Educating for professional dilemmas

Geoff Scott

This is one of the big problems of the sustainability movement, the green movement, is they assume, falsely, that change is achieved by brute logic. Change is not achieved by brute logic. It’s achieved by, in fact, listen, link, leverage and lead.

Tonight’s guest is Emeritus Professor Geoff Scott from Western Sydney University. ¬† He was in Dunedin to help Otago Polytechnic celebrate its 50th Anniversary by presenting a keynote at the Educating Tomorrow’s Workforce Symposium. ¬†Many of the resources Geoff refers to can be found on the FlipCurric website.

 

Sam:

Welcome to Sustainable Lens Resilience on Radio, a weekly show on sustainability topics brought to you by Otago Polytechnic. The show is co-hosted by Shane Gallagher and me, Samuel Mann.

 

Shane’s not here tonight but I am joined by Emeritus Professor Geoff Scott from Western Sydney University. He’s Pro Vice- Chancellor but also runs the Office of Sustainability there. He’s the leader of the UN-endorsed Regional Centre of Education for Sustainable Development. He’s the Executive Director of sustainability at the university. He’s the co-chair of the Sustainable Futures Leadership Academy. In 2010 he undertook a stocktake of sustainability in Australian universities and a long list of other things. But we’ll start with you. Where’d you grow up?

 

Geoff:

Manly, surfing. Born in 1945, first surfboard in 1956 with a man called Midget Farrelly, who just died recently. Actually he was the first world champion. Midget and I started on the same day with a eighteen-foot board in Manly in 1956.

 

Sam:

What did you want to be when you grew up?

 

Geoff:

I have no idea, really. I’m 71 now and I’m still not sure what I’m going to be when I grow up. That’s one of the wonderful paradoxes of life, really. My career has been one of strategic serendipity where, if you’re not completely obnoxious, when someone says, “Can you think of anyone for some job that I never knew about,” they put your name up and you didn’t even know the job was there. This is the myth of intentional career development by six steps, really. I think I just wanted to do outdoor stuff basically and live by the sea, really. The rest of it … I feel lucky, I was a baby boomer. Seemed to come along without a lot of strain actually, in those days.

 

Sam:

Did you get to live by the sea?

 

Geoff:

Yeah, yeah. I lived at Manly and I was a young skipper in the West Indies at one stage. That was in the sea, really, for a couple of years. We now live by the harbour in Sydney and I surf every day.

 

Sam:

Wow. What did you do when you left school?

 

Geoff:

When I left school I went to Sydney University. First in family at university. My mother and dad were so paradoxically perplexed but proud that they came down to Manly Wharf when I caught the ferry out for my first day and waved me off like I was going overseas. My first tutor was Germaine Greer. My first day at university in ’63 was Germaine Greer. That set me up for a life of anarchy.

 

Sam:

What were you studying?

 

Geoff:

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