Covering Bases from Family to Neighborhood to Professional Life to Devotionals

Sustainable Development and the Prosperity of Humankind
Faculty: Arthur Lyon Dahl, Christine Muller, Laurent Mesbah

The Drabik family, Latvia

Karolina Drabik, together with her husband and “three courageous children,” pioneered in 2016 “to Riga, Latvia, from Canada to support the community building process.” She is a practicing urban planner in Canada, although she is now working from a distance. Her goal in taking Sustainable Development and the Prosperity and Humankind was “to expand” her “understanding of sustainable development and better integrate spiritual progress into the framework” of the community-building process in which Bahá’ís around the world are engaged. As a result of taking the course, Karolina has found that it has impacted at least four areas of her life.—THE EDITORS

Her Family and Her Apartment Building. “My family and I are committed to buying more groceries/produce that is seasonal at our local market and bringing our own bags. Also, we are in process of discussing with our landlord how we can bring a recycling bin to our apartment building.”

Her Neighborhood. “The readings in the course and discussions helped me better integrate sustainable development concepts with the community-building process Bahá’ís are engaged in all around the world. The meaningful conversations we are having with youth in the neighborhood have also helped me understand the underlying principles of sustainable development. Both this course and my recent experiences in my neighborhood have been very well timed for me to better see the connection between the concepts. Our conversations with youth have been focused on material and spiritual progress, which is the same conversation that needs to happen to achieve sustainable development globally.”

Her Profession. “In addition, the course has helped me consider how planetary limits can be measured in the land-use planning work I do. At this point, other than being more aware of the concept, I need to do more research and work on the application of this in my daily work. Outside of the course, I plan to have conversations with my colleagues and clients about these boundaries.

Her Devotionals. “Finally, I created a PowerPoint presentation about sustainable development for our regular Monday night devotional gathering, which six people attended. I was able to share with them some of the key concepts I took away from the course:

  • What are the basic issues in sustainable development?
  • How our understanding of the issue has evolved over the last forty-plus years?
  • How and why is it important to current and future generations?
  • What are the material and spiritual dimensions of sustainable development?
  • What can each one of us do?

We had a nice discussion about some of the concepts presented, especially about what sustainable development is. Overall, the PowerPoint helped me consolidate my learning.”

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