Training course Take-aways: Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Development
From the 11th-15th of September three of our interns, namely Gloria Asare Manuele, Fabrizio Manuele and Jaline De Leon, participated in one of our Erasmus+ Mobility training courses. The training course was hosted by our partner organization Inercia Digital, titled "Sustainable Entrepreneurship: Educational Organizations valuing Eco-Environmental and Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development". This blogpost summarizes the contents of the 5-day training course, written by Gloria and Fabrizio.
If you like to read more on our interns experience of the Mobility project and internship with integrity.earth check out their experience reports on our blog!
You are interested in joining us for the next training course with Inercia Digital in Huelva, Spain? Learn more here. If you want to have a chat with one of our interns to learn more about what to expect in our Mobility internship do not hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.
On the first day of the course, we got to know each other and dealt with the topic of sustainable companies and the development thereof. First, we collected ideas about what sustainability is and what it entails. After we did this, we started our tour of Huelva.
Huelva is a beautiful port city.
Our first stop was the Queen Victoria neighborhood. This historic district was built by a mining company for their workers. Since this was an English company, te quarter was also built in the English style, which stood out compared to the other architecture in Huelva. It still reminds us of the history of Huelva and its decisive moments.
Next we visited the "Casa Colón" which is a souvenir of the discovery of America. Columbus is very well known in Huelva, as this is the place fromwhere Columbus started his journey to faraway places. Today the house is used for various purposes including as a museum, conference center, hotel but also three pavilions for events and meetings. The green areas in the middle of the house also serve as a place to relax and take a walk.
Our last destination for the day was the bridge at the old port of Huelva. The old bridge can be seen from a distance and has an impressive character. In the evening it glows in different colors and illuminates the harbor. It offers a beautiful view over the city and the ocean.
Project-Based Learning vs. Problem-Based Learning
Project-Based Learning and Problem-Based Learning are two distinct educational approaches that share similarities but also have key differences. Both aim to foster critical thinking, collaboration, and real-world application of knowledge, but they approach these goals in distinct ways.
Project-Based Learning: Project-Based-Learning is an instructional method that centers around students completing a project to address a complex question or challenge. These projects can be multifaceted and typically span an extended period. In Project-Based-Learning, students are often given more autonomy to choose their project topics or approaches, which encourages creativity and independence.
Key characteristics of Project-Based-Learning:
Interdisciplinary: Project-Based-Learning often incorporates multiple subjects, encouraging students to integrate knowledge and skills from various disciplines to tackle a problem.
Real-World Application: Project-Based-Learning emphasizes the application of knowledge to solve authentic, real-world problems, making learning more relevant and meaningful.
Collaboration: Project-Based-Learning frequently involves teamwork, simulating the collaborative nature of many professional environments.
Problem-Based Learning: Problem-Based-Learning, on the other hand, focuses on presenting students with specific problems or scenarios to solve. Unlike Project-Based-Learning, where the project's direction is open-ended, Problem-Based-Learning offers a clearly defined problem or question for students to investigate. Students work through these problems, often in small groups, to identify solutions.
Key characteristics of Problem-Based-Learning:
Problem-Centered: Problem-Based-Learning starts with a well-defined problem or scenario that drives the learning process. Students must analyze, research, and develop solutions for this specific issue.
Critical Thinking: Problem-Based-Learning promotes critical thinking skills as students must analyze, synthesize information, and develop solutions to the presented problem.
Clinical and Professional Focus: Problem-Based-Learning is commonly used in medical and professional education to prepare students for real-world problem-solving in their respective fields.
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
Personal Characteristics of an Entrepreneur: Entrepreneurship is a unique career path that requires a specific set of personal characteristics to succeed. Here are some key traits often associated with successful entrepreneurs:
Risk-Taking: Entrepreneurs are willing to take calculated risks and step outside their comfort zones to pursue opportunities.
Creativity: They possess creative thinking, which helps them innovate, find unique solutions to problems, and differentiate their businesses.
Adaptability: Entrepreneurs must adapt to changing market conditions and customer preferences, adjusting their strategies as needed.
Vision: They have a clear vision of their goals and are capable of creating a roadmap to achieve them.
Leadership: Effective entrepreneurs can lead teams, inspire others, and make decisions in the best interest of their businesses.
Susained Development vs. Sustainable Development
The concepts of "sustained development" and "sustainable development" both revolve around responsible management of the Earth's natural resources, but they differ in scope and emphasis. While sustained development primarily focuses on resource preservation, sustainable development takes a broader view, considering various factors essential for safeguarding the environment and ensuring long-term well-being.
Sustained Development is a concept centered on conserving and protecting the Earth's natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. However, it tends to have a narrower focus, often overlooking the cultural, political, and social needs of humanity.
Sustainable Development, on the other hand, represents a more comprehensive and forward-thinking approach. It envisions a transition from our current society to one that is more environmentally friendly. The primary goal is to achieve a harmonious balance between economic growth, environmental preservation, and societal welfare.
Sustainable development is often structured around three key pillars:
Economic Sustainability: This pillar seeks to reduce extreme poverty and ensure that everyone has access to fairly paid employment. It acknowledges the importance of economic growth while maintaining equity and fairness.
Environmental Sustainability: Environmental preservation is a core aspect of sustainable development. It aims to protect the natural balance of our planet while mitigating the negative impacts of human activities on the environment. This pillar is crucial for combating climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Social Sustainability: Social sustainability focuses on guaranteeing access to basic resources and services for all members of society. It underscores the importance of equity, inclusivity, and social justice in the development process.
In essence, sustainable development is about creating an economically efficient, ecologically sustainable, and socially equitable world.
Investing in sustainable development has a significant impact on the environment. It not only addresses climate change but also works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Initiatives aimed at combating climate change are inherently aligned with the principles of sustainable development.
