ASM-Fostering Sustainable Behavior

Fostering Sustainable Behavior: Insights from Gulcimen Yurtsever’s Approach at Acsenda

Promoting sustainable behavior is a complex challenge, particularly in a world where convenience often overshadows environmental considerations. Gulcimen Yurtsever , a dedicated professor at Acsenda School of Management, has been at the forefront of integrating sustainability into education. With over 15 years of experience in teaching and practicing sustainability, her innovative methods are helping shape a new generation of environmentally conscious leaders.

Innovative Sustainability Education

At Acsenda, Yurtsever has developed a holistic approach to sustainability education that goes beyond the classroom. This year, she organized a series of 18 debates for her students, focusing on sustainable behaviors and ecological consciousness. These debates were not mere academic exercises; they provided a platform for students to propose and commit to tangible environmental actions.

One of the key outcomes of these debates was a collective decision among students to each abandon a behavior harmful to the environment. This commitment was more than theoretical

—it required students to actively work on reducing their environmental footprint. Their initiatives included cutting down on single-use plastics, adopting public transportation, and minimizing waste, reflecting a deepening understanding of the significant impact of individual actions on the environment.

Hands-On Learning: Real-World Environmental Engagement

Yurtsever complements her classroom discussions with practical, hands-on activities such as tree planting and beach clean-ups. These activities allow students to see the direct impact of their efforts on the environment. For instance, planting trees provides insight into carbon sequestration, while beach clean-ups highlight the effects of pollution on marine ecosystems.

These experiences are not just beneficial for the environment—they also play a crucial role in developing soft skills among students. Activities like these foster teamwork, leadership, and a sense of community. They provide students with real-world contexts in which to apply their learning, enhancing their understanding of environmental stewardship.

Stoicism and Sustainability: A Philosophical Approach

Yurtsever’s unique integration of Stoicism into her teaching has proven to be a powerful tool in fostering sustainable behavior. By exploring the principles of Stoicism, students learn to focus on what they can control in their daily lives and how they can influence their environment positively. This philosophical grounding helps them to distinguish between what they can change and what they cannot, encouraging a proactive approach to sustainability.

In practice, this meant that after learning about Stoicism, students decided to eliminate disposable plastic containers from their classroom. This decision exemplifies how philosophical insights can translate into practical, sustainable actions.

Benefits of Sustainability Initiatives for Students

Engaging in sustainability initiatives offers numerous benefits beyond environmental impact. Students develop essential soft skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication. Participating in debates enhances their ability to articulate their views and collaborate on solutions, while hands-on activities foster a sense of community and shared purpose.

Moreover, these experiences prepare students for a workforce that increasingly values sustainability and corporate social responsibility. They gain a deeper understanding of their role in promoting environmental stewardship and are equipped with the skills to contribute meaningfully to a sustainable future.

A Milestone in Education

Reflecting on these initiatives, Yurtsever expresses pride in what her students have achieved. Developing a new teaching strategy was a challenging endeavor, but the incremental approach led to significant progress. The commitment and enthusiasm demonstrated by her students are a testament to the effectiveness of her methods.

Get Involved: Join Us in Making a Difference

We invite all students at Acsenda to participate in our sustainability initiatives. Whether through engaging in debates, volunteering for environmental activities, or applying Stoic principles in daily life, there are countless ways to contribute to a more sustainable future. Together, we can continue to make significant strides towards environmental protection and foster a community dedicated to positive change.

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