Reflections on the ’11th hour’

The movie 11th hour paints a gloomy picture of today’s state of our environment, of the way we use our resources and the way we see economy and the human race as separate from and above the nature. It also gives a portfolio of possible smart solutions and approaches to solve these problems. ‘11thhour’ will (hopefully) make you want to start doing something about these problems right away. It certainly made me feel guilty about my general inactivity on the topic.

While I am an optimist at heart when it comes to my own existence, I am more aligned with the point of view of Technological Pessimists. We are part of the nature and cannot exist without; we need to focus on strong sustainability development. So what is it that I as individual can do as I exit the classroom on the last day of this SD course?

Firstly, as a student, I can question why SD course is not a core course of every MBA program and I can ask my class colleagues to do the same. We are the forces of future change and are responsible for the well being of our generation and of generations to come. Yet, we leave a topic of such importance to be an elective one and we sway away from opening the minds of our current and future leaders and helping them focus on economy as a part of the environment.

Secondly, as a professional, I can incorporate sustainability into my daily actions and search for opportunities to do so, start new initiatives.

Thirdly, as a parent, I can ensure that the culture of sustainable development is deeply engraved into the minds of our young ones.

What will you do after watching this movie?  Back in 1992, one girl silenced the world for 6 minutes.  We do not want to hear our grandchildren giving the same speech.


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Posted in climate change, corporate sustainability, economic development, sustainable development, sustainable living
3 comments on “Reflections on the ’11th hour’
  1. barrytang says:

    I wanted to speak to your first point about SD not being more core to MBA programs. In Ottawa, at Telfer, I believe this will become more and more of a trend for SD to become incorporated into the curriculum. Thinking about our Telfer program thus far, we have already witnessed glimpses of this emerging trend. Recall the performance management course where the final deliverable was to develop a business proposal to IBM. This proposal was actually submitted to IBM’s team responsible for developing a new device that would sense and collect atmospheric information (sounds, smells/compositions, temperature, etc). The class was supplemented by a presentation by IBM who explained the vision and also the efforts behind developing an application/device to help monitor and track ecological changes in our day to day environment.
    In addition to this course, we have had guest speakers present green initiatives that were becoming the emerging force in the marketplace. Company starts-ups were rising as the sector was evolving into an opportunistic marketplace where new entrants could profit from providing consultant services on adhering to eco-friendly government mandated regulations. It will be interesting to see where the next few years will bring Telfer as well as other MBA programs around the world.

  2. tyep says:

    Although I’m biased, I also believe that all MBA programs should require at least one course addressing issues of sustainability and how these issues should be incorporated into business decisions. Sustainability used to be a buzz word and something that most companies did not feel was important because it didn’t affect their business or it was something that only hippies believed in. However, times are changing and more businesses are realizing that incorporating sustainability into their business is not as hard as they once thought and that many of these decisions to be more “green” can be viewed as business opportunities. Opportunities to save money or create a product/service that fills a new need in society.

    Net Impact ( is a non-profit that uses the power of business to create a more socially and responsible world. I am involved in the graduate student chapter at my school and new chapters are being created every year. While the chapters are open to students in any major, most are business-related and made up of MBAs. Professional chapters also exist in many cities.

    I believe that this is one example that shows that sustainability is a key issue that affects everyone and more people and businesses are becoming aware that they need to become educated and start making sustainable business decisions.

  3. I too was reflective following the end of the 11th hour video. Certainly introspective. I was thinking back to when I first heard David Suzuki speak, as a special guest in one of my genetics classes. He had written the textbook we were using. As a geneticist, a scientist, his work pushed him to examine the very essence of what makes us who we are. While he continued research in his chosen field, he took a very strong, very clear stand and became the very public face of environmentalism in Canada. Every child doing a project on the environment and sustainability in Canada today will have developed their thoughts largely due to the passion this humble man has held for our planet.
    Makes you wonder what could happen if each of us reached a little further inside ourselves, pushed ourselves a little further to take a stand on what we truly believe in. Certainly makes me wonder how i can change my little part of the planet…

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