No two sustainability policies are the same, but they can be adapted

No two sustainability policies are the same, but they can be adapted

Karen Kao

Karen, a 2013 graduate of the Masters in Sustainable Solutions program, wanted to apply her psychology and sustainability degrees in a real-world setting. To do so, she traveled to Washington, D.C. and London last summer as part of the Global Sustainability Studies Program to compare the respective sustainability policymaking processes. While taking in the sights, Kao learned that while policies may differ, you can always adapt them to suit your region’s needs.

What in particular drew you to the Washington, D.C. and London program?
As a policy and administration track in the Masters in Sustainable Solutions degree, I was really interested in how governance could effectively make or break the impact and success of sustainability initiatives and programs. In particular, I was interested in how governance styles could impact the culture of acceptance surrounding sustainability and subsequently how that effected advancements in areas such as civic engagement, urban planning, water conservation, etc. The D.C./London program offered those experiences and also focused on a comparative viewpoint, which allowed for a more in-depth analysis of what works where and why.

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Part of the solution: My trip to Washington, D.C. and London

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Part of the solution: My trip to Washington, D.C. and London

Alexis Roeckner

Alexis, a student in the School of Sustainability and School of Politics and Global Studies, traveled to Washington, D.C. and London last summer as part of the Global Sustainability Studies Program. Comparing sustainability policy and governance in the two locations, Roeckner honed her political science skills and experienced new cultures, places and people. Here, Roeckner reflects on her trip.

In your view, what is a sustainable world?
A sustainable world is one where humans understand that we owe our planet nothing but respect and gratitude for all it does. It is a world where we work with the environment to use its resources in a way that does not harm the planet or our chances for survival.

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Of Governments, Complexity, and a Changed Perspective

Of Governments, Complexity, and a Changed Perspective

By Alexis Roeckner

Long before I even set foot onto the plane that would take me from Arizona to Washington, D.C. and on to London, England, I knew that I was very interested in Political Science. I had chosen the subject for my minor to complement my major in Sustainability and concentration in Policy and Governance in Sustainable Systems, and even though I became more aware of the challenges that came with studying it as I progressed in school, I still thoroughly enjoyed my classes. I liked them so much that I jumped at the chance to participate in a study abroad program entitled “Comparing Sustainability Across Cultures and Governments”. It was, in my opinion, the perfect combination of my major and minor, and I hoped to walk away from my trip having gained more knowledge about the way government serves as an advocate for sustainability.

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DC/London and Beyond- Final Thoughts

DC/London and Beyond- Final Thoughts

By Alexis Roeckner

As I sat in my classroom six months ago and looked at the study abroad brochure my professor had handed out to us, I knew I was looking at something I wanted to do more than anything. When I looked at the brochure that day, a day that might as well happened decades ago, I dared to hope that somehow, I could make it happen.

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DC/London: Sustainability and Government: The Most Complicated Puzzle of All Time

DC/London: Sustainability and Government: The Most Complicated Puzzle of All Time

By Alexis Roeckner

Our time here in Washington, D.C. is officially over, and my brain feels like a sponge that can simply not soak in any more water.

Since my group’s arrival on Saturday, I’ve gone through just about every emotion that exists for a human being to experience, namely homesickness, sadness, anxiety, contentment, happiness, astonishment, curiosity, and excitement. There is nothing quite like being at the heart of our nation’s capitol. There is nothing quite like walking up and down the streets of a city that bustles with people that work together to run our country.

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D.C./London: Pre-Departure

D.C./London: Pre-Departure

By Alexis Roeckner

I left a piece of my heart in Washington, D.C in July 2008. At the time, I was sixteen, blissfully naïve, and participating in a program called the National Young Leadership Conference during which I spent ten days walking around our nation’s capitol in awe-struck wonder. Everything about the city from the beautifully crafted monuments to the history that envelops everything creates a unique, energetic atmosphere that I have never forgotten.

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