Environmental Values

The IDEA Consortium is committed to making a difference for environmental values through life-long experiential learning.
What are "environmental values?"

The importance we attach to objects represent our values.

What are we willing to pay for material goods and services? This question lies at the heart of economics. Each material object has a value determined by its supply and demand.

Business entrepreneurship is an art form with a sparkling background of science and mathematics. The entrepreneur, often an individual but increasingly a small cohesive group, recognizes an opportunity to gain financially by building a business.

Environmental objects and the systems supporting these objects have value but that value is often not acknowledged or appreciated with anything approaching the way we value material goods and services.

Creation of the supply is a foundation of social entrepreneurship but, of course, underlies or supports the entire economic system including the entrepreneurship needed to fuel economic growth.

Success is often regarded a material accumulation and the outward manifestation of success is the display of accumulated material goods and services. Yet a better definition of success may recognize the progress made to achievement of a goal. Judgments about the worth of a goal or an ideal become both personal and social. For some individuals social criteria are relatiely unimportant. For other individuals the social milieu is paramount. Keeping up with the Jones' is a cliche for socially driven goals and ideals.

The goals or ideals of sustainability and biodiversity can be expressed and accepted broadly and represent expressions of "environmental values"

Why should we care about environmental values? Until we are willing and able to identify environmental values we will individually and collectively continue to idealize economic values, social justice, and human welfare to the exclusion of important ecological considerations. Given the dependence of human life on natural resources it raises questions about; how we could not care about the value assigned to clean air and water, productive soils, and the diversity of plant, animal and microbial life?
How will the IDEA Consortium make a difference? The IDEA Consortium will make it a business to promote life-long experiences that influence the world-view of individuals, organizations and commercial enterprises. An expanded world-view lies at the center of ethical questions that drive educational activities in school and non-school environments. By recognizing that education is profoundly ecological, IDEA Consortium will establish a foundation for integration of physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual domains in the life experiences of individuals who in their own unique ways influence the visions, missions, goals, and activities of organizations. These elements of organizational behavior can change; organizational learning must occur if organizations and the individuals they support are to survive.
Why is (recognition of ) life-long learning a significant element for the IDEA Consortium?

Education in schools is limited to certain segments of our life cycle; for the most part ages five to twenty five.

Non-school education has a huge potential for influence. Advertising, social events, faith-based activities, organizational literature, government and governmental institutions are constantly creating and sending messages that challenge our comfort level.

Each stage of our life cycle presents new challenges that demand new frameworks for survival.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs may ebb and flow throughout your life. When physical needs are adequately met, new challenges are presented in the steps toward self-fulfillment.

What is "experiential" learning? Learning from experience; or put another way, experience leads to personal development. The day to day activities of our lives may bring us into a multitude of situations most of which do not significantly challenge our comfort level. We establish routines to minimize our discomfort. These habits become embedded mostly for better but occasionally the habits cause experiences that reduce our comfort level or are not consistent with immediate goals or objectives. Our interaction with others close to us may suggest or even demand attention to the routine and consequently we are pulled from the routine into a new set of experiences. When these new experiences are created for us we may label them as educational and recognize the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual changes as learning or personal development if there is some semblance of permanence.

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