Most scientists dealing with global development agree that the world is heading for major breaks. The major drivers, the character of the breaks and how fast they will occur is, however, a matter of discussion. There is also no agreement on the strategies to achieve the sustainable development necessary to reduce or ban ecological and socio-economic threats.
This method outline is based on the successful lecture series "Courage to go for Sustainability" organised by the Center of Global Change and Sustainability (gW/N) at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU), in cooperation with the Environmental Agency Austria, the Austrian broadcast ORF1, Risiko:Dialog, Lebensministerium, and with kind support of the German Foundation Forum for Responsibility. Established since 2009, the original BOKU lecture series present experts from academia and extern stakeholders, discussing new concepts and scenarios, opportunities, risks and limitations of a sustainable life with the students, and addressing the critical questions from the audience. The students have to conduct small projects, where they have to demonstrate courage to go for sustainability. The students choose the topic and design the project, the results are presented at the end of the semester.
Since the original lecture series are too extensive to be implemented in an existing University lecture, this on hand teaching resource outline illustrates a basis for a teaching resource, where students can develop an understanding of different concepts for sustainable solutions seen from different perspectives.
Overview teacing resource outline:
Day 1 (or Day 1 and Day 2): Introduction to the topic sustainability (1 unit); a stakeholder presents new concepts and scenarios, opportunities, risks and limitations of his "personal courage to go for sustainability" project (1 unit); the students get instructions for their mini-project (1/2 unit); potential mini-projects for the students are "brainstormed" and written on a flip chart (1/2 unit), discussed with the stakeholder (1/2 unit), and finally the students split into small groups (if required) and choose one of the mini-projects (1/2 unit).
Intermediate: The students / groups develop their mini-projects at home.
Day 2 (or Day 3): The students present their project outcomes and get feedback from the stakeholder and the students (4 units).
The method set used within "Courage to go for Sustainability":
- impulse lecture