Mark Stimson, MA, MA, PhD Researcher
Sustainable Living Department
Sustainability as a field of study and practice is difficult to define, since there is an increasingly broad spectrum of perspectives and intents. In recent years the term has been co-opted for marketing purposes, thus watering down the original intent and redirecting sustainability to serve the forces of capitalism. Less damning but also of great concern, sustainability is often treated superficially, citing efficiency measures and incremental changes as “solutions” to pressing global problems, while ignoring systemic and paradigm-level causal relationships. A university-level sustainability program can and ought to imbibe deeper levels of thought and engagement.
Our aim at GCAS is to review and then go beyond the usual discourse on the so-called pillars of sustainability: the tripartite equivalence of environmental, social, and economic factors said to be key to creating a sustainable civilization. Instead, the SL Department at GCAS prefers a nested diagram, with our natural environment represented as the encompassing outer ring, and with the social aspects occupying the next tier, in service to the natural world, and the economic factors inside the social, in a position subservient to the two outer rings. This change in perspective, while deceptive in its simplicity, brings a radical change in the theory and practice of sustainable living.
Students joining the GCAS SL program can expect to be challenged and transformed by the necessity for exploring and engaging the very roots of human thought— reflections of states of consciousness— as both the cause and solution to the crises of these unprecedented times.
BA of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a specialization in Sustainable Living
Acceptance: Highly Selective
Length: 3 Years
Tuition Costs: 6,000€/ Year
Requirements: 180 Credits (40 in English & Literature for the Specialization)
Prerequisites: Acceptance in the BA Program