Sustainability Competence – Nachhaltigkeitskompetenz

A university-wide cross-linked teaching framework by Harald Bolsinger – Ein vernetzendes und vernetztes Lehrkonzept zur Stärkung angewandter Nachhaltigkeitskompetenz.

The Vision: Teaching sustainability competence at every University …

  • in an action oriented way
  • together and synchronized
  • with a university-wide
  • and cross-linked teaching and learning community.
  • Using and producing mainly free learning material together.

Contact: Mail me at Harald [Punkt] Bolsinger [Klammeraffenzeichen] FHWS [Punkt] de if you support the vision or just want to become part. Let´s connect!

Sustainability Competence

Target Audience

Students of any faculty, all disciplines and any level of experience
(Bachelor or Master, including MBA, preferred in the second half of their study phase)

Existing Knowledge

Optional pre-test (Sulitest) as teaser and for identification of specific group knowledge level.
Low-level entrance – no special previous experience required.

Context in the Curriculum

Transdisciplinary part of a potentially university-wide sustainability-teaching concept,
optionally cross-linked with external partners and universities.

Minimum Teaching Aims

(to be fixed jointly with teaching persons taking part)

  • Understanding of the normative and transformative concept of
    sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda
  • Understanding of the necessary sustainability competence set to cause change
    and optional ability for monitoring the individual progress
  • Understanding and application of systemic thinking in a qualitative way by analysing the Nexus of SDG-Targets
  • Ability to do in depth analysis for the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda
  • Doing an interdisciplinary team-based analysis of a self-chosen real-world sustainability challenge and proposing an action plan to solve it
    => optional upgrade to an individual thesis or to an implementation with selected partners

Teaching philosophy

Explorative constructivistic interdisciplinary learning by linking individual visions and ideas about sustainability with Agenda 2030-Goals using normative ethics by discourse and application to the real world.

Optional pre-test (Sulitest) as teaser and for identification of specific group knowledge level.

  1. Entry (face-to-face teaching): Plenary discussion about sustainability with giving a definition; Exemplary subsumption of individual visions under the 5 P and specific SDGs; Question for sustainability action in the students personal sphere or at university (existing and planned in future) => Control of achievement of activation. Offer for the “SDGs in Action app” – exploring the App. => teaching persons from all faculties
  2. Faculty-individual lectures for special disciplinary knowledge
  3. Cross-faculty lectures for understanding of the basic competences and for moderated finding of partners for the individual SDG-interests => exam group building
  4. Online Sequences to back-up ethical and value-question
  5. Cross-faculty group work lectures and coaching for developing the exam portfolio
    => teaching persons from all faculties
  6. The great final: Presentation of the exam portfolios with related SDGs and targets
    => teaching persons from all faculties together

Examination Format

Portfolio Exam: This course is examined best by developing and presenting an applicable concept to promote at least 3 self-selected SDG-Targets (not Goals) in a self-selected real-life environment, taking into account the interdependencies between the chosen SDG-Targets and possible effects on other SDGs.

The content development is preferably interdisciplinary and cross-faculty as well as cross group in teams. => Possible publications of good solutions on a special part on the website of the university.

For a possible variation in scientific levels (e.g. Masterstudents), the presentation can include an additional technical discussion on the core contents of the lecture and the “SDGs in Action app” or a written exam to that topics.

Course outline

1 Sustainability – What it is and what not

1.1 Historical Development                                    – Grains of the Past

1.2 The Basic Sustainability Core Value Set          – Shared Values for supporting Sustainability

1.3 … here will be more relevant aspects, chosen jointly by the participating teaching persons

1.4 A working definition                                        – Defining the core of Sustainability timelessly

2 Competence – In what we need to grow to act sustainable (outline based on Roorda 2017/2018)

2.1 Responsibility                          – Personal and Organizational Responsibility

2.2 Emotional Intelligence              – Values Pluralism and Intercultural Competence

2.3 System Orientation                   – Complex Loops and Flaws in the System

2.4 Future Orientation                    – Thinking in long Terms

2.5 Action skills                             – Becoming Part of the Solution

2.6 Interdisciplinarity                     – Discover Partners for better Solutions

2.7 Disciplinary Competence          – Tie up with individual special Expertise (chosen individually by the participating teaching persons)

3 The Global Goals – Sustainability Promotion with the SDGs

3.1 People  (Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

a          No Poverty

b          Zero Hunger

c          Good Health & Well-Being

d          Quality Education

e          Gender Equality

3.2 Planet (Goals 6, 12, 13, 14, 15)

a          Clean Water & Sanitation

b          Responsible Consumption & Production

c          Climate Action

d          Life below the Water

e          Life on Land

3.3 Prosperity & Profit (Goals 7, 8, 9, 10, 11)

a          Affordable & clean Energy

b          Decent Work & Economic Growth

c          Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure

d          Reduced Inequalities

e          Sustainable Cities & Communities

3.4 Peace, Justice & strong Institutions (Goal 16)

3.5 Partnership for the Goals (Goal 17)

3.6 in Dignity – See the Anthropocentric Aspects & Values of SD

4 Taking Action – Application & Case Studies

4.1 On Microlevel                          What can I do as an individual?

4.2 On Mesolevel …                       What can we do …

a          … in Business                                      … as Companies, Entrepreneurs & Investors?

b          … in Academia                                    … as Universities?

4.3 On Macrolevel …

a          … in local and regional Administration  … as Municipality?

b          … in national Governments                   … as Nation?

4.4 On Supralevel …

a          … in the European Union (or elsewhere) … as an international Region?

b          … in the United Nations                        … as the global Community?


Sustainability in Context

The Global Goals

More information for FHWS-students of this course can be found in the current ELearning course . Find here the first group of this course concept.