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Sustainability Science: Field Methods and Exercises

pp 23-39

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Designing Field Exercises with the Integral Approach for Sustainability Science: A Case Study of the Heihe River Basin, China

  • Ricardo O. San CarlosAffiliated withGraduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo Email author 
  • , Heng Yi TeahAffiliated withGraduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
  • , Tomohiro AkiyamaAffiliated withGraduate Program in Sustainability Science-Global Leadership Initiative, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo
  • , Jia LiAffiliated withFaculty of International Studies and Regional Development, University of Niigata Prefecture

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Abstract

This chapter introduces one of the GPSS-GLI exercises, the Oasis Unit, which has been conducted annually in northwestern China. The unit aims to equip the students who take it with a wide knowledge base and leadership competency, and is thus strongly field-oriented. The Integral Approach proposed by Ken Wilber is applied when designing this unit, which provides an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary framework for synthesizing the complex problems of sustainability, as well as allowing the inclusion of methodologies from different academic fields. In the present chapter a practical implementation of the approach is showed and discussed, using as a case study the 2015 Oasis Unit within two contexts—(1) as a holistic framework for addressing sustainability problems, and (2) as a design approach for educational field exercises. Finally, the authors summarize the usefulness of the integral approach in designing field exercises based on the seven year long experience of the University of Tokyo in organizing the Oasis Unit.

Keywords

Integral approach Sustainability science education Field exercise Heihe river basin