Abstract for: A new tool for education for sustainable development

Education for Sustainable Development aims to provide citizens with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary to shape a more sustainable future. Teaching these complex and large-scale issues may, however, be challenging. A main obstacle in the field has been to create an in-depth understanding of the integrative nature of sustainability issues, which includes both natural and social sciences. In order to educate a new generation of sustainability leaders and citizens, we believe there is a need to create innovative models for learning that emphasize systems thinking and the use of participatory methods. This paper presents an online module for education for sustainable development and systems thinking, developed in a collaboration between Loops Consulting and the Sustainability Laboratory, a US-based nonprofit seeking to address urgent sustainability issues facing the planet. The module seeks to use the language of System Dynamics to teach The Labís definition of sustainability and its related Five Core Principles of Sustainability, both of which serve to provide a holistic framework in which to understand the multi-disciplinary nature of sustainability challenges.