Though it's hardly a Sydney Carton moment, it is a selfless gesture nonetheless. I have given up a place at the launch of education for sustainable development: guidance for UK higher education providers, so that someone whose need to learn about ESD in universities is greater even than mine – hard though that might be for some to imagine.
It's this Friday, October 17th, and is 5 hours long. 5 hours! Some launch; the Titanic sank in half this time. Surely a steeper slipway could have been found.
The flier for the launch says:
" ...this event provides an opportunity to hear from representatives of the key organisations involved in its development. Speakers will introduce the guidance and outline the work that each organisation does to support higher education providers in this area."
So, that's why 5 hours are needed; every key character in the drama needs time to promote themselves and their preferred interpretations – such is the degree of competitiveness that runs through all this.
Anyway, it will be a great success as all such QAA gatherings are required to be. But, how should the more objectively-minded evaluate the event? Here's a suggestion using Gresham's ARDR scale:
Admirable – where >50% of attendees knew next to nothing about ESD before they came
Reasonable – where >25% were in that happy state
Disappointing – where >75% of those attending already know each other
Risible – where those involved in drafting the guidance are >80% of the audience.
As for me, I'm spending the day writing a piece comparing what this guidance says (and the emerging international critique of it) with ideas coming out of Canada and Australia. Compelling!