February 1, 2016

Sustainable Development and Sustainable (Food) Consumption” University of Muenster and University of Applied Sciences Muenster (since 2014)

  • Lecturers: Doris Fuchs and Sylvia Lorek
  • Program: undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science; international and european governance; public administration; public governance; and teacher’s education
  • Duration: one semester; Class size: 40 students maximum
  • Focus: “gathering of information on different facets of sustainable consumption in real life as well as the scrutiny of recent scientific publications on these facets. Assess recent publications in political science on the nature, actors and processes of (un)sustainable development.”
  • Guest speakers: Tom Princen, Michael Maniates, Antonietta Di Guilio
  • Student evaluation: active participation in discussions; two presentations, including short videos, role playing, etc.; term paper, topics identified based on interests of the group.
  • Course evaluation: most engaging: “recognizing the limits of simple solutions”; least engaging: “depressing situation”.
  • Reading list: short reading list available; more literature available via dedicated server. Use of the SWEDESD material: ‘The Parts and The Whole: A Holistic Approach to Environmental and Sustainability Education | 2012’.
  • 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, focusing perhaps on the sharing economy.

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