Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Associate Professor of Spanish

How would you define this big idea?

Sustainability provides a set of analytical and normative frameworks to understand and overcome the challenges of the 21st Century, such as extreme poverty, climate change, and social inequality. Although sustainability is a driving force behind many global agendas for the future, each society adopts and interprets sustainability according to its different cultural and linguistic resources. Georgia Tech’s faculty and students should be aware of the cultural and linguistic challenges that emerge from the different meanings and interpretations of sustainability in diverse contexts. As long as we continue to take its meanings for granted, we will always fail to understand how sustainability works in the real world. To overcome this problem, it is important to examine sustainability across languages and cultures.

How is this big idea included in your work?

The study of documentaries and other media productions focusing on urban challenges in Latin America has helped me understand how different societies adopt, implement, reframe or defy sustainability while using specific conventions and protocols that refer to particular expectations, legacies, habits, and aspirations.

Learn more:

Culture and cultural diversity as the 4th pillar of sustainability

Día Mundial de la Diversidad Cultural para el Diálogo y el Desarrollo

"We, Maasai: Revitalizing Indigenous Language and Knowledge for Sustainable Development in Maasailand, Kenya

"Largely Invisible" in Millennium Goals Era, Indigenous Peoples’ Knowledge, Traditions Key to Sustainable Future, Third Committee Told

Nigerian Media, Indigenous Languages and Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development in Indigenous Communities in Mexico and the United States

We should look to Bolivia for inspiration