Today while the students in the course were entertained with a training on infographics, the LeNSin guests from Srishti and TU Delft were invited to pay a visit to the Sustainability Institute, just outside Stellenbosch: http://www.sustainabilityinstitute.net/
While not a part of the course under development, it was no coincidence that this specific institute crossed our path here. It is a very special place, where people who are motivated from anywhere can follow modules, all the way up to full Master degrees.
The institute is located on the ground of an eco-village, has a great restaurant, own gardens a creche, and may more sustainable features. Basically, it uses the running of the eco-village according to the principles it teaches and students get hands on experience in applying what they learn. Good to see the initiative in practice. The lunch was near-addictive…
Both the starting point (motivation is more important than study background) and the exit point (next steps can go toward any profession or sector) for students entering this institute point at the increasing relevance of “horizontal and systemic” knowledge and skills. Which is of course quite central for the LenNSin idea and themes.
It also provided a nice warm up for the afternoon. The students were treated (and I use the word loosely) to two short presentations by the external university experts (aforementioned above), on “horizontal” skills like dealing with complexity, being curious and taking participative techniques seriously. Being the last of the inputs they receive, it is now all up to them how they will combine all the ingredients into a delicious meal. Ingredients like “Resist early simplification”, “Don’t take Yes for an answer” and “Don’t assume that icons mean the same to everyone”. We look forward to the first presentations tomorrow, which will provide the teaching staff a first impression about what has been absorbed of all of the information that the students have received and needed to work with during the first week..
By Wouter Kersten, TU Delft