AUNE Students Head to Sweden for Lessons in Sustainability

Antioch University New England Study abroad course will explore Swedish innovation.If any place is serious about sustainability, it’s Sweden, a country that wants to be free of fossil fuels by 2020. To explore just how the Swedes are pursuing that goal, Polly Chandler, chair of the Department of Organization and Management at Antioch University New England (AUNE), will lead a group of students to Stockholm on April 25 for a week-long trip.

“The goal is to introduce students to a place where sustainability is thriving through a systems approach instead of ‘Let’s change the light bulbs and see what happens,'” said Chandler, who developed the three-credit course in the Green MBA program.

The Antioch University Chancellor’s Office funded the course’s approach to create an international field experience accessible to all five campuses in the Antioch University system. Twenty-one students from three campuses will participate: fifteen from AUNE, three from Antioch Los Angeles and two from Antioch Seattle.

Group members will stay in a youth hostel that’s a ship – the Af Chapman – during their week in Sweden’s capital city. They’ll visit several planned sustainable communities and an ecomunicipality; an aquarium, where they’ll get an update on the health of the Baltic Sea; Stockholm University and the Royal National City Park, the world’s first national urban park. They’ll also tour waste management, water resource and other systems that demonstrate how Sweden organizes sustainable initiatives systematically.

“Sweden is where a lot of innovation is happening in transportation, in alternative fuels and in other areas,” Chandler said. The goal of the course is for students to bring home many ideas and lessons from a first-hand look at that innovation.