Winter term, 2018:

JSE1708H – The Development of Sustainability Thought

This course examines how attitudes towards human nature and non-human nature have changed over the period from Mesolithic times until the present in Western society. By reading and discussing historical arguments and contemporary documents we will attempt to uncover the underlying assumptions about the world that were characteristic of different periods in the history of Western culture. The underlying question is whether contemporary concerns about sustainability require fundamental changes in the way we conceive of ourselves and our environment.

GLA2000Y – Capstone Seminar (Sustainability in Toronto and Region module)

Overall Capstone Course Objectives: This seminar provides an opportunity for MGAs, in their final year of study, to undertake a consulting assignment that addresses a real global problem, for a client whose organization is currently seeking in-depth analysis and recommendations.  These are not simulated problems, nor organizations. Students will apply the skills they have acquired throughout their degree to define the problem, assemble evidence, construct alternatives, select criteria for evaluation, project outcomes, confront trade-offs, decide and recommend courses of action that address a given global issue.  The goals of the class are to develop your innovative and professional thinking, policy analysis, project management, teamwork, written and oral presentation skills.

Sustainability in Toronto and Region module: Learning from best practice (Clients: City of Toronto and Ontario Ministry of Energy)

Each group of students will be assigned to a client from the City of Toronto (e.g. Environment and Energy Division, or Waste Management) or the Ontario Ministry of Energy. The clients will outline projects that will contribute to the sustainability goals of the City or Ministry and students will work in groups on those projects. Generally this will involve looking for examples of best practice in cities or other jurisdictions around the world, and developing proposals for how the lessons learned from the jurisdictions they examine might be implemented here. This will entail some discussion with and direction from clients to ensure that the work being done is relevant and connects usefully to the clients’ priorities and program development activities.

Fall term, 2017:

ENV461/ENV1103 –  The U of T campus as a living lab of sustainability

Sustainability is a growing priority for universities all over the world. Many are developing strong operational sustainability goals and targets, and are giving increasing emphasis to teaching and research on sustainability issues. Yet few have committed at the executive level to integrating academic and operational sustainability in the context of treating their campus as a living laboratory of sustainable practice, research and teaching. Arguably, it is such living lab approaches that offer the largest potential for universities to play a significant role in the sustainability transition. This course will explore and apply the living lab concept, in the context of operational sustainability at the University of Toronto. We will begin by looking briefly at the literature on university sustainability and the living lab concept. The bulk of the course will involve undertaking an applied research project on some aspect of campus sustainability, working in close partnership with operational staff at the University of Toronto. Students will develop the skills needed to work across disciplines and fields of study, and with non-academic partners.

Winter term, 2017:

JSE1708H – The Development of Sustainability Thought

This course will examine how attitudes towards human nature and non-human nature have changed over the period from Mesolithic times until the present in Western society. By reading and discussing historical arguments and contemporary documents we will attempt to uncover the underlying assumptions about the world that were characteristic of different periods in the history of Western culture. The underlying question is whether contemporary concerns about sustainability require fundamental changes in the way we conceive of ourselves and our environment.

GLA2000Y – Capstone Seminar (TransformTO module)

Overall Capstone Course Objectives: This seminar provides an opportunity for MGAs, in their final year of study, to undertake a consulting assignment that addresses a real global problem, for a client whose organization is currently seeking in-depth analysis and recommendations.  These are not simulated problems, nor organizations. Students will apply the skills they have acquired throughout their degree to define the problem, assemble evidence, construct alternatives, select criteria for evaluation, project outcomes, confront trade-offs, decide and recommend courses of action that address a given global issue.  The goals of the class are to develop your innovative and professional thinking, policy analysis, project management, teamwork, written and oral presentation skills.

TransformTO Module: Learning from Global Best Practice (Client: City of Toronto) Each group of students will be assigned to a project being worked on by City staff as part of the City’s TransformTO climate change program and, in consultation with a designated staff member from the City, will pick several cities around the world that are felt to offer useful examples of climate action in that sector. The students will identify best practices in those cities for that topic area, and, based on a review of activities and policies in the City of Toronto, develop proposals for how the lessons learned from the cities they examine might be implemented in Toronto. This will entail some discussion with and direction from City staff to ensure that the work being done is relevant and connects usefully to the City’s priorities and program development activities.

Fall term, 2016:

ENV481/ENV2002 Special Topics Course: The U of T campus as a living lab of sustainability

Sustainability is a growing priority for universities all over the world. Many are developing strong operational sustainability goals and targets, and are giving increasing emphasis to teaching and research on sustainability issues. Yet few have committed at the executive level to integrating academic and operational sustainability in the context of treating their campus as a living laboratory of sustainable practice, research and teaching. Arguably, it is such living lab approaches that offer the largest potential for universities to play a significant role in the sustainability transition. This course will explore and apply the living lab concept, in the context of operational sustainability at the University of Toronto. We will begin by looking at the literature on university sustainability and the living lab concept. The bulk of the course will involve undertaking an applied research project on some aspect of campus sustainability, working in close partnership with operational staff at the University of Toronto. Students will develop the skills needed to work across disciplines and fields of study, and with non-academic partners.