Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Searchable Course Catalog

header image

IEPG 8515

Env Sustnablty Across Cultures

Environmental sustainability is a global issue - one of the biggest challenges humanity is facing - and no one country can solve it alone. This workshop will focus on how to harness intercultural skills in order to achieve environmental goals domestically or across the globe. If you find yourself working in different countries or domestically with people from different cultures: Germany, Brazil, Egypt, China, India, Thailand etc., how do you get their environmental sustainability “buy in” via an understanding of their cultural behaviors, what they value and the habits that effect their belief system?

To get things done in our global village we need to take into consideration the countries and cultures of the individuals with whom we are dealing. In addition to politics, economics, policies and business practices, what are the cultural values, beliefs, habits and worldviews of one individual vs. another – eg: a Swiss person has a certain attitude when it comes to environment – and it is quite distinct from the environmental attitudes of someone from Egypt, Brazil, China, India or Thailand. What are the social norms of these cultures? Why is it that the Swiss are so strict as regards recycling policies, and how come their attitudes towards nature are different from countries where it is OK to throw trash into the natural environment and pollute? If you are asked to work with environmental issues around the world, how can you achieve your initiative through understanding the culture of the people you are dealing with?

This is a practical workshop where participants will work on a specific case of their choice to develop an initiative, taking into consideration the country and culture of the people with whom they are dealing. Students will walk away with a practical skill set immediately applicable in their work whether domestic or international. The skills learned are applicable in many settings and situations where participants find themselves dealing with sensitive and important issues across cultures.

Intl Environmental Policy
Intl Environmental Policy
Intl Policy & Management
Requirements Fulfilled: