The pandemic, climate change, discrimination, resource depletion—these issues and more are everyday challenges that affect our lives. What can we do to address these problems, and how can we support our children as they navigate these uncertain times?
For Zoe Weil, co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education, becoming a Solutionary is the next step for those who want to play a role in solving problems that will lead to a more sustainable, equitable, and humane world for humans, animals, and the environment.
“A Solutionary brings a solutionary lens to problems. That means they recognize that problems are solvable, they take the views of all stakeholders into consideration, and they see that either/or approaches are generally counterproductive,” says Weil. “They also bring solutionary thinking to problems. This means that they continually practice and develop their critical, systems, strategic and creative thinking capacities.”
Supporting Solutionaries and their efforts is a primary mission of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE), a nonprofit education organization dedicated to empowering people of all ages to create solutions for the most good and least harm in their lives, communities and the world. The organization’s free downloadable guidebook, How to be a Solutionary: A Guide for People Who Want to Make a Positive Difference, is designed for youth and adults with step-by-step actions and resources to facilitate the solutionary process. Educators can access free lesson plans, activities and curricula for all age levels from early childhood through college and adult in more than 25 subjects—including animal protection, environmental protection, human rights, citizenship, social entrepreneurship, media literacy, math, science, and art. Set to debut in spring 2021, the online Solutionary Micro-credential program for teachers is a three-module, 30-hour course that will satisfy continuing education unit (CEU) credits.
In association with Antioch University, the Institute for Humane Education offers online graduate programs with a focus in humane education for higher level degrees, including a Graduate Certificate, M.Ed., M.A., and Ed.D. Humane education is the study of human rights, environmental sustainability, and animal protection, and those connections and interrelationships with society and culture.
“We are the only graduate program in comprehensive humane education at the moment, anywhere in the world,” says Mary Pat Champeau, IHE director of Graduate Programs. “One of our distinguishing features is that we include animals as a population deserving of consideration and non-violent treatment.”
Participating as a Solutionary to solve the challenges of our lifetime has the potential to create positive change for a sustainable world. Providing opportunities for all generations to contribute as problem solvers will ensure that the solutions will embrace the diversity of thought and experience. Working together as Solutionaries, we can make the difference.
Contact the Institute for Humane Education at www.humaneeducation.org.