COMPASS EDUCATION LEVEL 1 CERTIFICATION WORKSHOP AT UNIS HANOI, VIETNAM

by Kate Doré

On the weekend of September 14-15 our Compass Trainer Kate Doré successfully led a Level 1 certification workshop attended by 20 participants from a range of backgrounds, departments, and schools, who worked together towards deepening their understanding of sustainability and systems thinking. Eric Berlow stipulates in his TED talk “…on the other side of complexity is simplicity.” Together these twenty educators explored how we could unravel this ‘complexity’ of sustainability and seek a breakthrough to simplicity. 

As the importance of sustainable development continues to be a growing global focus, the need for strategic and relevant sustainability education becomes critical to prepare youth to understand and lead in our dynamic and interconnected world. All too often, initial thoughts surrounding sustainability can leave one with either an overwhelming feeling of ‘doom and gloom end of the world’ or the the urge go straight to ‘action’ – reduce, recycle, reuse, stop plastic, and build a compost. But, sustainability is more than that, and that is what the twenty participants of the Compass Education Level one practitioner course hosted by UNIS Hanoi were able to delve into together.

Together, they explored ways to facilitate the teaching and learning of ecological literacy and sustainability in any classroom using Compass Education’s systems thinking tools, along with other tools and strategies such as the Iceberg Model, Behaviour Over Time (BoT) graphing, and causal loop diagramming. Participants left feeling empowered to lead action for sustainable change, and ready to put some new tools and strategies into practice.

Here are some reflections made by the participants after attending the workshop:

“I used to think sustainability was a topic that was too big/too complex/too expensive, but now I think that small changes can make mental shifts in communities that lead to big changes.” 

“I see building blocks that I can bring into my classroom to give my students early exposure to systems thinking tools.”

“The compass was very much useful for me, especially as a tool in mapping out projects both in the classroom and in the bigger community”

“I can act and work and implement sustainability in my daily life, daily work systematically, inspiredly. It is amazing to learn about the connection between systematic thinking and sustainability.”

“A great time to engage with other like minded individuals led by a knowledgeable facilitator. It will make you think and challenge you, but well worth the effort!”

“The tools I have learned provided a platform where experts in the different fields can pool in their ideas to get a bigger and a better picture of how to maintain a sustainable world. Since every situation is a unique case, collaboration will play an important role on how to solve issues involving our future.”

“I believe that the workshop will really help the people to be more aware and conscious of taking care of our common home.”

“The Compass Education workshop is great as it provides me with knowledge about sustainability and inspires me to apply the knowledge in real life.”