REFERENT: Teodorina Lessidrenska
The ‘Sustainability World’ (SW) project will, through a unique Internet platform, provide the means for young and forward-looking people worldwide to inform themselves on issues relating to sustainability, to make their own choices, and to decide on the actions they wish to take for a sustainable future.
Most importantly, it will enable young people to become informed global citizens active in their own communities. It will empower them to dialogue and engage with their peers based on understandings of the evident current sustainability problems, the underlying issues, and the practical possibilities for action and change towards sustainability, including the best practices and lessons already learned.
It will also serve as a resource for teachers producing educational materials on sustainability adapted to their own localities and circumstances.
The world faces enormous challenges in the 21st century that require informed decisions and action by every citizen. But many people, including young people, find the information about the food crisis, financial crisis, climate change and other “crises” and the talk of ‘sustainable development’, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a ‘climate agreement’ incoherent, overwhelming or boring. Most have only a superficial understanding that is often biased by the limited range of information sources they rely on, and those who make an effort to inform themselves are discouraged by the sheer volume of material available and the difficulty of sifting through it, and are then confused by the contradictory opinions expressed and the diversity of ‘solutions’ proposed.
A vast amount of information and a wide range of educational materials are indeed available on many of the topics (food, water, finance, climate, etc.), but little or nothing is readily available to the general public – especially young people. There is little about the overall, big picture, how we got to where we are, the underlying causes of current problems and risks, the relationships and linkages among the various problems and their causes, the reasons for lack of progress at national and global levels to deal with these issues, the pros and cons of the various ‘solutions’ on offer, the possibilities for positive action at the local level, and the choices we each must make. This is the gap that SW aims to fill.
SW will be designed to help users, especially young people, to learn, share and act for a sustainable future.
The SW platform will provide a structured, easy-to-use entry point – a portal – to online information on the many inter-related aspects of sustainability, sustainable development and related global issues (e.g. climate change, the financial and food crises, etc.). It will offer, progressively, concise syntheses on each sustainability aspect – including information on the possibilities for positive action at the local level – and provide links to existing materials and other websites for more details and related e-learning courses.
It will include attractive features to engage young people to contribute ideas and information, pose questions, dialogue with each other on the information provided and issues raised, and exchange among themselves on practical sustainability activities they have undertaken or are planning to undertake.
At a later stage the platform may provide a facility for users to test their knowledge and understanding of each aspect covered, and eventually offer e-learning courses to fill gaps in what is already readily available online from other sources.
A small group of volunteers is elaborating details and compiling material for eventual publication on the SW platform, and EFF is seeking resources to develop and launch the platform. EFF therefore invites: donors who may be ready to contribute, organizations who may be interested to partner with EFF in this project, and individuals who may wish to volunteer to help develop the site and its contents, to contact us via the temporary SW site:www.sustainability.world