Environmental Leadership Seminar

Environmental Leadership (EL) is a non-credit component of the Arava Institute’s academic studies program. This seminar will explore the concept of Environmental Leadership through a range of sessions and workshops held throughout the semester.

EL combines theoretical learning, skill building workshops, and hands on project-based learning to develop students’ leadership potential.  While working together as a community and in small groups, participants explore a wide range of topics including environmental entrepreneurship, project management, holistic models for environmental living, and environmental policy and politics. In addition, each semester, EL welcomes guest speakers who bring a wealth of knowledge about current environmental initiatives.

EL promotes student-led environmental initiatives on campus and within the wider community through an EcoLab. The EcoLab is an opportunity for hands-on, experiential learning, which offers students a chance to deepen their experience in designing and implementing projects. Students will have the choice between taking on a suggested project or creating one of their own, and will receive mentorship and guidance throughout the semester. Students will be asked to present their work to the group at the end of the semester.

Past EcoLabs include:

  • Mud Building – Design and implementation of benches and wood-burning ovens
  • Natural Cosmetics – researching the world of chemical cosmetics and its impact on our health and environment, exploring natural DIY alternatives for common products, including a peer-led workshop
  • Compost – experimenting with various types of compost which can suit different climates and settings (ie. urban vs. rural), including a peer-led workshop
  • Geodesic Dome – Planning and designing a geodesic dome to provide a shaded hang out area on campus, culminating in a weekend long, all campus workshop to construct the dome
  • Recycling Festival with the Kibbutz – planning and implementing a collaborative event with Kibbutz members and children educating about recycling

The main objectives of the Environmental Leadership seminar are:

  • To expose students to different styles and models of environmental leadership.
  • To empower students to lead local and global environmental initiatives.
  • To support students in exploring their personal leadership style and refining their existing leadership skills and interests.
  • To provide students with theoretical and practical tools for environmental careers and direct action in their home communities.
  • To expose students to the local and regional environmental leadership scene at the Institute, in Ketura, in the Arava, and in the Middle East.

EL is an elective element of the Arava Institute’s academic program. Students who participate in 80% or more of the EL Seminar and complete an EcoLab will receive a Certificate of Environmental Leadership from the Arava Institute.