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The Sustainable Futures Theme: what we have learnt about interdisciplinary education so far, and what is next

June 20, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Sustainable Development poses perhaps the defining social and environmental challenges of the 21st Century, and will impact the lives of our students in many ways, both personally and professionally. What role does a university have in preparing students to meet these challenges, and how best can it do this?  What role does interdisciplinary education play in this, and how can we effectively offer it? Is a values-based approach complementary or in conflict with a more instrumental approach to education focused on the acquisition of skills and attributes to make one more employable? How can students be more effectively involved and engaged? How can the formal curriculum and non-credit bearing activities and opportunities offered by the university work together?

In this talk and discussion, I will offer an overview, reflections and learnings on the University’s engagement with Education for Sustainable Development through the Sustainable Futures theme of Bristol Futures, look at where we are going next (and how you can get involved) and consider how the university can scale things up in response to its recent declaration of a Climate Emergency.


Chris Preist is Professor of Sustainability and Computer Systems in the Department of Computer Science. He is the Bristol Futures Sustainable Futures Theme Lead and is responsible for supporting Education for Sustainable Development throughout the university. His research focuses on the environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of digital technology.