Home » STIR Academy
Category Archives: STIR Academy
This is an invitation to reflect about the (r)evolution of higher education. Prof. Maurits van Rooijen speaks about three trends: globalization, digitalization and integration. He also provides us with some important and significant brush sweeps of his own views of each of these trends. In our view he is reaching out to a new story to tell, a story that we in Sustainocracy also try to shape in our human world….
In our Sustainocratic reality the role of Universities, and as a consequence the education or learning system in general, is expressed by the leadership archetype of “Expert”. We see this leadership as an interactive member of the sustainocratic ecosystem for sustainable human progress and our shared responsibilities. Each of the leadership roles interact on the basis of equality, not a hierarchy of interest driven influencers.
The global smartphone video challenge project, Earthbeat, received 77 entries from 31 countries around the world. The video challenge was shown during the climate conference at COP26. It revealed the local effects of the mining industries and industrialized agricultural on the habitat of indiginous people. Changes in their ecosystem, floods, disrupted food chains, pollution that kills food resources, expropriation of their lands, expelling people, unjust land ownership, criminality etc are all crimes against humanity and our planet. It is not just these minorities that suffer. They are a prelude of the problems that spread as a blanket of destruction across the entire world. The question arises: Who is to blame? The miners or farmers? The capitalist greed behind it all? Or is the modern western “consume it all” addictive culture? Is the politics to blame that supports this all out of electorial self interest?
We can only conclude that we are all to blame. Our consumerism feeds the capitalists that just want more and take the resoures where they can find them. Our politicians depend on the taxable money streams to finance the status quo. It is a spiral of greed and destruction that somehow needs to be stopped. In the end it is nature itself that probably pulls out the plug. Humankind seems to have wrapped itself into this spiral without escape other than self destruction. Have a look at some of these short locals Earthbeat reports made by local with their smartphones…
The evolution of learning
Niels van Maaren is lecturer and researcher at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven. He tells us about his integration of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations) in his lecturing. “Big deal”, you may say but it is a highly significant move. In our own School of Talents & Wellness we started to work together with the scholing system already 10 years ago by adding the sustainocratic topics of core natural human values and shared responsibility. This is so significant because it gives the students an extra dimension of shared responsibility, awareness and creativity. Their study is placed in context of the huge challenges that we face as humankind. The young people are challenged to use this new contextual framing to come up with new ideas by themselves. It does not matter what they choose to study, everything can be placed into the servant context for humankind, society and our planet. They don’t come to school anymore with the expectations of a job in the future, learning theories from a book. They now come to school to think of meanful 4 x WIN contributions to the world and themselves.
This also transforms the job of the educators. In the past they would be classroom professors working their way through the pages of a book. They would expect the students to memorize the theory for their exams. The cognitive senses of the students would be stimulated, not the need for processing into genuin understanding. With the addition of the SDGs (or in our case the core natural human values) the students to need to process their knowledge or lack thereof. Many start with the understanding of the challenge and then start looking at the available resources to do something in a creative way. They start looking at information in an applied way. Information becomes alive in the context that can be personalized to the personal environment of the student him or herself. Next to the cognitive interpretation an emotional sense of meaning is added, generating an impuls of self reflection and self study.
The lecturers transform into expert coaches, sources of information, valuable support and mentorship. Students become more demanding, communicative, voicing their desires, their needs, their insecurities and doubts. They become magicians that surprise the world through creativity and new insights, even their mentors. And that is what it is all about. To hold space for unprecedented innovation without prejudism, just open stimulus. It says “Fontys for Society” and Niels shows how this is done.