Unintended Consequences: At The Interface Of Business And The Environment

SUS3601 Unintended Consequences: At the Interface of Business and the Environment
4 Advanced Liberal Arts Credits
The consequences of business decisions often have impacts far different from those that were initially anticipated. Increasingly business leaders, particularly entrepreneurs, are expected to be able to anticipate the consequences of such decisions on the social and natural environment. "Systems thinking" offers a useful framework for dealing with such complex challenges. Likewise, such consequences demand an interdisciplinary approach to their study. The focus of this course will be on building competency in the use of systems thinking in regard to the interface of business and the environment through in-depth and interdisciplinary, historical and contemporary case studies such as "boom and bust" in the industrial revolution of the United States, declining fisheries, the use of hydraulic fracturing to extract fossil fuels, carbon sequestration, damming of rivers and the growing impact of electrical vehicles. We will also examine efforts to mitigate the impact of business decisions on the environment and the political, economic and policy challenges such efforts present. SUS3601 will use a variety of learning methods throughout the course including historical resources, multi-media immersion, field projects and "flipping the classroom." We hope to help students address such questions as:

- How can business leaders productively consider the long-term implications of their actions for a variety of stakeholders and what is their responsibility for doing so under unpredictable circumstances?
- How can the perspectives of science and social justice inform business leaders' understanding of the long-term implications of their actions?
- What role can/should business leaders play in the remediation of societal and environmental degradation?

Prerequisites: (FME1000 and FME1001) or (MOB1000 and MOB1010) and NST1

  • Program: Undergraduate
  • Division: Other
  • Level: Advanced Elective (UGrad),Advanced Liberal Arts (UGrad)
  • Course Number: SUS3601
  • Number of Credits: 4