The Guardian ran a piece the other day about The Crystal. They termed it: 'Children of change: empowering learners through education for sustainable development'. Control of the contents was not the Guardian's, but rested with The Crystal which is a sponsor of the Guardian Sustainable Business Awards and the business futures hub. Contributors to the piece used the opportunity to promote ESD. How odd, then, that the Crystal doesn't mention this in its educational materials which, more oddly still, perhaps, are located on the Siemens website. But, hey, this is the new London whose iconic buildings are increasingly part of the globalised – or neo-liberal, according to taste – world.
The teacher materials might not mention ESD, but they are all about teaching about sustainability in and through The Crystal. They are full of references to sustainability and cities: population, urbanisation, climate change, energy, smart grids, waste, well-being, transport, and democracy. They promise a rich experience.
What to make of this conundrum? Is the Crystal completely out of touch? Or is it that they didn't feel inclined to use abstruse and otiose jargon that no one's heard of?
Answers on a postcard to UNESCO ...