One of the foundational steps toward contributing to sustainable development is raising awareness. This can be achieved through personal actions, such as calculating one's carbon footprint. Understanding the environmental impact of individual consumption habits allows individuals to identify areas where they can make more sustainable choices. This process empowers consumers to reduce their carbon footprint and make environmentally responsible decisions in their daily lives.
In summary, sustained development and sustainable development share a common foundation in responsible resource management. However, sustainable development goes beyond resource preservation, incorporating economic, environmental, and social dimensions to create a balanced and environmentally friendly society. Investing in sustainable development is a critical step in addressing climate change, and personal awareness and action play essential roles in achieving this goal.
Today we learned in a practical way what it means to be a sustainable company. We got to meet three different companies that showed us how they operate sustainably.
At our first stop at "Keramos" we met two ladies who built their business from scratch. They deal with homemade art made of ceramics and glass. They use old glass and are resourceful with their working materials. Since little is homemade these days and much is made of plastic, they face the challenge of bringing their products closer to customers every day, which is why they regularly sell their products at local markets. They try to convince customers of the longevity of the products and encourage customers to use more sustainable alternatives themselves. Their product range includes, for example, magnets, wine corks, house numbers, bowls, plates and much more.
At the second sustainable company, we were able to learn about sustainability from a different perspective. The owner of the aromatherapy business showed us that she uses various homegrown herbs, oils and salts to help people find "the right path" in life. Since Spain is a Christian country, charity - in the form of helping others - is a priority for her. So it helps to sustainably support people's psyche, which can have a positive and hopefully lasting impact on future generations.
The lady from the last sustainable business welcomed us very kindly and explained that she is "just" one part of a sustainable chain of artists. She works with local businesses, the city and residents by completing handmade artwork, painting sculptures, working on flamenco jewelry, framing puzzles or embellishing picture frames. Working with diverse people, she has a lot of experience making new things out of old things. Instead of buying new, people bring her the broken things, which she then repairs or remodels so that you can't tell if anything was broken on it. Her store is centrally located, so everyone knows her and she is the place to go for repairs.
In summary, all three sustainable businesses promote sustainability, especially in Huelva, because each business works in its own way, doing its own part to make the world a better place.
Agenda 2030 – 17 Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 global objectives aimed at addressing a wide range of social, economic, and environmental challenges by 2030. These goals were adopted by all 193 UN member states in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The goals can be summarized as followed:
No Poverty: End poverty in all its forms everywhere by promoting economic growth, social protection, and equal access to resources.
Zero Hunger: Achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture to eradicate hunger.
Good Health and Well-being: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, with a focus on reducing maternal and child mortality and combating diseases.
Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable education for all, promoting lifelong learning opportunities.
Gender Equality: Achieve gender equality and empower women and girls through equal access to education, economic opportunities, and participation in decision-making.
Clean Water and Sanitation: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Affordable and Clean Energy: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all.
Decent Work and Economic Growth: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.
Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.
Reduced Inequality: Reduce inequality within and among countries by addressing income disparities, promoting social inclusion, and ensuring equal opportunities.
Sustainable Cities and Communities: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
Responsible Consumption and Production: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns by reducing waste, promoting recycling, and using resources efficiently.
Climate Action: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, including climate education and sustainable practices.
Life Below Water: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.
Life on Land: Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, including forests, and halt biodiversity loss.
Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies, provide access to justice, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions.
Partnerships for the Goals: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, involving governments, civil society, and the private sector.
These SDGs represent a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Achieving these goals requires the collective efforts of governments, businesses, and civil society to create a more equitable and sustainable world.
However, recognizing the importance of individual actions in achieving these ambitious goals, the UN introduced The Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World to empower and engage individuals in the pursuit of a better world.
This guide represents a deliberate shift towards setting achievable goals for ordinary people, acknowledging that meaningful change can begin at the individual level. It is structured around four distinct levels, each tailored to different scopes of action and effort.
Level 1 - Things You Can Do from Your Couch: At this foundational level, individuals are encouraged to take simple yet impactful actions that require minimal effort. Examples include saving electricity by turning off unused lights and devices and reporting online bullies to promote online safety and a more respectful digital environment.
Level 2 - Things You Can Do from Home: Moving beyond the couch, this level involves actions that can be integrated into one's daily life at home. Suggestions include composting to reduce waste and environmental impact, as well as replacing old appliances with energy-efficient models to save energy and reduce utility bills.
Level 3 - Things You Can Do in Your Neighborhood: This level extends the focus to the local community, emphasizing the importance of supporting and strengthening one's immediate surroundings. Individuals are encouraged to shop locally to boost the local economy and reduce carbon emissions associated with long-distance transport. Additionally, using refillable water bottles helps reduce plastic waste and promotes sustainable consumption.
Level 4 - Things You Can Do at Work: Recognizing the role of the workplace in shaping personal and collective behavior, the guide suggests actions that can be taken within a professional setting. These include raising one's voice against any form of discrimination and advocating for inclusivity and equality. Additionally, mentoring young people fosters skill development and personal growth.
In summary, "The Lazy Person's Guide to Saving the World" is designed to make the SDGs more accessible to individuals by providing a structured framework for action. It encourages people to start with simple steps and gradually increase their engagement, ultimately demonstrating that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has a role to play in achieving a more sustainable and equitable future for all.
The last day of our course started with a quiz, in which we repeated what we had learned in the course. After the game, we had to take an exam to show if we understood the topic of the course and how we can implement it in the future to make our contribution to the future. Afterwards there was a feedback round where we thanked the course instructors and gave our feedback. At the end of the course we received the certificates and said goodbye to the other course participants and the course instructors.