University Core Students Aim to Flourish in a More Sustainable World

January 6, 2020 – Undergraduate students from Fairleigh Dickinson University, working with FDU’s University Core Program, collaborated last semester to research and publish four sustainability stories for Aim2Flourish, a leading non-governmental organization working with the United Nations on global sustainability issues.

Working in teams as part of a special section of UNIV 2002 Global Issues, the fourth course in FDU’s University Core program, students contributed case studies on companies developing technologies to help clean up ocean waste, promoting sustainable consumption through education and sustainable product lines, and providing services dedicated to reducing food waste.

Course instructor Dr. Aixa Ritz, associate professor of Tourism Management, was a pioneer in developing curriculum to make use of the AIM2Flourish platform. Ritz based the pilot section of UNIV 2002 on a graduate-level course she teaches in the International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. “UNIV 2002 provided an excellent platform for introducing FDU students to the concepts of sustainability, including the theory and practice of sustainable innovation. The stories researched by these teams of undergraduate students were as strong as those prepared by individual graduate students.”

Junior Tiffani M. Bakunas, Metropolitan Campus, majoring in individualized studies, said: “Researching the different companies and seeing how many changed their processes to focus on sustainability was eye-opening. There are so many companies, large and small, that have aligned with one of the U.N. Sustainability Goals.”

Senior John Timpanaro, Metropolitan Campus, majoring in individualized studies, said: “It was exciting to be part of the sustainability movement that is slowly gaining traction in the world.”

Established as a project of Case Western Reserve University’s Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Aim2Flourish designed the world’s first higher-education platform designed to leverage the UN Sustainability Goals on behalf of business innovations that are both positive and profitable. Making use of the seventeen UN Sustainability Goals, students research positive business innovations and interview the business leaders behind those innovations. This research becomes the basis for stories published on the AIM2Flourish platform, which serve as models for other enterprises and as magnets for investment.

Dr. Benjamin Freer, associate professor of Psychology and University Core Director for the Metropolitan Campus, said: “Students in Global Issues focus on the UN Sustainability Goals.   This special section allowed students to make real contributions to the global sustainability knowledge base through FDU’s partnership with Aim2Flourish. We are looking forward to expanding this model to other sections in the very near future.”


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