How appealing to the human spiritual nature impacts sustainability

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The Source
By: Lucy Frisch, Sat Mar 21 2020

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Lucy Frisch

Author: Lucy Frisch

As an extension of this year's Academic Book Week* theme, 'The Environment,' we asked our book authors who have published research in related fields to share their thoughts on the future of the academic book as it relates to climate change, how they engage with audiences beyond their scholarly circle to make an impact, and much more.

Read our interview below with Christopher Beehner, author of Spirituality, Sustainability, and Success.

Why did you choose a book as the medium for publishing your research? 

I was approached by a colleague (Satinder Dhiman) who was editing a series of books about workplace spirituality. He asked if I would be interested in writing a book that combined my workplace spirituality research with sustainability. I had previously published in a peer-reviewed journal and presented at a few conferences, but I saw this as an opportunity to expand my research and personal career brand to a larger audience.

What do you think the future of books looks like, especially those on topics related to climate change? 

I believe that the business community is increasingly recognizing that climate change impacts industry and vice versa, and that response to climate change is essential. I believe that future books will focus on how industry can mitigate and reverse the effects of climate change, while remaining profitable (and perhaps enjoying increased profitability). Sadly, I also think future books about climate change will report a history of how some social, political, and economic groups knew climate action was necessary and achievable, but instead chose denial and inaction in order to preserve their own interests.

What impact would you like to see your book have? 

I believe that spirituality and sustainability are interconnected, and that appealing to the human spiritual nature is an important way to encourage others to embrace sustainability. I would like my readers to recognize that my book presents a pragmatic case for individuals and organizations to embrace both spirituality and sustainability as tools for a successful existence.

How can publishers work with you to make sure your research can make a difference on environmental issues? 

The biggest thing that publishers can do is assist me in reaching a broader audience through social media and marketing. The more people who are exposed to my research and teaching, the greater the social and environmental impact.

How do you engage with practitioners, policymakers and/or the general public to make a difference through your research? 

My career and academic background is business and industry, so much of my engagement has been with teaching business leaders that incorporating sustainability into their business models is not only the right thing to do, but can increase both revenue and profitability. I have also presented some of my book content and sustainable business education experience at sustainability education conferences in the United States and Costa Rica. In addition, I am a fellow at a sustainability think tank at a major university, and this has opened the door for me to share my research with local policymakers.

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About Christopher Beehner

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Chris Beehner is a tenured business professor at Seminole State College of Florida, and has taught as an adjunct professor for several colleges and universities. He earned a Doctor of Business Administration degree with a specialization in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University, and a Master of Public Administration degree from City University of Seattle. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Beehner was employed in various leadership positions in supply chain management, and has served in several volunteer nonprofit leadership roles. He has published, presented, and served as a panelist on topics related to workplace spirituality, sustainable business, and leadership. He is an affiliate at the Florida Climate Institute, and a community fellow at the University of Central Florida Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity. 


Lucy Frisch

Author: Lucy Frisch

Lucy Frisch is a Senior Marketing Manager on the Outreach and Open Research team, based in the New York office. She has a passion for storytelling and works to humanize the research published across Springer Nature with a focus on the researcher experience.