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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

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About ISME

The ISME network provides the structure needed to establish the foundation for global sustainability.   ISME focuses on using a systematic approach to identify and manage the causes and effects of environmental, social, and economic risks. Based on sustainable development as the thematic area of study, the ISME's main objective is to create interdisciplinary global sustainability teams that assist organizations and communities in sustainable development planning to ensure risks to sustainable development are identified and managed.     

The ISME is a virtual global organization that creates the needed direction and motivation to build education and research programs to assist individuals in better understanding global sustainability and their role in promoting and supporting sustainability principles in their organization.  The growth of sustainability requires entrepreneurial thinking and innovation using the systematic management approach in developing and growing viable enterprises that continually create needed services and technologies for a sustainable economic development. 

Our Focus

Summer School - A global learning experience

The ISME Summer School consist of a one or two-week format: Week one focuses on Lectures and group work, where students become familiar with sustainability, management, and leadership. Further topics include aspects of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, eco-efficiency, accounting, integration of management systems, identifying organizational risk, and value- chain analysis. Week two extends the week one learning experience through students and faculties' presentations of identified solutions to current relevant global issues and problems. Students will participate in activities, including, a visit to an organization that has integrated management systems, analyzing continual improvement through management systems applications; solving environment, social, and economic problems within organizations and communities, or targeting areas where GST members are studying conflict resolution. 

Our Obectives 

  1. Bring together the knowledge and experience of global communities to contribute to peace and prosperity through better understanding the cause and effect of global risks;
  2. Improve the quality and increase the volume of student and faculty mobility around the world;
  3. Increase the quality and volume of multilateral cooperation between higher education institutions in the area of global sustainable development;
  4. Create and encourage interdisciplinary teamwork and build student competency in environmental, social and economic problem solving;
  5. Enhance student learning of global sustainable development through applying real world concepts in a multidiscipline and multicultural setting, and
  6. Emphasize importance of a student's responsibility to understand systems thinking and cultural diversity as it applies to problem solving and conflict resolution.

Global Sustainability Teams - Integrated thinking

 Global Sustainability Teams are usually created during ISME Summer Schools but can also be created during ISME seminars or workshops by students and faculty to research a specific topic. A GST teaches the individual to utilize the experiences and knowledge of fellow team members in order to solve a sustainable development problem where conflict has reduced the ability to balance economic, environmental and social wel-being.  GSTs assist students in understanding the importance of using integrated thinking as a tool for problem solving.  GST members are given global situations where each team member contributes to a team solution.  Teams learn how a systematic approach to problem solving contributes to implementing best practices in any type organizational structure.  Team members utilize life-cycle analysis, eco-efficiency, sustainability management, cost/benefit analysis, differences in country cultures, regulatory requirements, managerial cost accounting, and integration of international management system tools that benefit society, the natural environment and the economics of the organization.   

Sharing the message

The ISME membership includes students, faculty, government representatives, managers and leaders from several global organizations.  ISME members are from many countries and contribute to the ISME list-serv by sending articles, newsletters, and other information to the ISME list-serv manager.  

International Advisory Board (IAB)

The ISME Advisory Board will continually review the activities of the ISME. Board members will be experts from various backgrounds, which will include educational institutions, national standards organizations, government agencies, multinational personnel and others, who will require excellence in the ISME research, audit analysis, case studies, training, and material development.

ISME Managing Director and Working Group:

The ISME Managing Director is Chair of the Working Group, who will oversee course development, faculty selection, and oversee the ISME student selection process to participate in ISME activities/exchanges.  The ISME Working Group will also review and make recommendations for ISME scholarships, faculty and student awards, and review of all individuals and organizations requesting ISME membership.  A Welcome to the ISME will be sent to individuals and organizations who complete the membership form or contact the ISME Managing Director. 

Our Faculty: 

ISME faculty are from universities, government offices, private companies, and NGOs from several countries. During the summer schools faculty with the host organization(s) and speakers from a variety of private and public organizations contribute to the students learning outcomes.  Several phases of group work, short presentations, discussion, and problem solving sessions give a well rounded learning experience.

Contact Us

For Additional Information or to ask questions, contact: Phillip E. Barnes, PhD, ISME Managing Director,
Telephone: 803-777-1373

ISME, University of South Carolina,
Byrnes Building, Office 434,
900 Sumter Street, Columbia, South Carolina, 29208


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