On October 11, 2016 CMM President Mark Coleman spoke before 44 students of Fordham University’s West Wing Scholars Program on the topics, “Sustainability, Accountability, and Change” at a dinner colloquium.
Fordham’s West Wing Scholars Program “strives to provide a co-curricular living-learning experience for students enrolled in both Fordham Collage at Rose Hill and the Gabelli School of Business…Recognizing the value of interdisciplinary study between the colleges, the West Wing will connect such topics as international affairs, government policy, public relations, ethical business practices, and effective leadership, in order to inspire well-rounded students to are confident in their abilities to affect change both at Fordham University and in the world.”
Mr. Coleman states, “sustainability transcends all aspects of life, and is a common thread, entwined within all of the critical areas of study within the West Wing Scholars Program at Fordham University…I’m honored that my book, The Sustainability Generation, was selected as one of the resources to stimulate discussion and contribute to the integrated learning experience for students of this distinguished program.”
Mr. Coleman’s talk engaged students, with questions and discussion, on a number of current affairs and issues enveloped in sustainability including personal accountability: the role of government and business versus the role of citizens, prioritizing responsibility in a complex and dynamic world of social change, building and fostering trust-based relationships, and the powerful link between sustainability and leadership. Some of the points made by Mr. Coleman during the talk included:
Sustainability is a state of mind that enables you to incorporate critical thinking into your daily behaviors and relationships as you seek to improve your life context.
Sustainability is a journey, not a destination. The destination is dependent upon how “you, me, and WE” can take personal and collective responsibility for our behaviors, as citizens and consumers.
As a word, concept, and discipline, Sustainability is like Leadership. It’s hard to define, there are varied points of view on it, and we all know it’s in short supply and needed more than ever. Leadership is like a muscle, you have to exercise it for it to stay reflexive, responsive, and serve with strength. Sustainability is much the same, if it is not exercised, it’s potential is marginalized.
The formula for Sustainability is built upon the will to act, and time. Sustainability resides on our ability to integrate the past, the present, and the future. We have to account for prior knowledge, we have to make hard but smart decisions in the present, but we also cannot forget that our future is partly unknown and partly defined by our own hands and doing. Combined, the past, present and future lay out an arithmetic that can move society to act on knowledge, serve with integrity and accountability, and drive innovation as well as continuous improvement in all that we do.
Life is full of choices. How you choose to engage in all aspects of life will define you as an individual, as a steward of our planet, and a leader among humanity.
The role you choose to play (bystander, mobilizer, activist, broker, reporter, doer) is up to you. Only you can define the life you want to live, and the life you choose to lead.
To live life with a sense of purpose, passion, balance, resolve, and accountability is the beating heart of what I call the Sustainability Generation. I believe YOU are the Sustainability Generation. We all have a purpose in life. It is our responsibility and right, to discover who we are and how we will serve.
People are the common denominator to a more (or less) sustainable world. You have the potential and power to enact and see change through.
For additional information see, The West Wing: Ignation Leadership and Civic Service.