Archive | July, 2011

“Education for Regeneration” – SIT Alumnus Launches School Focused on Environmental and Social Change

Matthew Abrams (PIM 69), an alumnus of SIT’s MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management degree program, recently founded The Mycelium School, set to break ground outside of Asheville, North Carolina in 2012. The project was recently profiled in The Christian Science Monitor.

The school invites 18-30 year old students to gain an interdisciplinary education based on ecological principles, localization, and social innovation.

Mycelium is the root structure of a mushroom that network with other mycelia to share information and nutrients that support the health of the host ecosystem. The Mycelium School’s educational philosophy is for students to come together and give to their environment and each other, while growing personally and learning skills for the 21st century. The curriculum will be driven by hands-on service-learning projects and a focus on social entrepreneurship.

Initially, Abram expects to have 40 percent international students and by year five, 65 percent.

Abrams asserts that “One of the core tenants of The Mycelium School is that those who are connected to the cultures, challenges and needs of a place are best equipped to become authentic leaders who will discover opportunities and innovate solutions. To foster sustained and regenerative change, we cannot maintain the current co-dependent paradigm of so-called international aid.”

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SIT Alumna Challenges Merits of “Green” Consumption in Forthcoming Book

SIT alum Kendra Pierre-Louis (PIM 67) recently finished Green Washed: Why We Can’t Buy Our Way to a Green Planet, scheduled to be released in March 2012 by Ig Publishing. Pierre-Louis is an alumna of SIT’s MA in Sustainable Development program.

Green Washed argues that buying environmentally-friendly products is only one step toward sustainability.

Pierre-Louis writes, “The message that our environment is in peril has filtered from environmental groups to the American consciousness to our shopping carts. Every day, millions of Americans dutifully replace conventional produce with organic, swap Mr. Clean for Seventh Generation, and replace their bottled water with water bottles. Many of us have come to believe that the path to environmental sustainability is paved by shopping green. Although this green consumer movement certainly has many Americans consuming differently, I ask, ‘Is this consumption really any better for the planet?’”

The book examines the greening of our society’s major economic sectors, including infrastructure, consumer goods, food, and energy, to see if they’re ushering in true sustainability or simply assuaging our collective eco-guilt without bringing about the ecological changes that we  need.

Pierre-Louis has worked as a sustainable development editor for created outreach material for the United Nations Environment Programme’s Convention on Biological Diversity and conducted research for Terrapin Bright Green, an environmental consulting and strategic planning firm.

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