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Course to prepare millennials to help change the world

By: - Reporter / @jovicyeeINQ
/ 12:28 AM December 15, 2015

AN ENTIRE course has been developed for millennials.

Starting next school year, Enderun Colleges in Taguig City will offer the Bachelor of Science in Sustainability degree, an interdisciplinary course in Environmental Science, Business Management and Public Policy.

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The new course aims to respond to the millennials’ wanting “to be everything.”

Edmond Maceda, cochair of Enderun’s new Sustainability and Environmental Studies Department, said he expected the course to attract millennials who “want to succeed and be rich” but, at the same time, “help make the world a better place and help others improve their quality of life.”

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But he said the course was also designed to help society “change the way we do business” and address the threat of climate change.

He said the course was patterned after similar offerings in leading American universities like Harvard. It would be the “first of its kind” in Asia.

Maceda said the sustainability course was steadily gaining ground in the West because “through this program they are able to merge environmental studies with business.”

But while the course might be Western in concept, Maceda said they were confident it would be accepted here because environmental issues transcend cultures.

Maceda, who currently serves as chief sustainability officer of a large property company, said it was important for students taking up courses that deal with the environment to have business management skills because they could become the country’s leaders.

“[The] Sustainability [course] differs from traditional courses in Environmental Science and even traditional courses in Business Administration, Political Science and Economics by [relating issues] of leadership, resource allocation and ethical conduct to a scientific understanding of the pressing environmental challenges we face…,” said department cochair and social enterprise Bambike founder Bryan McClelland.

The faculty handling the program includes renowned architect Felino Palafox Jr. Maceda has experience in corporate sustainability, while McClelland’s background is in social entrepreneurship.

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Maceda said the program’s first two years would focus on general subjects infused with topics like climate change, global sustainable development policy, urban planning, green buildings, etc.

Afterward, a student could choose to concentrate on Social Entrepreneurship, Corporate Sustainability Management, Public Policy or Applied Environmental Science.

“The demand for sustainability experts with global perspectives is growing rapidly in the corporate sector,” Maceda said.

He added that consumers increasingly based buying decisions on the producers’ social responsibility, creating a demand for managers with sustainable business principles and practice.

With the start of senior high school next year, Maceda said they expect graduates of the academic track (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to enroll in the program.

McClelland said current world problems, like climate change, natural resource depletion and income inequality, “cannot be addressed without a holistic understanding of business, government, economics and environmental science.”

He said being able to work across disciplines and across cultures would be key in an interconnected world of interrelated, existential challenges.

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