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Gardens right outside the Sustainable Living building are being actively used by students for growing produce, which they then use to cook fresh meals for themselves.



Sustainability at Maharishi University of Management
by Global Good News staff writer
9 November 2010

Students express great appreciation for the Sustainable Living major at Maharishi University of Managament:

'Sustainability here [at Maharishi University of Management] isn’t just about the earth. It's broader than just going outside and building green buildings. It's also creating green values.’

'MUM is unique in that it allows you to create a kind of launch pad for who you are as an individual.'

Inner development
Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, offers its students a unique Sustainable Living programme. In a video presentation about this programme, David Fisher, Ph.D, Chair of the Sustainable Living Department at the university explains that what's on the outside is a function of what's on the inside.

'If you don't change very much of what's on the inside, not very much on the outside is going to change, regardless of how many great technologies you have; what fantastic education systems you have. Consciousness has to be raised,' he emphasized.

All of the students and faculty practice the Transcendental Meditation technique—brought to the West by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi—to develop their inner potential.

In the video presentation about the programme, one student comments that this programme takes into account 'How can I develop myself?' and ‘also the importance of developing ourselves to create a sustainable world as a fundamental to everything else.'

Lonnie Gamble, P.E., a Sustainable Living faculty member, commented that environmental problem-solving means looking at everything humans do in terms of sustainability. 'It's a cross-disciplinary thing,' he said.

'How does energy influence buildings, influence food production systems, influence transportation, influence public policy? How does all that work together and how does human consciousness create a change?’

Diana Krystofiak, an administrator for the Sustainable Living programme, comments that a lot of schools talk about consciousness, 'but not many schools offer the opportunity and a technique to experience consciousness—and then to connect their technique with what they're learning in the classroom.'

Sustainable community development
Lonnie Gambles continues: 'Our main goal here is give students the experience of this paradigm shift—from an exploitive and extractive world that wastes materials, energy, and community resources, to a world that regenerates and renews and creates that kind of abundance for future generations that we've had.'

On the Sustainable Living programme at Maharishi University of Management, students 'learn a broad scope of the whole mission in front of humanity for the next hundred years of creating sustainability, of creating a sustainable world. 

‘They get that broad vision, and then there's room for four or five courses of depth in a variety of subject areas, like building and energy and agriculture or public policy, or the fundamentals of sustainability from a philosophical and intellectual roots,' Mr Gamble explained.

'Everything we learn is so real for life,' said a female student. 'I can go outside and apply what I'm learning.'

One of the students’ recent projects was a solar heater created with 160 pop cans that are painted black and mounted in a two by four frame. It reaches up to 220 degrees under sunlight and then pumps that heat back into a house during wintertime.

As her senior project another student is working on a website that has already been launched, which explains how to eat organic and local as possible while on a food stamp budget.

Robbie Gongwer, MBA, a Sustainable Living programme developer, spoke about another project that used a wind generator created by the students to power their classroom, along with solar panels. Using a biodiesel processor from waste oil in the community, a coop was created out of that.

For the second year running, gardens right outside the Sustainable Living building are being actively used by students for growing produce. Robbie Gongwer explained that a lot of the curriculum is based upon how we build community. 'So we have a wood burning pizza oven and an indoor kitchen where students get together and make meals together.

'A lot of community happens around food making and sharing things together. We grow the food right outside, and then we have it on our table.'

Deep sustainability
Travis Cox, MA, Sustainable Living faculty, commented that 'because we have this emphasis on consciousness and because we have a technique for it, I think that it is a fuller expression of sustainability.'

'It's not just taking the parts and putting new ones, it's transforming ourselves,' one student comments.

'We are the answer,' another concludes, 'and we have every tool we need to make a sustainable world.'

For examples of student sustainability projects, please visit:

The field of sustainability is changing very quickly. Many graduates find employment that didn’t exist when they started the programme.

The following are examples of employment students from Maharishi University of Management have gained since graduation:
*  City Repair Project, assistant director (Portland, Oregon)
*  Peace Corps, regional director of sustainability education (Paraguay)
*  Above Green, Vice President at this LEED certifying agency
*  Sustainability consultant for an intentional community
*  Teaching/implementing sustainability (Peru & Nepal)
*  Working on sustainable bamboo farm (Belize)
*  Assisting start-up of an American Indian environmental university

© Copyright 2010 Global Good News®


"The potential of every student is infinite. The time of student life should serve to unfold that infinite potential so that every individual becomes a vibrant centre of Total Knowledge."—Maharishi

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