Formal task-oriented training at universities provides neither a systemic approach to sustainable management of the natural resources nor education in knowledgebased society of experts and decision-makers as active partners. Methodological experiences of long-term interdisciplinary studies and problem-solving training, focused on sustainable development in protected, industrial regions, and historical cities of Poland, will be useful for promotion of similar activity in other countries, as recommended by UN’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. The former rector of AGH University of Science and Technology, Prof. W. Goetel, initiated the concept of sustainable management of natural resources in Europe, in 1956. He started the Open-for-all Seminars on Nature Protection and Sustainable Management of Resources some 50 years ago, and recommended the interdisciplinary science “sozology” to save the natural environment and proper conditions of life for future generations.
In 1967, the author of this chapter introduced the concept of the integration of all levels of education for common action–with action to be focused on primary prevention of deterioration of the natural environment and over-exploitation of natural resources. Over 3000 university students from the natural, technical, and socio-economic sciences took part in the National and International Summer Schools on ‘Human Environment and Sustainable Development’ based on voluntary activity of the students’ scientific teams (NGOs). From 1989 through 2010 we organized 12 International Conferences on European Integration for.
Sustainable Development, and since 1989 the AGH ‘Open University on Science and Technology for Better Life Quality’ has been operational. We hope that the voluntary education of particularly creative students and representatives of all age groups of the contemporary society can contribute to sustainable management of natural resources at the regional scale, in linkage with international cooperation for protection of the Biosphere, as preconditions for survival of Mankind.
Keywords: AGH, biosphere, case studies, common action, ‘Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, Europe, games for survival, interdisciplinary problem-solving training, ISO 26000, knowledge-based society, natural environment, quality of life, ‘Open University on Science and Technology for Better Life Quality’, Poland, social responsibility, Summer Schools on ‘Human Environment and Sustainable Development’, survival of humankind, sustainable development, sustainable management, United Nations.