Our world is characterized by increasing uncertainty, accelerating change, and new realities. In response, Stamina for Sustainability is a co-curricular program that supports students to unpack common assumptions and theories of change related to sustainability, and deepen participants' intellectual, affective, and relational capcities to face this new world.

Participants will be invited to go beyond the tendency to seek simplistic solutions in order to address the complexities of social and global change, and consider their own complicity in the social and ecological challenges that they seek to address. Participants will be invited into spaces of discomfort and uncertainty, and will be offered tools and practices with which they can hold difficult realities without feeling overwhelmed.

Key activities

  • Five live webinar sessions 
  • Embodied and intellectual activities that you will be able to do at your own pace
  • Debrief session

Throughout this program we invite those engaged or interested in sustainability work to: consider multiple ways of responding to social and ecological challenges; engage alternative ways of knowing, being, and relating; create space for critical self-reflection; and activate a deeper sense of accountability to the planet and each other. Participants will be supported to develop the capacities and stamina needed for individual and collective well-being in a volatile, uncertain, complex world.

Download the program guide for more information and the “In Earth’s CARE” framework of integrative justice that informs our program.



Program Logistics

The five virtual meetings will happen on Zoom each Tuesday in June 2021 from 9:30am-11:30am Vancouver time: June 1, June 8, June 15, June 22 and June 29.

There will be one follow-up session in September 2021.

Course materials will be shared on a Canvas page.


Program facilitators

Sharon Stein
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Studies.

Sharon's research brings critical and decolonial perspectives to the role of higher education in society, especially as this relates to ecological, cognitive, affective, relational, and economic dimensions of justice. In her teaching and practice, she is committed to supporting different communities to denaturalize the attachments and desires that keep us invested in harmful modes of existence, and to ethically encounter and engage other horizons of possibility.

Academic profile

Tereza Čajková
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Studies.
Tereza used to work in the field of global and environmental education in the civil society sector. In her current work, she designs programs for learners engaged in transformative education as a form of in-depth immersion into the complexity of global interconnections, examining the edges of cognition and rationally-based imagination, and exploring new possibilities for sensing, being, desiring, and relating.

Academic profile

The Stamina for Sustainability program is hosted by the UBC Sustainability Initiative.


What you will do

The program offers five virtual meetings, guidance materials for activities and individual processing in between the sessions and a final debrief session.

Together, we will examine the disconnection of humans from nature and each other, and how this disconnection is linked to the climate crisis and climate grief. The program will invite you to take a pause from the urgency of action, and to develop a greater understanding of the complexity of these issues and our role in perpetuating harmful and unsustainable systems.

Program focus

Through workshops, activities, readings and self-reflection, you can expect to:

  • Develop a deeper engagement with different approaches to sustainability 
  • Expand perspectives through ethical encounters with different ways of knowing and relating; develop capacity for critical reflection, humility, compassion, and empathy
  • Identify differences between engagements with sustainability at the levels of “doing”, “knowing”, and “being”, and the limits of human agency 
  • Build capabilities and stamina for supporting individual and collective well-being 
  • Explore and sit with difficult questions and engage constructively with complex issues, uncertainty, tensions, paradoxes, discomfort, and breakdown
  • Share experiences of eco-anxiety and climate grief, imagining different possibilities and futures beyond mainstream narratives
  • Learn to recognize limits of approaches to “doing good” that reinforce systemic harm, and consider how we are complicit in the problems we are trying to address


Benefits of participating

As a result of participating in the program, you will have the opportunity to develop more complex analyses of sustainability and related global and local challenges. 

You will learn to consider different ways of posing and solving problems, sit with difficult questions without seeking immediate solutions or alternatives, and develop the tools and capacities to be self-reflexive, respond in new ways, and inform new practices.

In particular, you will be invited to:

  • Develop more complex, nuanced, and self-implicating analyses of sustainability and related local and global challenges
  • Engage with uncertainty and multiple perspectives
  • Become more aware of how we are part of the problem and the solutions to global issues 
  • Expand frames of reference, recognising contributions from different knowledge systems 
  • Engage from theory to practice and practice to theory 
  • Open our social and ecological imaginations, to imagine different futures 
  • Re-ignite our sense of connectedness and responsibility towards each other and the planet 

By the end of the program, you will be able to: 

  • Ask qualitatively different types of questions in relation to sustainability 
  • Form new kinds of sensibilities and alliances that embody principles and practices of ethical solidarity
  • Engage generatively, responsibly, and self-reflexively with the difficult issues that emerge in processes of deep learning and change
  • Identify strategies to work with diverse populations in dissolving cognitive, affective, relational, economic, and ecological inequalities



Please contact us directly with questions at usi.office@ubc.ca.