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Comments by Kate Lancaster

Page history last edited by Steven Marx 11 years, 2 months ago


I finished up When the Rivers Run Dry a few weeks ago and it really did

make an impression.  It reinforced my belief that the environmental crisis

is going to make our current economic crisis seem minor.


I won't be able to be at the meeting in a couple of weeks because of a

prior commitment; I was disappointed when Business was moved to June from

October.  My students are reading Necessary Revolution in my Sustainable

Business Practices class and I suggested this book to Norm.  In addition

to the clear examples of how businesses are evolving to respond to

sustainability issues, the book provides suggestions on how to create a

living and learning organization that is able to adapt.


As I read the book, I continually ask myself how I can use the concepts at

Cal Poly as we wrestle with many of the same issues as businesses.  I

think it provides a rough fieldguide of what we need to do to change the

systems at Cal Poly in order to become a learning community that

effectively explores solutions to our unsustainable practices.

Here's a couple of things that have stood out for me.


Page 45, the 3-legged stool, with two of the legs addressing the

importance of learning how to see systems and collaborating across

boundaries.  To me our current method of teaching and hence how people

make decisions is mostly about breaking things into the smallest parts

possible. In my opinion, systems thinking should be a required course.  I

also was inspired by the 3rd leg - that of visioning or creating desired

futures.  Chapters 20 and 23 further examine vision.


Page 106 - quote from Jeff Immelt, CEO GE. "When society changes its mind,

you better be in front of it and not behind it, and this is an issue in

which society has changed its mind."

Page 122 - I put together a 2 by 2 matrix for Cal Poly.  It's attached.

We will be presenting a resolution on Sustainability Learning Objectives

at the Academic Senate this coming Tuesday.  I've attached them, as well.


Here's a link to a succinct summary of the book




I will try to get out some of my notes prior to the meeting.  I really

look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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