ framework, highlight the need for ESD. We are calling for:
Increased collaboration between governments, NGOs, business and education sectors to ensure young people are sufficiently prepared for the opportunities and challenges of a Green and Fair Economy.
- Professional, statutory and regulatory bodies to continue to recognise the importance of sustainability in their guidelines
- Business Schools to take an active role in the realignment of the economy with planetary boundaries and poverty eradication
Of course, we need greater connections and collaborations – but some specifics would have helped. What is it about "ESD and the economy" that the authors had in mind? As drafted, this is mostly motherhood and apple pie stuff: after all, who's going to be agin more collaboration for useful social ends? In terms of what's being called for, however, adding the notion of a 'fair economy' to the already problematic idea of a 'green' one will cause some confusion, particularly as 'fair' is never explained. 'Fair' to whom? To everyone, I suppose? But can we really all be winners, or even break even, in the process of moving to a more sustainable society? Discuss ...
As to the actions, it's hard to know what the second one means. There will be much scratching of business school heads over this – if they have bothered to read it, of course. I wonder how many business schools were consulted over this. I suspect I know the answer.
As to the first action: "to continue to recognise …", well, the implication of this call for 'continuation' suggests that all's quite ok, thanks; that all these bodies are doing fine, are on track, making all the right demands, etc. It's just a question of 'continuing'. But this is complacent nonsense. Or is it just poor drafting? My money's on the latter as the authors have form. This section has a hurried look, as if there was never quite time to get it right. Such a pity.