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A Student-Driven Mobilization for Sustainability

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A chapter by Dr. Madhavi Venkatesan and students from Sustainable U. Productions (Radhika Barot, Amani Chinni, Adam Regenstrief, Priyasha Singh, Julia Sucov, and John Sun) is included in the recently published book, Educating the Sustainability Leaders of the Future. The paper, “Documentary Film and Institutional Behavior Change: A Student-Driven Mobilization for Sustainability” describes the importance of film to address sustainability issues. The authors tell the story of producing their own documentary, Plastic Linings. The film addresses the issue of convenience waste from the perspective of the cost of convenience.

In the spring 2021, Dr. Venkatesan received a Northeastern University Humanities Center Grant to develop the documentary short film. The funding was for $3,000 and grew to $4,000 with support from her non-profit, Sustainable Practices. The film described in the grant application was to address the issue of convenience waste from the perspective of the cost of convenience, highlighting the externalities. The rationale was to increase the tangibility of externalities to students and engage them in the significance of economic concepts that are minimally addressed with respect to their environmental impact in standard entry-level economics texts and courses.

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