In a recent article published in the “International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education”, I introduce the concept of (intra-)personal competencies for sustainable consumption. I define such competencies as abilities, proficiencies, or skills related to inner states and processes that can be considered necessary or sufficient to engage with the cause of sustainability.
Looking at the challenges individuals face both when attempting to act sustainably and engaging in consumption-related learning, I demonstrate that intrapersonal competencies directly respond to the challenges experienced on an individual level.
Rooted in the identification of individual challenges, I propose self-awareness, value clarity, emotional resilience, self-care, the access to and cultivation of ethical qualities, and the access to and cultivation of mindsets for sustainability as personal sustainability competencies.
|Self-awareness||Awareness for habits, subjective theories, inner states and processes (emotions, motivations, values, needs and their satisfaction), and psychological coping mechanisms|
|Value clarity||Being connected to intrinsic, sustainability-based values|
|Emotional resilience||Ability to persevere unpleasant emotional states and pursue intrinsic values in light of reoccurring challenges|
|Self-care||Ability to maintain a sufficient quality of one’s inner situation and one’s sense of well-being, including bodily experiences, thoughts, values, needs and wishes, or emotions|
|Access to and cultivation of ethical qualities||Ability to access and cultivate manifestations of excellence or character strength (e.g. empathy, openness, gratitude, curiosity, humility)|
|Mindsets for sustainability||Ability to access and cultivate a set of attitudes (toward oneself, the future, …) facilitating a constructive, pro-active posture toward the world|
Although more research is needed to empirically inquire into the importance of personal competencies for SC and corroborate the provided reflections, this article can serve as a starting point for specifying personal sustainability competencies and makes a case why their consideration is important when it comes to designing and evaluating ESE learning programs and activities.
Frank, P. (2021), “A proposal of personal competencies for sustainable consumption”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-01-2020-0027