Imagine you are a social entrepreneur. (A social entrepreneur is an individual, group, network, organization, or alliance of organizations that seeks sustainable, large-scale change through pattern-breaking ideas in what (and/or how) governments, nonprofits, and businesses do (to) address significant social problems. Source: Asian Social Science 6.6 (2010): p3.) Your task is to research and design a concrete response (a “solution”) to a real world “environmental sustainability” problem in Canada. We encourage creativity but note that your solution must seem feasible and reasonable, and be explained in a detailed fashion.
essay that includes five key components:
1. A thoughtful operationalization (definition) of environmental sustainability, with a brief explanation of why you believe this definition is useful and how it is related to your chosen problem;
2. Defining the problem: Identification of a significant environmental sustainability problem in Canada that you would like to solve. Once you have chosen an environmental problem to work on, the real work begins. You are to research your chosen problem with the goal of : i) providing a context for understanding the problem, ii) identifying key causes of the problem, and iii) drawing out the barriers or hurdles that might be hindering our ability to come up with solutions. In so doing you should provide:
A clear statement of the problem.
A brief descriptive/contextual overview of the problem that identifies key causes of this problem.
A brief analysis of significant challenges or hurdles to finding solutions to this problem. Are these causes or hurdles technical, political, cultural, social or perhaps psychological?
3. Mind Map: Based on this research and analysis, create a mind map of your problem (remember this is not a map of solutions but rather of elements that can help frame the problem). This mind map should include elements such as key biophysical, social, economic, political, psychological or cultural factors as well as key stakeholders. Once you create a visual representation of your mind map, briefly summarize the nature of the relationship between the different elements in your mind map.
4. Proposed Solution: Explanation of how you would innovate to solve this environmental sustainability problem, which includes:
-Clear statement of the solution, which can take one or more of five forms:
A product – e.g. high efficiency stove; phone app; or redesigned car.
A service – e.g. a commercial composting pick-up service for restaurants.
An event – e.g. a “Clean Up the Streets” block party; or a large musical showcase that features no reliance on fossil fuels; or
A campaign – e.g. a “sewers and salmon” campaign that dissuades people from disposing of household wastes down storm sewers.
A policy – e.g. a realistic and focused change to existing local, provincial, or federal policies or laws
-Explanation of how the solution corresponds with your definition of environmental sustainability.
-Detailed explanation of the solution: what would it look like in practice?
-Evidence the solution is socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable.
Your essay does not have to include a budget (although you may include one if you choose), but it must demonstrate that you have thought about economic sustainability (in other words, how will the implementation of your solution be paid for?)
Further, your essay must address social sustainability, including desirability: why would people want to use and pay for your solution?
5. Evidence of Research: You must include a bibliography (not included in the page limit noted above) that includes at least 10 items (i.e. journal articles, policy reports, archival documents), no more than 20% of which may be newspaper/magazine articles.
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