Background and Links


Recommendations for eLearning Strategy

Background and Links

Triple Bottom LIne

Corporate social responsibility is a self-regulating process where organisations endeavour to be responsible corporate citizens by encouraging a positive impact through their activities on the environment, consumers, clients, employees and communities.

There is a growing interest among businesses and enterprises for achieving more than the traditional 'bottom line' of profit and product. Indeed 45% of the world’s top companies were publishing **triple bottom line** reports by 2003.

Employees increasingly desire to work for an organisation that they can be proud of. Along with profit, organisations are expected to consider human rights, their impact on the environment, their service to the community and impact on future generations.

The current Polytechnic Strategic Plan identifies the need to address a range of human, organisational and global issues:
  • sustainability of enrolment - retention
  • financial sustainability
  • sustainability of infrastructure
  • socially and environmentally responsible organisation
  • green initiatives
  • learners achive fulfilling lives
  • personal development needs of learners
  • connected locally, nationally, globally
  • holistic education
  • learning to think, be and do

The current Skills Australia VET Roadmap (Skills for Prosperity) also addresses a similar range of issues from the local to global:
  • social and economic prosperity
  • enterprise productivity and social inclusion
  • retention and engagement
  • meet the challenges of climate change and globalisation
  • skills for global economy
  • wealth and social wellbeing

Fourth Bottom LIne

More recently there has been additional corporate concern for human issues associated with happiness, search for meaning, transformation, being and spirituality. These are leading some to consider a fourth bottom line.

Australia's current national educational goals(2008) refer to the importance of the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians, and in ensuring the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity and social cohesion.

Goal 2 is about all young Australians becoming confident and creative individuals who "have a sense of self-worth,
self-awareness and personal identity that enables them to manage their emotional, mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing and who have a sense of optimism about their lives and the future."

For the Tasmanian Polytechnic a Fourth Bottom Line approach may provide an appropriate framework to address the above issues in a more holistic way that can also be applied to an eLearning Strategy.

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A Fourth Bottom Line Framework - adapted for educational institutions

1st Bottom Line: Prosperity
Learning outcomes, retention rates, financial sustainability...

2nd Bottom Line: People
Equity, social justice, social capital, social wellbeing...

3rd Bottom Line: Planet
Ecological sustainability, ecological footprints, climate change, green initiatives...

4th Bottom Line: Presence
Personal meaning, fulfilment, being and becoming, spirituality...

For further discussion and links see Designing for the 4th Bottom Line


Recommendations for eLearning Strategy