Systems Thinking to Facilitate a Regenerative Economy

Instructor: Jeffrey Potent

Fulfills requirement: Environmental Policy, Management, and Finance (EPMF)
Day: Monday
Dates: Oct. 16, 23, 30, Nov. 6, 13 (Module 2, 5 sessions)
Time: 6:10 – 8:10 PM
Room location: Schermerhorn Extension 652
Course ID: ENVB 0404 N
Call number: 21647

Course Description

This course introduces systems theory to advance the practice of sustainable development. We will explore how systems manifest in nature and in human society, and how systems thinking can complement more conventional analytic approaches to understanding the world around us. We will learn about knowledge systems, an approach to learning and collaboration that can achieve outcomes which are scientifically sound, relevant to the issues at hand, and respectful of the interests of all involved parties. From there, we will examine how knowledge systems are applied to sustainable development to address the complex challenges associated with balancing environmental, social, and economic objectives over time. Along this journey, we will have lively discussions about what a sustainable society might look like and the prospects of actually getting there.

About the Instructor

Jeffrey Potent develops and teaches courses in corporate sustainable development, systems theory, ecosystem services, and sustainable agriculture. He also consults and speaks publicly on corporate and agricultural sustainability and water quality. Mr. Potent formerly led corporate partnerships for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Water in Washington DC, advancing sustainable and market-based approaches to environmental protection. Earlier in his career, he served as EPA/US Department of Agriculture (USDA) liaison, facilitating collaboration among Land Grant Universities, EPA, USDA, and other agencies and academic institutions. In 2001 he established the regional component of the USDA National Integrated Water Quality Program, serving as regional coordinator and member of the program’s national leadership team. Before that, he led an energy and environmental engineering consulting practice, managed pollution prevention programs for a large environmental agency, and planned satellite and cable infrastructure for a global telecommunications corporation.