I loved this class because it provided a dedicated space where I was given the opportunity to engage in discussions about issues I have previously encountered in other studies or in my personal life, but on a deeper level. I loved how many discussions we had in class and I learnt so much from the varying perspectives of my classmates. I also really appreciated getting to hear the perspectives and ideas of my shyer classmates (like me) in the CoSphere forum's weekly #UnleashValues post. I really liked the ideas we started the course with in week 1, about how voicing your values on social media or on CoSphere can have a huge impact. The learnings from that first week's lecture really stuck with me because it helped me feel hopeful and less alone, and set the stage for the rest of the course.
I did not expect that this class would allow me to learn about systemic solutions to addressing these challenges, which was empowering for me because it enabled me to see that the burden of solving the issues cannot be placed solely on the individual. It also helped me understand why it's so hard to create change with the current systems in place. I did not expect to be prepared enough to run my own workshop with my group, and in many ways I'm still not, but I loved having the opportunity to try my shot at it and having the full support from the teaching team despite the lack of perfection our process allowed us to focus more on the learning of this experience rather than the stress of trying to achieve something specific or perfect.
I am leaving the class with skills gained in analyzing the issues the world is facing in sustainability. For example, I have learnt so many ways that a problem can be addresses systematical, like addressing the political, economic, or social barriers. I noticed myself getting better and better at this each week as I was creating my weekly post.
I intent to take my experiences in ENVR 430 forward into the future by compiling all of the values and visions of the future that I have expressed over the term's posts and reflecting on them. I will continue the practice of looking for solutions to problems that are both individual and systematic, knowing perfectly well that individual actions can only go so far if we don't change the system, and I feel really good about having solidified this learning during my term in ENVR 430 because it helps me feel hopeful and allows me to find more effective solutions!
I envision a world where we can finally address the social and environmental issues facing our communities because I value equality, safety, health, connection and a bright and beautiful future for my community and the people and creatures of the world! In order to achieve this, I will focus on the issues most important to me and my community (because I can't address them all, SMART goals people!) and apply the methods learnt in class for how we can dissect and approach these problems at different social, political, cultural, and economic levels. A systematic approach is necessary and I will aim to continue to do my best as an individual while emphasizing that we need to organize as a collective to push for systematic change!