LUMES elective course focuses on inner dimensions and transformation to drive sustainable change
Christine Wamsler explains that:
- Inner transformation can simply be understood as the unleashing of human potential to commit, care, and affect change for a better life. It describes changes in the sphere of people’s inner dimensions. The latter refers to people’s mindsets, including their values, beliefs, worldviews and associated inner cognitive, emotional and relational capacities, such as self-awareness, compassion and empathy. (…) People’s mindsets are important for sustainability, because they influence how we relate to ourselves, others, the environment, and the future. They are key leverage points for change because they lie at the root of many sustainability challenges.
As part of the Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program, Christine Wamsler is running an elective course on ‘Sustainability and Inner Transformation’ during the third semester of the LUMES programme. Researchers from different universities have lectured on the course. One of them is climate researcher Karen O'Brien from the University of Oslo, who has been working with the IPCC's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, among others.
- It's probably the only course of its kind in environmental studies and sustainability sciences," says Karen O'Brien. - I think it is a great way to address and highlight things that are often not touched upon or not talked about.
Chris Ives, Assistant Professor at Nottingham University, agrees:
- I have not seen anything like this around the world, which is as cutting edge and exciting. Spirituality and inner transformation are issues that have so far not been recognized in sustainability, and this is a course that drives these topics forward.
Since the start of the elective course in 2018, the LUMES students have been very positive and intrigued about the ‘Sustainability and Inner Transformation’ course: - The course has really changed me, I will take this course with me, into the future; and: - It was the missing puzzle piece in the sustainability puzzle, were some reviews.