Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Resource facts

  • 5 to 10 students
    More than 10 students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • English, German

Resource Description

Instruction file

Additional attachments

Uni, Duo, Tre(Resource ID: 28)

Uni, Duo, Tre is a 'word game'. It means 1. that sustainability – as according to Uni, Duo, Tre – happens step by step and/or needs actions that build up on each other. 2. that sustainability requires new ways of thinking. Schools and universities can be role models and leaders. 3. that sustainability needs constant reflexion processes, e.g. a. within the area of study (Uni) b. beyond borders of disciplines (Duo - leaving one's comfort zone) c. beyond borders of education and science, towards economy and society (Tre) 4. that sustainability demands individual responsibility: from teachers, students and future leaders 5. that students from different disciplines can learn from each other during their studies (differences in addressing problems...) benefiting the sustainability of their life and work (education, economy, politics...) 6. the 'old' model of sustainability: economy – ecology – society Sustainability can be perceived as a social process. It relies on effective communication. Effective communication needs common reflexion and self-reflexion. This reflexion should be done in an honest and clear manner towards oneself and others. The reflexion has a content and a process level (what happens inside oneself and what happens between oneself and others). The common thinking about issues/tasks takes place openly and interdisciplinary. By conducting it in this fashion, it should be enriching to the participants' personal development and disciplinary knowledge. Furthermore the significance of leadership in relation to sustainability should be addressed and experienced. A lot of students are future decision makers and leaders, that are at least supposed to have experienced a practical approach towards participation, dialogue and sustainability. Objectives: 1. Through simple methodological instructions, the nature of the communication process should be made clear. 2. To deal with the question of what the "whole" means. 3. To establish the relationship between leadership and sustainability. Students are invited to gain experience beyond their disciplines in discussion groups with others. The format refers to the principles of Action Learning (see a.o.: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_Learning)

Uni, Duo, Tre consists of three components...

...and is designed in a simple way!

Uni, Duo, Tre is not a classic communcation training package. It is about authentic communication and reflexion. It is about

  1. getting the best possible results and information from communication processes at individual and group level - a key consideration is listening. 
  2. reflecting communication processes.
  3. collecting experience on good communication and realizing that this contributes to sustainabitliy.

Within communication sending (speaking) is primarily addressed. Listening is a kind of focussed preception.

Uni, Duo, Tre should help to practice listening - by "training on the job“, because sustainability related questions and topics are addressed on the basis of the here presented citeria and principles.

Topics can be investigated at different levels:

  1. the individual and personal level
  2. discussion between two or three people
  3. group discussions (7 to 13 or also 30 persons and more)

Questions, topics and tasks

Questions, topics and tasks can be chosen freely. It can well be that the initial topic, the content or the objectives change throughout a conversation. It makes sense to take note of this and e.g. write down on a fllipchart when this happens and lateron reflect why this occured (turning points). It is not important WHO provoked it, but WHAT happened and WHY. The communication process and the result is always achieved by the group as a whole, (also when there is no result).

Homogenous or heterogenous groups

Especially in group conversations it is interesting to see what happens when homogenous groups (= same age, same semester of study, same discipline...) are in discussion, in contrast to a heterogenous group (= different age, different disciplines, e.g. even non-universitarian persons...) addressing the same topic.

Let students experience what happens, when discussion take place with or about concerned people (e.g. migration, banks, spatial planning, taxes, tuition fees...).

The module contains:

  • a suggestion for implementation (rules) for teachers and
  • a handout for students.


Another hint: Take it relaxed and feel free to experiment in small steps. You may also contact the author - good luck and have fun!

Learning Outcomes
1. To develop a feeling for successful communication, based on (active) listening.
2. Sustainability consists of knowledge and cooperation of many people. For both communication and sustainability attitudes are more important than methods or knowledge: Economy does not necessarily have to be competition, it can also bring beneftis to all! (from: ANKER,H., 2012, Ko-Evolution versus Eigennützigkeit. p. 39., Erich Schmidt Verlag, Berlin.)
3. To deal with the question of what the "whole" means.
4. To establish the relationship between leadership and sustainability (for future decision makers and leaders!).
5. Realize that every topic contains a sustainable aspect.
6. Learn that self-reflection is a personal quality assurance (sociale competence).
7. To value contradictions and barriers and see them as starting point for possible innovations.
Relevance for Sustainability
Sustainability always refers to the "whole".
What the "whole" exactly means has to be constantly explored and defined again and again. Innovation – social or technical – always depends on the interaction and cooperation between various stakeholders. Innovations for sustainability rely on an interdisciplinary exchange!

Humans, in particular leaders, who are able to see the "whole", act differently.
There are a lot of positive examples! They act and lead with a different focus. They realize and take into consideration not only social, economic and disciplinary issues, but also those that go beyond their discipline. Those leaders respect co-competitors at the market rather than seeing them as enemies.
Those leaders know: it requires good perceptions and analysis to adequately address the world's complexity.

Uni, Duo, Tre provides such settings, to be able to design this radar for the world of sustainability. The "deceleration" of discussions, enables intense discussion, benifitting the innovation process in developing strategies, products and services.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Sources and Links

In many dimensions Uni, Duo, Tre corresponds to the principles of Action Learning. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Action_learning

Funded by
Funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research within the framework of the call "Projekt MINT-Massenfächer" (2011/12)

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Ing. Mag. Alfred Rindlisbacher


Alfred Rindlisbacher
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
KFUG - Karl-Franzens-University Graz


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Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Game