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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
About Christopher Beehner