An article from Dr. Rajat Panwar, associate professor of sustainable business management in the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University, was recently published by the Hindu BusinessLine, the second largest circulated business and economics daily in India.
Engaging students leads to change
In the article, Panwar notes that while conversation about climate change and its negative effects are common, action is less common.
"A fundamental reason for public apathy toward climate-oriented actions," Panwar explains, "is the lack of formal mechanisms that could help our citizenries channelise their concerns into actions. Such mechanisms are especially rare during the formative years of youth, when they are mentally agile and willing to experiment with novel solutions. Our universities can fill this void by offering students opportunities to engage in transformative environmental initiatives."
Panwar said that better engaging students in finding solutions to ecological issues will lead to improvements. Panwar adds that a chief sustainability officer could coordinate the environmental framework through student engagement, faculty research, and peer reference.
"Universities can be models — in fact, laboratories — that showcase how environmental concerns can lead to ideas, actions, results, measurements of such results, and ultimately reports and monitoring," citing examples that lead to fundamental changes in how we live.
Panwar advocates for a more "formal mechanism wherein students can come together to figure out their own solutions over which they can claim ownership. Institutionalising environmental thinking and actions at universities and colleges could be an effective, long-term strategy to train our youth to analyse and change their ways of living," he said.
About Professor Panwar
Dr. Rajat Panwar is an Associate Professor of Sustainable Business Management. Dr. Panwar has a versatile academic background that includes researching and teaching in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. He has earned two doctoral degrees- one in the forest sector business sustainability (Oregon State University, USA), and the other in strategic managment (Grenoble École de Management, France). A native of India, Dr. Panwar found his way to Appalachian mountains after having lived in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and British Columbia) and US Mid-West (Northern Wisconsin). Dr. Panwar publishes his research in Business, Forestry and inter-disciplinary journals. His previous work has appeared in Business and Society, Business Ethics: A European Review, Business Strategy and the Environment, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Organization and Environment, Journal of Public Affairs, Forest Policy and Economics, among others. He has co-edited two books: The Global Forest Sector: Changes, Practices, and Prospects (CRC Press) and Forests, Business, and Sustainability (Routledge). Dr. Panwar is also an Affiliate Faculty at the College of Forestry, Oregon State University, and a Faculty Associate with the Governance, Markets, and Environment (GEM) Initiative at Yale University. Dr. Panwar is the Editor of the journal Bioproducts Business.