The SHED-SHARE mailbase had a message from its co-ordinator the other day. It said:
Does anyone know if there have been any conversations with AdvanceHE is establishing an ESD Community of Practice? With push from the community they might be interested, and I think this could provide a route to bring ESD back into the mainstream.
I responded that it was news to me that ESD had ever been anywhere near the mainstream – more like stuck in a backwater – well away from any current or tide that might be taken at the flood. Well, I didn't say that last bit of Shakespeare but might have done had I thought about it long enough.
Response came there none, but we SHED-ers are known for being slow to rise to bait or occasion. There was a response from EAUC, however, and a telling one it was. Here it is:
Our INFLUENCE! Conference in June again has an academic and research paper stream and Journal inclusion, so is a natural opportunity to bring the ESD and wider sustainability academics together to test appetite and focus a collective push into AdvanceHE.
All ideas very welcome,
Iain Patton, CEO, EAUC-The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education
The key phrase here was "bring the ESD and wider sustainability academics together" which more or less says what I have been saying for some years now: that those advocating for ESD in universities completely ignored the wide range of academics who were interested in sustainability but had no time for those who wanted to tell them how to think about it. The ESD advocates preferred the purity of their own ideas to the messy business of interacting with those of other people – often more experienced than they were.
It's nice to see EAUC acknowledging what was a fatal flaw in strategy.