SEED: Solutions for Environment, Economy, and Democracy
The Problem: Quality of life for growing numbers of people on the planet is threatened by a set of systemic problems: continued dependence on fossil fuels, growing inequalities in wealth and income, and diminished public debate and democratic control over fundamental economic and environmental policies.
Most parties and politicians continue to promote economic models based unrealistic levels of growth that externalize many social and environmental costs. Much of what passes for growth is unproductive speculation, leading to growing gaps in wealth and political representation in most countries. Many societies now face the prospect of long-term economic insecurity, natural resource deterioration, and political turbulence.
Vision: New economic and political models that work better for people and planet
How can societies address central questions such as: What levels of economic production and consumption are realistic? How should productivity be distributed? What constitutes meaningful prosperity? What policies can produce it?
Course readings and discussions address these issues and students will explore ways in which communication strategies can help better focus public attention and promote effective solutions.
Students will post class discussion questions, keep journals, and write a final paper. The class will also provide opportunities to become involved with the student driven Sustainability Action Network on campus.