Spring 2018

Global Collaboration for Sustainability: The Food-Water-Energy Nexus in Italy

Spring 2017
Course Number: 
DYNM 766 001


Permits to register for this travel course will be issued upon receipt of a signed Travel Agreement.
Primary Program: 
Organizational Dynamics
Course Note: 
This course departs the US 4/28 and returns 5/6.
Course Description: 

Environmentalist Paul Hawken challenged a class of 2009 college graduates that they would have to "figure out what it means to be a human being on earth at a time when every living system is declining, and the rate of decline is accelerating."  That theme is at the heart of this course. While we have seen the notion of sustainability gaining traction in recent years, our quality of life in the near future very likely hinges on the development and implementation of sustainable solutions to enormously complex environmental and social problems – particularly around food, water, and energy. 

This course is designed to foster the thinking, and the collaborative spirit, that is needed to address those enormous problems. It involves focusing on a critical global sustainability problem with vast social, cultural, and environmental dimensions -- in this case, the need to balance global food, water, and energy needs in a manner that allows the world to feed 9.6 billion citizens by 2050 while preserving the environment for future generations.  It also involves collaboration and the exchange of ideas between multi-disciplinary leaders from multiple countries, and perspectives on how to manage diverse views and sustainability initiatives that are extremely relevant to the success of today’s organizations (i.e. how to lead “big change” for competitive advantage).

DYNM 766 will explore the food-water-energy nexus in Italy amid a culture that literally celebrates food, notably following Expo-Milano in October of 2015 – the global exposition in Milan that drew 20 million of the world’s citizens on the topic of feeding the planet.  The course will involve a special session with experts at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations in Rome – the hub of agriculture and food security research for the world – and additional sessions on food, water, energy and innovation topics with international students and food system experts at the University of Bologna (the oldest University in the world, dating back to 1088) and at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.