General Manager, Social Impact & Corporate Partnerships, Discovery Education
October 09, 2023
For so long, the narrative around sustainability has focused on individual action: reduce, reuse, recycle. While individual action is critical, too often it is disconnected to the larger picture in sustainability, limiting individuals’ ability to imagine broader or more creative solutions.
However, today’s students are moving beyond individual action, expressing their demands for a more sustainable future in new and bold ways. Just recently, students in Montana won a landmark lawsuit that found it unconstitutional for the state to not consider climate change when deciding on energy projects. I believe this is the beginning of a new sustainability movement in the United States. According to recent research, 65% of students want to learn about climate, sustainability, and how changes will impact their future. Clearly, this shows the beginning of a new era in the sustainability movement. Yet, educators and schools lack the necessary resources to address student interest in the topic.
As the Executive Vice President of Social Impact at Discovery Education, my team is focused on supporting the growth and development of the next generation of changemakers. So often, this is a matter of connecting the dots. This means speaking with educators, students, nonprofit leaders, and corporate executives often to hear what each need and want, then mobilizing the resources to fulfill those needs. More than ever before, our education leaders need sound, reliable resources to build a generation of problem solvers and solution seekers.
Motivated by our dedication to preparing students for a dynamic future, we've teamed up with global brands that share our vision of fostering an equitable, diverse workforce grown from curious and engaged students.
On September 19, Discovery Education, Subaru, LyondellBasell, Nucor, Honeywell, and the National Environmental Education Foundation announced the first of its kind alliance to empower learners to make informed decisions and take responsible actions for environmental, economic, and social issues.
Aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), the Sustainability Education Coalition provides the no-cost resources needed to drive meaningful impact for students, their communities, and the planet. Just like the UN SDGs themselves, the Sustainability Education Coalition focuses on all aspects of sustainability. The suite of classroom resource provided by the Coalition focuses on the four pillars of sustainability:
- Human: Fulfilling the needs of humanity without compromising the needs of future generations
- Social Impact: Improving quality of life, equality, diversity, social cohesion, and civil engagement
- Economic: Stable economy that supports affordable housing, health care, transportation, and employment
- Environmental: Preserving natural resources like clean air, water, land, and wildlife
This multifaceted approach empowers educators to seamlessly integrate Coalition resources into any lesson plan, setting students up for success in a multi-disciplinary and intersectional education landscape.
With a goal to empower over 10 million students by 2030 to become global citizens for sustainable development, this initiative marks an inspiring stride in bridging complex sustainability challenges into classroom learning.
Together, we can create resources and tools that inspire students to be changemakers in their communities.