Patrick Longfield

There is clearly much being done today, at personal, political and corporate levels, to begin the journey towards a sustainable future for the human race. However I have come to understand how little we are really doing to address the core issues.
I speak with people from many walks of life, and many different and varied social and cultural backgrounds. Through these interactions I have come to appreciate that while much seems to be being done, little is changing at a fundamental level where things really need to happen. I believe the discussion we need right now should be about values – our personal and social values.

The discussions and actions about dealing with greenhouse gases and climate change, along with their associated technologies are only about treating symptoms. We are not yet treating the cause. The cause is our values that drive and motivate individuals and society in general.

The set of values we have used to get us to this time in the development of the human race, are those that have caused the problems we are now facing. It seems to me quite clear that they will not get us to where we need to go on the journey to a sustainable future. It is my hope I can some small shift in the way people think about how they live, and make decisions.

Through The Natural Step and the work I do with EcoSTEPS, along with my other work, I came to realise it is around the social impacts and consequences of this journey we are set upon, that the major work in achieving a sustainable future will come to focus. This realisation helped me make the connections that an understanding that the concept of ‘Education for Sustainability’, is an idea of real significance. When we get our education model correct, for both children and adults, we shall begin to make the real changes for which we are looking. It is this new way of thinking and doing that will inform and influence my continuing work with EcoSTEPS, The Natural Step and Rotary.

Background and Experience

I have been a tertiary level science for many years, and now lecture on sustainability. I have always had a personal and professional interest in the environment. Undertaking a Masters in Social Ecology at the UWS, led me to the development of a keen interest in Ethics and Futures Studies. This guided me to be significantly involved in the development of an environmental focus where I now work lecturing and talking to groups about the reasons behind the need for change, and how we can go about it.


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