“We Can’t Wait Anymore”: Young Professionals Engaging in Education for Sustainability


Sustainability-minded young professionals are needed to facilitate movement toward a sustainable planet. Their development has largely been left to Higher Education Institutions charged with equipping future generations of professionals to address current and future intractable problems, with limited research on how they perform in these important roles upon entering professional careers. This study documents how sustainability-minded young professionals engage in education for sustainability, the process by which humans will learn to live sustainably. Grounded theory methods were used to analyze interview and focus group data collected from 10 sustainability-minded young professionals who participated in sustainable energy research experiences as undergraduates. Findings indicate sustainability-minded young professionals engaging in education for sustainability navigate sustainability identities, which is a fluid, contextual process; participate in lifelong sustainability learning; serve as sustainability educators; and adopt a positive stance toward our ability to achieve sustainability.

Publication Title

Adult Education Quarterly