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Transcript: Environmental Principles of Global Sustainable Development

Hi everyone, my name is Ismini. I'm originally Greek from Crete, but I spent most of my time living in Luxembourg. Before getting to Warwick I was studying Business, Economics, and Maths and now I am in my third year of completing my Global Sustainable Development and Business Studies degree (one of the joint honours degrees that the department offers). I'll be talking to you about the 'Environmental Principles of Global Sustainable Development'. When I took it almost three years back, it was part of the core modules and I had to do it in my second term.

What I really liked about the module was first of all the teaching. The staff, the lecturers, are amazing, passionate and they really love what they are doing so I felt engaged every single week, every single class, in all of my modules but also specifically in Environmental Principles.

What I also really like about the module is the diverse topics you learn. You get to cover the nine planetary boundaries and it's kind of like a wake-up call into what earth has to deal with which for me was quite surprising and from one side you get to worry about what is ahead of us, but at the same time you kind of get inspired and passionate and you find your enthusiasm - it's your time to kind of do something about it now that you are learning about it.

So I'm going to now break down how my teaching was done. For most of my GSD modules as well, we had a lecture so that was where they gave us the overview of the topic, the introduction, they gave us the main themes and for me, it was giving me an introduction to what I'll be learning and reading about for that week. Then after the lecture, I was given materials to read, or watch a video, or listen to a podcast, or do a task, or play a game, which engaged with the topics and themes of the lecture. By the end of the week, I would also have completed a seminar, so for that one I would have prepared kind of answers to set questions and it's all about us, the students, it was all about me and my peers in terms of talking and debating and sharing our ideas of the different issues each week, or what we felt was happening, or if we didn't understand some things we could always ask our lecturers who were in the room.

The assessments for that specific module is quite unique in the variety of assessment it offers and the different types that normal straight degrees don't offer so I think GSD have done very well in terms of providing a variety of types one of them being a policy brief instead of a normal research paper or an essay. For me, that was one of the big steps and changes which I had to encounter and after going several times to my lectures asking for feedback, I was able to perform relatively well with my policy brief. In addition to the write-up, I also had to do a policy pitch which was quite exciting because I had to present within two minutes my policy brief so all that work that I had put into my write-up I got now to share in kind of a more verbal and communicating style in a presentation, which is very important and I found quite useful when it comes to presenting my work nowadays.

Overall I found this module very engaging and it changed my view of sustainability and global sustainable development because I started the course with the idea that I was interested in social and economic development and sustainability of that side, not as much on the environmental (and I was quite an outsider on this perspective). However, now I find myself engaging more and more with modules that focus on environmental principles which led me to take a Climate Change module in my second year and then again focusing my dissertation on more of the environmental sustainability sides of things. I enjoyed it very much and I hope you found this helpful.