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In Transition towards Sustainability: Bridging the Business and Education Sectors of RCE Greater Sendai using ESD-based Social Learning
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1  Environmental Education Center, Miyagi University of Education, Sendai City, Japan
2  Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hayama, Japan

Published: 17 November 2011 by MDPI in The 1st World Sustainability Forum session Governance & Sustainability
Abstract: The education and business sectors are both important in every nation\'s progress. Hence developing the human capacity within them in the context of education for sustainable development (ESD) is vital in the transition towards sustainability. With the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development drawing to the last third of its phase, evaluation of the progress of ESD, of how learning and education has contributed to sustainability has become important. And although exemplars have been provided, through several capacity strategies, mechanisms, methods practices and initiatives across scales, further identification of other capacity building measures, particularly at the individual, group or community level, in addition to putting in place effective and relevant monitoring and evaluation mechanism(s) is important. The regional centre of expertise (RCE) was set up to advance the ESD agenda at the local and regional levels by enabling a stage for multi-stakeholder engagement. One aspect of RCE Greater Sendai (RCEGS) that has been the least examined is its potential for stakeholder engagement, hence capacity building through collaboration and partnership between the business and education sectors using ESD-based social learning, their networking with other institutions and the overall coordination by the RCE Steering Committee aimed at achieving sustainability in the region. Based on the results (Ofei-Manu and Shimano, accepted) that the levels of sustainability of the organizations in these two sectors were mixed and hence needed improvement, the authors propose a conceptual framework for multi-stakeholder, ESD-based social learning within RCEGS with the hope of enabling the creation of a sustainable society in the region. It was suggested that initially focusing on bridging the two sectors and developing the capacity of the youth with respect to the practical use of the government-mandated \'period of integrated studies\' (PIS) in relation to the "shokuba taiken" internship in the Japanese junior high and high school curriculum and later through RCEGS\' networking and promoting interactions among the actors and stakeholders will be good.
Keywords: sustainability, transition, business, education, ESD-based social learning, capacity building