Flip through any fashionable design annual, and you’ll read of something called “Human Centered Design.” The practice of HCD places emphasis on user testing, interviews, field research and high-touch iterations to solve problems. As contemporary design, and especially sustainable design, increasingly comes to rely on HCD-inspired techniques, greater attention is being paid to social features.
MS in Sustainability Management News
Recent M.S. in Sustainability Management graduate Luke Apicella works as an impact investor in the Office of Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential. In this role, he provides investment recommendations based on social, environmental and financial merits. Luke credits the program with giving him skills to analyze actual deals, furthering his passion for finding ways to profit within “nature’s ability to regenerate ecosystems and resources.”
Inspired by his childhood fascination with the outdoors, current Sustainability Management student Zach Bogoshian joined the program to implement lessons from nature to our current environmental challenges. In the program, this hopeful notion has manifested itself as a passion for creating innovative networks to connect people with sustainable solutions that don’t discount financial return. As Zach says, “If sustainability doesn’t make economic sense, the intrinsic motivation generated by pursuing sound environmental outcomes simply is not enough to effect change on the scale we need.”
Throughout history, land has been a source of conflict between different stakeholders who want to control it. Increasingly, environmental issues surrounding land are playing a role in conflict discourse in the Middle East.
Columbia University’s Earth Institute and School of Continuing Education, in collaboration with Columbia College and General Studies, are pleased to announce the launch of an Accelerated Program in Sustainable Development and Sustainability Management. Through this new program, majors and special concentrators in sustainable development can earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just five years, saving time and money.
Nine Columbia graduate students landed in Amman, Jordan last Friday night, after over 20 hours of travel, to begin the field study component of their course in Regional Environmental Sustainability in the Middle East. Though exhausted, they were eager to get to the hotel to meet students from Tel Aviv University – who had crossed the border earlier in the day – with whom they would be traveling through Israel and Jordan for the next 13 days.
This summer, nine Columbia University students and nine students from Tel Aviv University will take part in a fieldwork course focused on environmental sustainability in the Middle East.
In fall 2014, Columbia University, through the School of International and Public Affairs, the School of Continuing Education and the Earth Institute, offered a never-before-taught class on “The Origins of Environmental Law.” While many courses teach the fundamentals of environmental law, this course spoke to the people and politics behind the creation of the legislation. The Earth Institute is excited to present a short film providing a glimpse into the importance of this course.
After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua, current Sustainability Management student Michele Aquino was drawn to the program because he saw the need for sustainable programming in development interventions. Since starting the program, Michele has gotten involved with various projects on campus, including working with his fellow MS students to submit a prospectus for the Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge that would propose a land restoration and sustainable palm oil production program for smallholder farmers. Upon graduating in May, Michele hopes to pursue a career in the food processing and consumer packaged goods space or exploring the field of clean energy.
Sustainability Management alumna Marisa Hanson (’14) has gone from working on a capstone workshop project to design a national building retrofit program for Montenegro to a role as program specialist for a residential energy efficiency program in Santa Barbara, CA. Marisa has focused her sustainability career on making a significant difference on a local level.