Our planet is going through tremendous physical change on a scale never before witnessed in human history. There is hardly any ecosystem left that has not yet been, to some degree, negatively affected by our economic activity whether directly by extraction or indirectly by pollution, or both. Natural resources previously considered almost unlimited and inexhaustible, such as fisheries, are being heavily depleted at the expense of the prosperity of the next generations. At the root of the problem lies the unrelenting logic of the modern, international capitalist system – the pursuit of growth. This paradigm, along with unabated population growth and consumer orientated societies, is the driving force behind the current, non-sustainable economic development. Business plays instrumental role in facilitating this paradigm through the use of resources, energy, and more importantly, by continuously recreating the dominant narrative of consumerism that underpins our global culture.
The central question this course will tackle is: How can business be changed so it becomes a driving force for sustainable future? In order to answer this question we will tap into disciplines of international relations, environmental science, and economics. In the same vein, students are encouraged to think “outside-of-the-box”, in other words, to think across individual disciplines.