An Invitation to Learn:

 Do we consider how our present decisions and actions contribute to the well-being of the 7th Generation, as Native American teachings encourage?  What would your daily leadership look and feel like if you applied a contemplative approach and made decisions with the concerns of the health, well-being, and sustainability of the 7th generation in mind? Healthy ecosystems, social equity, and viable economies, in other words, planet, people, and profit--these three comprise the purpose and the heart of education for sustainable development (McKeown and Hopkins, 2002).


In this course, we will study the following:

  • Your own values and approaches to leadership;
  • Contemplative practices as a means to hone leadership skills (focus, clarity, deep listening, empathy building, awareness of interdependence)
  • The Earth Charter and United Nations Education for Sustainable Development framework;
  • The United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Global peace leaders such as: Winona LaDuke, (USA); Michael Yellowbird (Canada); Wangari Maathai (Kenya); Vandana Shiva (India)\; Lyonchoen Jigme Y. Thinly (Bhutan); Thich Naht Hahn (Vietnam); Mahatma Gandhi (India); and Martin Luther King Jr. (USA).
  • Local leaders and organizations that cultivate social equity, sustainable peace, and viable economies.


How We will Learn Together:

While examining global initiatives and non-mainstream leaders in this course, you will be invited to explore your leadership for sustainable peace potential through a critical peace education for sustainability approach (Brantmeier, 2013).  This means that learning activities will raise consciousness about various forms of violence, envision alternative futures, and enact leadership approaches to bring about a more sustainable peace. You will be invited on a contemplative journey of self-inquiry that leads to connectedness and a sense of interdependence. Exploring a critical pedagogy of place, co-learners will examine how you can “re-inhabit” your community and how you can “decolonize” your mind and relationships (Gruenewald, 2003).  Experiential, community engaged, embodied, and contemplative modes of learning comprise the foundation of co-learning and discovery in this course.


Foundational Course Questions:

These beautiful questions will serve as an anchor for our inquiry:

  1. What are your core values in, philosophy of, and approach to leadership?
  2. How do impactful peace leaders navigate opportunities and barriers to sustainable peace?
  3. Where is your power to make changes to alleviate violence and suffering in a world in need--to build sustainable peace, community, and happiness?”


Learning Goals:

Participants in this learning journey will make progress toward the following: 

  • Being more meta-cognitively aware of the how and why of deep learning.
  • Calming the mind and one’s emotions to gain insight and connection related to value clarity, career mission, and life purpose.
  • Clarifying one’s core values, philosophy, and approach to leadership.
  • Ascertaining the philosophy and approach of various non-western leaders.
  • Examining the Earth Charter and the education for sustainable development framework and UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals Available at:
  • Exploring the aims and methods of place-based education, peace education, and sustainability education.
  • Learning from local leaders and community organizations devoted to sustainable peace to understand their core values, philosophy, and practice.
  • Clarifying commitment and action steps to promote sustainable peace.



Assessment:  Students will be assessed on participation and engagement in learning encounters, an inquiry project, a letter to the seventh generation, and a final term paper.

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