Exploring Compass Portals to Infuse Sustainable Thinking and Practices

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by Lynda Rolph, 2011, while serving as President, Traidhos Three Generation Community for Learning

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Being a Compass School implies a commitment to live, to strategize and to provide opportunities to think about sustainability across the whole institution. The portals of sustainability remind practicing schools that
            Leadership and Governance,
            Operations and Support Services,
            Teaching and Learning,
            Buildings and Grounds and
            Engagement with the Outside Community
are five important entry points to infuse sustainable thinking into the system of an educational community.

Traidhos Three Generation Community for Learning, Chiang Mai, the community which includes Prem Tinsulanonda International School, recently enabled representatives from across the campus, including accounts, housekeeping, engineering, gardening, operations, the nurse, and administrative staff to live and work together on their educational Barge as it sailed down the Chao Phraya River from Ayutthaya to Bangkok.

Staff enjoyed visits to new places and the chance to get to know colleagues better – an important contribution to their well-being – but also spent time considering ways to increase sustainability using AtKisson Sustainability Compass as a thinking tool. Everyone identified a personal target and departmental targets to work towards on their return to Chiang Mai. We hope that working with staff connected to these two portals will accelerate our progress to becoming more sustainable at all levels of the organization.

Staff identified developing a commitment to being service-minded as central to our community. Linkages were made across the compass point showing the positive contribution service-mindedness has:

Wellbeing (W) – When staff are happy and feel secure and valued they are more willing to support other people happily.

Nature (N) – Beautiful grounds and good environmental practices make people feel welcome. Increased enrollment increases budget available for grounds development.

Economy (E) – When visitors receive good service and are greeted well, they are more likely to enroll their children, generating more income.

Society (S) – Cooperation between departments strengthens community and creates a positive ethos that people want to be part of. Our Traidhos Community can become a role model of good practice in Chiang Mai and the wider world.


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