Duration: 4 weeks, 2 units/week
The great dilemma that both developed and developing countries face in reorienting their patterns of growth towards a more harmonious interaction between human beings and nature is accentuated by the uneven stages of their current developments. If all individuals and communities across the globe would consume natural resources at the pace of developed countries this would lead to a faster annihilation of the ecosystems while adding on the already unsustainable demands on the biosphere. Although development is a legitimate ambition of less developed countries, this should be pursued within a new green framework where growth doesn’t happen at the disadvantage of the environment. This shift requires interventions that are both political, financial and cultural.
The UN resolution in September 2015 adopting a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity in a new global development framework anchored in 17 Sustainable Development Goals, builds on the principle of “leaving no one behind” and emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. To tackle this unprecedented challenge Institutional bodies at different scales and the industry at large will need new professional figures trained to identify the most suitable solutions for transitioning them to sustainability and circular economy.
The module introduces students to the culture of sustainability through the dialogue with different personalities who share a vision on the future. It analyzes key issues and challenges that lie ahead, providing the knowledge and tools necessary to design a decent and fair future for all. It fosters the development of creativity engaged in the search for appropriate solutions in harmony with the environment and the cultural context. It includes keywords for building a ‘common vocabulary’ of the key themes of sustainability, the environmental challenges we face in the coming decades as well as the emerging needs of people.
The module engages students in developing the ‘meaning’ of keywords through the acquisition of new knowledge. They will be involved in processing data collected to identify main themes and challenges. The module is based on a multidisciplinary introduction to the principal lines of research and professional activities in the field of sustainability. Classes are taught by established professionals, innovators and researchers, who will engage in discussion with students. Topics include climate, de-carbonization, emerging technologies, social innovation, the relationship between economy and ecology, growth forecasts and opportunities for society and the region where they operate as professionals.
- Introduction to Sustainability
- Sustainable Development Agenda
- Carbon reductions strategies
- Accounting and Assessment
- Life Cycle Assessment
- Carbon Offsetting
- Social Sustainability