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New master's degree at MUM to focus on sustainability - local to global
by Global Good News staff writer
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12 March 2013
Core subject areas of a new master's degree programme in Sustainable Living at Maharishi University of Management include a mix of traditional and unexpected topics.
All the areas covered are intended to provide an in-depth foundation for the students in sustainable community development. These are the core facts and skill sets that will assist them during the more independent second half of their degree programme.
The subjects include community empowerment from within, starting with sustainability. There is also a strong focus on establishing local food sources and self-sufficiency in both energy and water.
Of course, even with an emphasis on local sourcing, local communities do not exist in a vacuum.
Dr David Fisher, chair of the Sustainable Living department, emphasized this point. We need to 'relate the local to the regional, national, and global communities. Local communities . . . have to know what is going on at each of the steps above and take those into consideration.'
He also wanted to emphasize the promotion of the arts as a crucial component of a self-sustaining community.
'This is an interesting one,' Dr Fisher said, 'because almost none of the other dozens and dozens of environmental programmes, whether at the bachelor's, master's, or PhD level . . . [give] attention to the arts.'
But the Sustainable Living master's degree at Maharishi University of Management takes a different approach.
'If people don't have artistic expression and it's not encouraged in every way, they are not going to have a truly sustainable community,' said Dr Fisher.
Another component of the programme is the knowledge of how to set up a local economic system, one that does not depend on goods and food being trucked or shipped in from thousands of miles away.
'We don't believe that that's a good basis of an economic system,' Dr Fisher said.
Lastly, Dr Fisher underscored the importance of acknowledging indigenous knowledge. He mentioned that the Founder of Maharishi University of Management, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, placed great importance on reconnecting indigenous people with their land and customs.
See previous articles in this series:
∙ Sustainable Living Center moves closer to full self-sufficiency
∙ Sustainable Living Center 'the most ambitious environmental building'
∙ New master's degrees in Sustainable Living to launch next year at MUM
∙ Popular Sustainable Living department to offer MA and MS degrees: Maharishi University of Management
∙ Sustainable Living Center truly local, community built
∙ Master's in Sustainable Living to provide community assistance, valuable skill set
∙ Sustainable Living Center self-sufficient for water, greenhouse soon finished
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