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Sustainability Studio

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Sustainability Studio course photo

Sustainability Studio

Christine Geith's picture
Course organiser: Christine Geith
About the Course Organiser: 

Christine Geith, Ph.D. - This course in P2PU brings together my commitments to art, sustainability and open knowledge. Michael Polan's Omnivore's Dilemma got me buying local organic food, but my passion for the environment got started back in middle school when I received an air pollution testing kit.

The co-facilitators for this course are:

  • Brian Collins, Ph.D., COO of technology company VentureIT and developer of Interlinked Challenges, an online learning environment for climate change and energy issues.
  • Monica Day, water steward, community organizer and research administrator in Michigan State University's School of Planning, Design and Construction.
  • George Lorenzo, writer, author, publisher of Educational Pathways and a blog on happiness.
  • Paul McConaughy, avid tweeter, innovation curator and social media and marketing specialist with the Michigan Nutrition Network.
  • Paul Mckey, consultant, blogger and original "man who planted trees." He turned arid ranchland back into native rainforest and built a passive solar home he shares with his family and a small herd of sheep in Australia.
No of Seats: 
Course Status: 


Christine Geith's picture
Brian Collins's picture
George Lorenzo's picture
Joy Ventura Riach's picture
Joy V
Kristin Janka's picture
Monica Day's picture
Paul McKey's picture
Paul McConaughy's picture
Alan Webb's picture
Janelle Alex's picture
Kathy Kulchinski's picture
Larry Luce's picture
Lyubomyr's picture
Saket Bisani's picture
Stephanie Motschenbacher's picture
Create a local project with support from your peers and guest speakers - and get recognition for your impact!


Sustainability Studio is a project-based course where you'll make a difference locally with a small group that focuses on one of the core environmental, social or economic aspects of sustainability. Along the way, you'll build your knowledge and skills, have support from peers in Sustainability Studio, hear from guest speakers and share the story of what you're doing.

We're using a core competency framework developed at Michigan State University to structure our projects and evaluate what we've learned. This is not an MSU course, we're just using the framework to organize our work. The competencies were developed around eight areas that most believe demonstrate knowledge and skill in sustainability: personal development, critical thinking, systems thinking, social justice, civic engagement, economic vitality, ecological integrity and aesthetics.  

This is a Citizen Circles/P2PU School of Social Innovation course, and has a couple of unique features. First, this course is centered around small offline groups. If you want to participate in the course, it is your responsibility to find two other people from your community to participate in the course with you. Second, in addition to joining the online meetings, your small group is expected to meet face-to-face throughout the course to engage offline activities as outlined in the syllabus.

The Citizen Circle process for Sustainability Studio is as follows:

  1. Recruit a couple of friends (2-4) in the same community as you to build and participate in the Sustainability Studio course with you.
  2. Decide which ONE of the eight sustainability domains you want to work on together. Most projects will cross over into other domains, but pick one as a primary focus.
  3. Define a project with guidance from the course organizer and co-facilitators (see the course syllabus and project ideas).
  4. Document and share your progress in Sustainability Studio.
  5. Learn from your peers and guest speakers in the Studio.
  6. Celebrate with feedback and recognition in the Studio Show during the last week.

."Never doubt that a small group of individuals can change the world, indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~Margaret Mead

Sustainability Studio Weekly Schedule
#1       Jan 26- Feb 1                         Studio Opening: Introductions, inspiration, discussion of proposed projects
#2 Feb 2 - 8 Group project plans approved and work begins
#3 Feb 9 - 15 Work on projects
#4 Feb 16 - 22 Studio Guests: sharing by guest speakers
#5 Feb 23 - Mar 1   Work on projects
#6 Mar 2 - 9 Finalize projects
#7 Mar 10 - 16 Studio Show: Telling our stories, measuring our impact, celebrating success

Learning objectives

  • To start and complete a local project, or a first phase in a project, in at least one of the sustainability competencies, by March 10, 2011.
  • To create a digital story for your project that demonstrates your level of mastery in the competency during the Studio Show.
  • To create a measureable impact with your project and share it during the Studio Show.
  • To reflect on what you're learning during Sustainability Studio and discuss it with other participants.



Website found related to the

Monica Day's picture
Monica Day
Fri, 2011-01-21 15:50

Website found related to the water stewardship initiative:

Thanks for sharing this

Christine Geith's picture
Christine Geith
Mon, 2011-01-24 04:28

Thanks for sharing this Monica. I'll add it to the Resources page.

Hi everyone. Looking forward

Kristin Janka's picture
Kristin Janka
Wed, 2011-02-09 00:02

Hi everyone. Looking forward to tomorrow's session. My name is Kristin Janka Millar and I work with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Michigan State University. We have a new OER (in collaboration with MSU Global) you might be interested in called Latin America Learning - I am excited to be part of this group because I see this group as a way to connect my interests in art, environment, community building and culture.

See you Wednesday at noon! Kristin

I am excited to be part of

SEO Service's picture
SEO Service
Sat, 2011-03-12 08:18

I am excited to be part of this group because I see this group as a way to connect my interests in art, environment, community building and culture.