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The Road to Rio

News Story

Paraty. Ilha Grande. Rio de Janeiro. Two classes of Pace students will travel to Brazil this spring break for a 10-day field study to uncover how Brazil will be environmentally-impacted after hosting the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

How will tourism and conservation meet when the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics come to Brazil? This is one of the many questions Pace students in a Dyson Producing the Documentary course and Lubin International Management course hope to answer as they travel to Brazil for 10 days during spring break.

Through onsite research, interviews, and filming, the Producing the Documentary class, taught by Professor Maria Luskay, EdD, and accompanied by New York Times DotEarth blogger Andrew Revkin, will create a documentary that explores how citizens, officials, and companies are working to ensure that the impending burst of tourism accompanying the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics and the frenzy of construction preceding it leaves a positive social and environmental impact on Brazil.

In Rio, students aided by guides and translators will meet and interview government officials, community activists, local business people, journalists, and residents. They will also visit Ilha Grande, an island environmental preserve, and the historic coastal community of Paraty, which has developed a “Green Map” of environmentally-focused business and attractions, thanks to work from Lubin Professor Claudia Green, PhD, who for 14 years has organized a trip to Brazil for Pace students and participated in the green-mapping project, which she calls “a global sociocultural movement that promotes community based mapping of sustainable authentic features of these local environments.”

As the World Cup and Summer Olympics approach, local mapmakers, as well as Professor Green, are in the beginning stages of developing a green map of sustainable businesses in Rio de Janeiro, the home of these major sporting events.

“It is our hope that the map will be used by the many tourists who will be coming to Brazil so they can support those businesses who demonstrate sustainable practices—socially, culturally, environmentally, and economically,” said Green.

Students in Professor Green’s course will enjoy an interdisciplinary experience in the study of business, energy, technology, urban planning, and development, as well as environmental issues in Brazil. Students will visit a variety of organizations, which will include for profit and not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, and entrepreneurial organizations that demonstrate sustainable business and environmental practices. During class, students will research and report on various aspects of Brazil's economy, agriculture, business, environment, politics, and future in the global economy. Students will learn about the concept of environmental responsibility through community mapping projects in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest and about social responsibility through education projects with young children in Rio de Janeiro, Ilha Grande, and Paraty, Brazil.

Check out the Pace Brazil blog or follow the Producing the Documentary course on Facebook and the MGT course on Facebook.