Recently a colleague from another university came to visit to talk about a new degree program he was designing, similar to our Sustech program, and we mused together on what the proper purpose of these new programs in renewable energy and energy efficiency analysis was, and what kinds of things we should teach.
I said we shouldn't get too fixated on any particular current technology or solution because we can't predict what the best solutions will be in five, ten, fifteen year's time. If we were being honest, we don't necessarily know what the problems will be either. We're guessing that they will be fossil energy depletion and climate change. But we don't know for sure.
We can, however, probably imagine that we will still live in a world where the least cost solution to any problem is preferred, where opportunity costs and external costs are significant ways to think about tech analysis, and where critical thinking, critical analysis, and communications skills remain key.
In other words, teach them to read, write, think and figure.
I enjoyed this related article below with my morning coffee: a business school prof who teaches his high flyers to think properly.
But I still wish the B-schools would produce students who understood a little ecology and environmental science too. They still do a lot of damage, these MBAs.