Analyzing your Context

Everything is interconnected; that is the principle of ecology. This group exercise is about learning what this means in your particular context.

Purpose

To help a local activity with an eye toward the three components of sustainability: the economy, society, and the environment.
Time needed:  90 minutes or longer if required.
Materials:

  • Three large sheets of paper for each group
  • Tape
  • One marking pen per participant.

Directions

[numbered list]
Divide participants into groups of two to four.
Ask each group to identify an annual local activity (e.g., local festival, parade, or sporting event).
Design a concept map (see below) using this activity as the point in the center.
Think of ways in which the activity affects the local economy, society, and the environment. For example: A football match might help the local economy by generating work for people running the food stalls and those selling the food to them. However, in terms of environmental impact, the event produces waste that might pollute the waterways, etc.

If you had several groups, let the different groups report on their maps now.
In order to summarize the findings, prepare a chart on the remaining sheet of paper. Write the headings “Environment,” “Economy,” and “Society” across the top. Write “Local” and “Global” on the left-hand side of the page. Write down the keywords that you have come up with as in the following example:
Environment Society Economy
Local Use of fertilizers
Use of pesticides
Groundwater
Landfill
Reservoir
Urban sprawl
Waste
Traffic
Riverfront park
Public health
Education
Landmarks
Heritage
Culture
Migrant workers
Events
Values
Tourism
Shipping
Service industry
Government subsidy
Seasonal jobs
Private support
Taxes
Property values
Global Acid rain
Ozone depletion
Logging
Fishing
Air
Source community
Workers
Child labor
Disease
Poverty
Government
Big business
International trade Agreements farming
Wages
Cost of living

General discussion

  • What are the most problematic factors for your local community?
  • What are the most problematic factors at the global level?
  • Do you have any ideas as to how these can be addressed?

(Adapted from: http://www.esdtoolkit.org/community_goals/sust_lens.htm)

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s