Welcome to Discovering Sustainability, a student led journal in the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds. Contributions focus on some of the most serious environmental and social challenges of the present day, as well as the new approaches to economics, business and sustainable development that aim to tackle them.
We believe that the University should be an active participant in society that ensures prosperity for all, taking into full consideration that the planet on which we live has limits and that resources are not infinite. The neo-liberal idea of a University that treats students as customers – passive recipients of an ‘education’ that moulds them into productive units for an ever-growing free-market economy – is antithetical to this vision. Creating space for new ideas and making time for open dialogue is at the core of the Sustainability ethos. We are not limited by understandings of learning that strive for an uncovering of disembodied knowledge that pre-exists us. On the contrary, through our discussions we are in the process of knowledge creation; we are navigating our way towards knowledge that is reflective, adaptive, and forged through interdisciplinary research and inquiry.
This journal aims to bring an alternative vision into focus, showing how students and tutors are co-producers of knowledge and instigators of sustainable practices in both the local and global economy. We support the idea of the University as a civic organisation, embedded in society and intertwined with its future evolution. Our contributors come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds and approach sustainability in a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative way.
Reflecting our interdisciplinary approach, our issues aim to cover a number of different topics, relating to the causes of and responses to both environmental and social issues. The disciplines of our contributors range from Ecological Economics to Corporate Social Responsibility, yet all discussion stems from the same motivation; to attempt to find ways to understand and address the many sustainability issues that we currently face.
Discovering Sustainability was developed with funding from the School of Earth and Environment Teaching Enhancement Fund, and continues to be supported by the Sustainability Research Institute.