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Sustainability in the Classroom: Spotlight on Eric Overby

The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business is pleased to highlight Eric Overby’s sustainability course infusion. Overby received a grant to support his work through his participation in the Faculty Educational Innovation Community.
Faculty member Eric Overby speaks with students at the Scheller College of Business

Eric Overby speaks with Scheller College of Business students.

The Ray C. Anderson Center for Sustainable Business (Center) at the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business is pleased to share a Q&A with Eric Overby. Overby, Catherine W. and Edwin A. Wahlen, Jr. Professor and professor of information technology management, is a member of the 2023-24 Faculty Educational Innovation Community. Led by Professor Ravi Subramanian, the initiative provides support to faculty for implementing sustainability into their courses and pedagogy. The initiative aims to serve students interested in acquiring sustainable business competencies in Scheller programs, from undergraduate to graduate and executive education. Overby believes in the value of teaching current and future business leaders to apply a sustainability lens to analysis of emerging technologies. He prepares students to think critically about the emerging technologies to ensure that they have the most positive possible outcomes for people and the planet. 
Faculty member: 
Eric Overby 
Catherine W. and Edwin A. Wahlen, Jr. Professor 
Professor, Information Technology Management 
In which course did you infuse sustainability as a member of the 2023-24 cohort of the Faculty Educational Innovation Community? 
I infused sustainability in Analysis of Emerging Technologies (MGT 3743/6059). The 6059 section is an elective for MBA students. The 3743 section is a required course for students in the Steven A. Denning Technology & Management Program
Describe your sustainability background in your teaching. 
I teach sustainability topics primarily related to emerging technologies. 
Specifically, how did you infuse sustainability in this course? 
I have a course project in which students pretend that it is ten years in the future. In the project, students create a podcast that discusses progress towards fulfilling one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals over the “prior” 30 years, which is actually 20 years before and ten years after the current year. This requires students to forecast upcoming events – and to do so in detail – because they are pretending as if those events have already happened. The grant helped me better describe to the students what a successful project looks like, provide examples to students, and improve my process for giving interim feedback to the students. 
Why does sustainability infusion matter? 
Sustainability is critical for creating – and sustaining – the type of communities that we need now and in the future. 

“The podcasts were a lot of fun. I really liked the process of writing about future events as if they already happened and learning to make arguments more specific.”
- Student in Analysis of Emerging Technologies
Interested in learning more about Overby’s course? Read the article about the 2024 Reports from the Future Symposium, in which top student teams presented their projections on emerging technologies. 

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