Value or Values?


What’s the return on investment?  What’s the bottom line? What’s the value? 

No matter what decision you are trying to make, you’re supposed to ask these questions. The underlying assumption is that of all things in the world, money is the most important parameter, the ultimate measure of the value of something. 

What do you believe in? What gives you a sense of purpose? What are your values? 

No matter what decision you are trying to make, you’d be wise to ask these questions. In this case, the underlying assumption is that of all things in the world, living in alignment with your values is most important, the ultimate measure of who you are as a person.

Many of you are probably feeling some level of eco-anxiety, struggling to decide what to do about climate change, ocean plastics, environmental and social justice. There are many options and opportunities out there, but they often seem to require making a choice between value and values. Luckily, that is not always the case.  

When I talk to potential students about our MA in Sustainable Design program, I usually get questions about costs and future job opportunities — the value of the degree. The value of the degree is an important thing to consider!

Information about the cost of the program can be found here. Since our program is fully online, students can keep their full time jobs while earning their MA.  Research suggests that an MA can boost your annual income by an average of $12,000. Other research suggests that there are many benefits to consider, in addition to a potential income boost.  You can read a previous blog on Jobs for a Sustainable Future.

Value is certainly an important consideration, but when I ask our students why they chose our MA in Sustainable Design degree, they talk about a desire to connect their work with their passion for nature, a need to work on climate justice, a drive to enlighten and educate others, a shift in consciousness. They talk about what they believe in and what would give them a sense of purpose — they talk about their values. 

If you are seeking ways to empower, educate, and equip yourself to address the existential threats of our time — and don’t want to have to choose between value and values — consider explore our fully online MA in Sustainable Design program.  

Denise DeLuca / Former Director

Denise DeLuca is the Director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program. She was co-founder of BCI: Biomimicry Creative for Innovation, a network of creative professional change agents driving ecological thinking for radical transformation. Denise is author of the book Re-Aligning with Nature: Ecological Thinking for Radical Transformation, which was illustrated by MASD alum Stephanie Koehler. She also teaches with the Amani Institute.

Denise’s previous roles include Education Director for the International Living Future Institute, Project Manager for Swedish Biomimetics 3000, and Outreach Director for The Biomimicry Institute. Denise is a licensed civil engineer (PE) and holds a master’s degree in civil and environmental engineering with a focus on modeling landscape-scale surface and groundwater interactions.  In addition, Denise is a Biomimicry Fellow and a member of the Advisory Council of The Biomimicry InstituteBoard Member of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals (ISSP), on the editorial board of the Journal of Bionic Engineering, and an Expert with Katerva. Denise is based in Oregon.

contact:  [email protected]