SEEd’s Choice: Read, Do, See and Learn – August 2020

SEEd's choice, things to read, do ,see and learn - July

Things to Read

Build back better: Education must change after COVID-19 to meet the climate crisis – Ms Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education writes in this blog post about the importance of rebuilding education following the pandemic that prepares and empowers students in the face of the climate crisis. Read More.  

Our Education System isn’t ready for the Climate Crisis – In this Teach the Future article University Student Henry Webb challenges the all-too-clear failings of the current education system, and makes a strong case for system upheaval. Exams, career events, food options, and teacher training are just some of the ways schools could begin to make a real difference and do right by their students. Read More.

Systems Thinking for Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results By David Peter Stroh – This book helps readers understand what systems thinking is, why it is so important, and how it can be incorporated into problem solving, decision making, and strategic planning to produce effective results. Read More.  

Thinking in Systems: A Primer  By Donella H. Meadows, edited by Diana Wright – This book shows readers how to develop system thinking skills that can be applied from the personal to the global level while reminding readers to pay attention to what is really important and find proactive and effective solutions to a range of problems. Read More.  

The Promise of Ecological Economics – Aaron Karp explores the deep conflicting relationship between economics and ecological health, the myths of mainstream economics, the importance of economic literacy, and the steady state economy that could support a stable climate. Read More.

We must not miss this glorious chance to address the climate and biodiversity crises – Jonathan Porritt looks at the huge range of benefits the UK could see if a green recovery from the Covid pandemic is implemented, and the concerning implications for people and planet if it’s not. Read More.

Powerhouses: nanotechnology turns bricks into batteries – Damian Carrington writes about recent scientific research that could lead to a huge advancement in combating the climate crisis. Being able to store an abundant amount of renewable energy in the common house brick could be revolutionary in terms of energy consumption. Read More.  

Social Systems Evidence – This site is a continually updated repository of research based evidence on social and governmental systems and programmes across the world, also has a strong focus and link to the SDG’s. Read More.

Things to Do

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development – This conference will highlight the increasing challenges we face during the climate crisis, the role that ESD has to play in enabling the successful achievement of the SDG’s, and strengthen ESD policy and practice. Virtual conference, held from the 17th – 19th May 2021. Read More.  

SDG Academy Community of Practice – Invites global higher education institutions, NGOs, for-profit businesses, and relevant government entities to join a diverse community dedicated to advancing education for sustainable development through peer learning and the sharing of best practices, customized resource development, and opportunities for research and thought leadership. Read More.

Don’t Trade our Planet – WWF are asking as many people as possible to sign a petition asking the government to uphold their promise not to compromise on high environmental protection, food standards, and animal welfare in their upcoming trade deals. This petition is to ensure that future trade deals do not accept lower standard food from potentially poisonous megafarms that are bad for the health of both humans and the planet. Read More.  

Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland – The deadline for the 2020 awards has been extended to the 9th of September 2020, and any UK and Ireland University or College can enter for free. These awards recognise and celebrate exceptional sustainability work, projects, and progress made by tertiary education institutions across the world. There are separate categories and entry deadlines for different regions of the world. Read More.  

MockCOP 26 – Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS) are supporting Young People from around the world to run their own, online COP26 this November. If you are, or you know, a young person aged under 25 who would like to be involved they can sign up through the link. Sign up Link. SOS-UK are also looking for a youth-led organisation to partner with, interested organisations can get in touch with Jamie Burrell by emailing

Seeking people working in STEM &/or Child Psychology to Collaborate on Climate Ed CPD – Poppy Flint is looking for people interested in collaborating on developing some climate education training workshops for formal education CPD or conference type events. She is looking in particular for a STEM teacher or freelancer to help run STEAM projects which would combine sustainability and arts with STEM learning. Find out More.  

Things to See

The Transformative power of ESD for the world beyond Covid-19 – On September 9th UNESCO are releasing the first of a new monthly webinar series on the transformative power of education for sustainable development that will run until April 2021 in preparation for the World Conference. Read More.  

A Systems Story (Systems Thinking) – This short video from BEE Environmental Communication gives a short introduction to key systems thinking concepts using relatable metaphor. Watch the video.  

HESI Special Event: Where Next? Redesigning Further Education for the Future – The question for this year’s Higher Education Sustainability Initiative Annual Conference (held on July 8th 2020) was: How can we redesign higher education in support of sustainable development, a green recovery, and regenerative pathways for education? The conference was recorded and you can watch all or part of it on YouTube. Watch the video.  

David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet – On the 28th of September 2020 Sir David Attenborough’s new feature length film, produced in collaboration with WWF, will premier in cinemas across the UK for one night only. This cinema showing will include a recorded discussion between Sir David Attenborough and Sir Michael Palin that will not be available in post cinema copies of the film. Read More.

Things to Learn

The Impact of Covid-19 on Sustainability – UN Global Compact have created a series of briefs that detail the impact of the pandemic on a variety of sustainability issue areas, and guidance on how companies can respond to these and build back better. They are also asking CEO’s from participating companies to submit a video showing what the company is doing as part of its respond, recovery, and resilience efforts. Read More.

Top 10 Facts about Elephants – August the 12th was World Elephant Day, so here’s ten facts about Elephants put together by WWF that you may or may not know. Read More.

Sustainable Food Systems: A Mediterranean Perspective – This short, free course from the SDG Academy asks how do we produce more, better quality, and safer food while simultaneously achieving social and environmental goals? This is a self-paced course made up of 10 online modules, each of which takes roughly two hours to complete. You can enrol any time, and there is an option to purchase a certificate upon completion. Read More.  

Systems Thinking: Understanding Sustainability – This free OpenLearn course explores sustainability, sustainable development, systems thinking, and climate change. Made up of approximately 15 hours of online self-guided study, with a free statement of participation at the end. Sign up and learn anytime. Read More.

Economics for a Full World – In this essay from 2015 Herman Daly explains the relationship between human economy and the natural ecosystems, the limitations of living in a full world, the conflict between economic growth and the preservation of the natural world, and the steady state economic model. Read More

A General Framework for Analysing Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems – This article sets out a framework to better understand the processes that lead to improvements in or deterioration of natural resources. Read More.