May 7, 2017

Challenges to Sustainable Development

“Challenges to Sustainable Development”, University of Muenster (since 2014)

  • Lecturer: Doris Fuchs
  • Program: graduate degree in political science
  • Duration: one semester; Class size: 40 students maximum
  • Focus: “understanding pivotal challenges to sustainable development with an emphasis on sustainable consumption as identified by the state of the art in the literature. Assess the nature, actors and drivers of (un)sustainable development.”
    With video/podcast input from Tom Princen, Michael Maniates, Antonietta Di Giulio
  • Student evaluation: active participation in discussions; two presentations; term paper, topics identified based on interests of the group.
  • Course evaluation: most engaging: “recognizing the limits of simple solutions”; least engaging: “depressing situation”.
    Extensive reading list
  • Novel approach: applied research projects, including visits to sustainable development actors/projects in the area; role-playing, debates; short formal lectures; short formal presentations by students; guest speakers.
  • Challenge: structure/actor dichotomy when it comes to inciting change; understanding roles for individuals, NGOs, governments.
  • Future plans: would like to see a cooperative game on sustainable consumption developed.