If we are to get to be as good as we wish to be we will need to embrace new skills and values. We know that children take home the things they learn in school so where better to start than with our educators. Our education initiative proposes adding lifestyle, creativity and sustainability components to all curricula at all levels.
The conversation that follows imagines what this might look like and how the world might change as a consequence
Learning about the stuff that matters
As well as tackling the threats to our survival, making life more interesting and purposeful had been his reason for suggesting to his city’s educators that life style and creativity be added to curricula at all levels. What was lifestyle about? It began by imagining what an exciting and rich and enjoyable life might look like? Where would we live? How many hours would we work and what sort of jobs would we most like to work at and how could we do those jobs in a way that contributes most to both our own wellbeing as well as the sum total of human happiness.
Lifestyle had been about exploring options and the reasons behind the choices we make. The houses we live in, the food we eat and the way we treat one another.
Creativity is simply a tool for imagining what else, contemplating our choices and figuring out ways of applying our resources to enrich our own lives as well as the lives of all of the other species, communities and generations with which we share our spaces and places..
In addition to educating for leisure/ lifestyle and creativity he had suggested that the third component, sustainability, is essentially about appreciating how fortunate we are to occupy this particularly brilliant planet… for having occupied its every space and already displaced so many of our fellow travellers there is no place else for us to go… so being creative, building wonderful lives and being as good as we might is about finding alternatives to a status quo that must change if we are to have a chanceof avoiding catastrophic climate change and all of its associated risks and horrors.
His city’s education providers from pre-school to tertiary had been among the first to embraced Nelson 2060 and the city’s largest tertiary institution employed some of the finest brains in the fields of sustainability, lifestyle and behaviour, attracted by the lure of living in an attractive city and an acknowledged lifestyle, creativity and sustainability laboratory and role model.
It mattered not whether students came to study fishing, agriculture the trades, the arts, health, business, leisure or the sciences, all students graduated with a vastly greater understanding of their own potential and of their responsibility to one another and the planet. Demand for courses quickly exceeded capacity necessitating collaborative arrangements with tertiary institutions all over the world, a burgeoning correspondence initiative and a dramatic decline in the number of local youngsters leaving the city to study elsewhere.