We are a community that challenges its members to act as compassionate, knowledgeable and principled global citizens: working together for a sustainable future and inspired by meaningful relationships, continuous learning and good thinking. (Prem Mission Statement) Pause a minute and consider the future you want for yourself: your future self and future family and friends. What does it all look like? What future study will you be doing? What future work occupies you? Where are you living in this future world? What is happening around you?
Until we start to envision our future selves, whether it is the immediate future of tomorrow or that more distant somewhere in the future, it is hard to understand the constant media attention given to issues of sustainability in our world. Cop26 presented evidence that our world is changing. At a purely selfish level, I want my future self to continue to enjoy walks in the park breathing fresh air, surrounded by abundant biodiversity. I don’t want to have to hide inside, kept prisoner by soaring temperatures and dangerous air pollution. I expect to swim in the sea without being trapped by floating plastic and enjoy snorkelling above colourful coral reefs. I want to live in a world where every child can access quality education and where our ability to receive adequate medical care has nothing to do with skin colour, income or place of residence. I hope to holiday in beach communities and not wander amongst deserted hamlets, whose past owners have become climate migrants adding to the pressures on cities. I want to enjoy an abundance of fresh food and not just reminisce about the things that I eat now while viewing them in a museum of agricultural history.
But if I want to enjoy my envisioned future, I have to prepare, equip myself and make lifestyle choices now. It is this idea of taking globally responsible action now and equipping ourselves for an unknown future, that is central to Prem’s mission concerning sustainable futures.
Realising that our world is changing, and realizing that these changes impact equity, social justice, well-being, the very social systems that shape our world; refocuses the importance of all students being equipped with the problem solving, critical thinking and leadership skills needed to participate and exercise active civic responsibility. We will not be alone in our futures. Our lives, neighbourhoods, countries and planet are interconnected. Prem’s vision of
working together for a sustainable future recognizes this. Prem students are encouraged to practice good thinking, sustainable thinking, which leads them to act with honesty and integrity.
Our mission is being realized whenever thinking inspires students to find out about the world around them and take action today to address some of the inequalities and issues that exist. The need for sustainability invades all aspects of our lives. Students have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills that will equip them to live balanced lives, to grow the attitudes of a global citizen, to work with peers, the wider community, organisations and
institutions that combine to contribute to both their personal development today as well as to prepare for the envisioned sustainable and flourishing future of tomorrow.
So whether it is the business skills learned in a maths class, the leadership skills from camp weeks, time spent with understanding where food comes from at the farm, learning to write persuasively or those PE classes contributing to personal well being, Prem students are girding themselves to be participants in the world, recognizing that the future we envision today is impacted by the choices we make and the actions we take, and that for our dreams to
be realized, we need a stable planet and equitable social systems.
Working together for a sustainable future is like a jigsaw spread out over the years spent at Prem. It has the potential for Prem students to take each piece into their lives making sustainable futures a habit of mind; skilled and already making lifestyle choices for themselves, that will contribute to their future families, future businesses and future governments; living within the parameters of the natural world, embracing social justice, equity and diversity; versed in sound economic management and personal grit so that sustainable futures can be enjoyed from now and on into old age and onwards again, by future generations to come.
Traidhos Head of Community