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Students work towards a sustainable future

By   /  October 24, 2017  /  Comments Off on Students work towards a sustainable future

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Source: Massey University – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Students work towards a sustainable future

Citizenship Day coordinators with Associate Professor Gabriel Eweje testing an electric bike. From L-R: Brayden Cassidy, Dr Gabriel Eweje, Danielle Flatman, Rachael Larraine and Allyssa Pickens.

The Massey Business School recently launched its Citizenship Day to engage students in a range of sustainable and responsible activities. Associate Professor in Business and Sustainability Gabriel Eweje developed the idea with a group of students as a part of the business school’s commitment to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), which it has been a signatory to since 2011.

Business student Allyssa Pickens, one of several Citizenship Day coordinators, says the aim of the initiative is encourage students to become tomorrow’s sustainable leaders. The group’s activities will align with PRME principles and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“I am so excited to be giving students the opportunity to become more aware of what sustainability and responsibility are, and how we can achieve them,” she says. “When most of us think about sustainability, we think about the environment, but that’s only part of it. If students understand that, then they are going to be leaders in sustainable thought.”

The first Citizenship Day included presentations, spot prizes and an opportunity to try electric bikes, supplied by Big Street Bikers, but the main objective was to launch a series of events developed by the students for rollout in 2018.

Under the banner of ‘Massey Business School Responsible Futures’, the events include a Women in Leadership Day; a local community clean-up programme; community engagement days, including students visiting elderly residents in local retirement villages; and financial empowerment seminars for students.

Ms Pickens and her fellow coordinators hope the initiatives will better prepare Massey students for the future by evolving their way of thinking, encouraging better use of resources and increasing awareness of what it means to be a sustainable leader.

“We want to assist our students in being leaders in sustainability when they move on from university and into the workforce,” she says. “By planting that seed of awareness from the very beginning, we can create not only a sense of belonging, but students who also have the tools to communicate our message further.”

Dr Eweje says the students have been developing their ideas since the start of the academic year and it was good to see all that work come together for the Citizenship Day launch.

“Globally, we do face ethical, social, economic and environmental challenges,” he says. “I strongly believe that success in coping with these complex issues depends on education creating awareness and engaging students around these concerns

“This initiative demonstrates the Massey Business School is committed to PRME principles, and clearly illustrates our commitment to actively engage in sustainable and responsible activities.”

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