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In this course, participants are introduced to key notions and concepts evolving in sustainability science that are relevant to all, independent to one's work or field of interest. After having completed the course, participants will have a better understanding of the vocabulary used today and should demonstrate the ability to reflect critically to integrate different perspectives of environmental, social, and economic sustainability to their specific area of interest or research.
Throughout the course, links are made to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, as our current global road map towards sustainability, and how new approaches and solutions are emerging to describe, understand and address key sustainability challenges. Put simply, the overall aim is to give participants the knowledge and confidence needed to present and discuss ideas with others by applying methods, concepts and the vocabulary exemplified in the course with a more holistic view on the sustainability agenda across topics and disciplines.
The course is designed as 5 modules:
The first module presents essential concepts within sustainability science, and methods used to describe, frame, and communicate aspects of sustainability. We look at key questions such as what we mean with strong or weak sustainability, resilience, tipping points and the notion of planetary boundaries. We also look at some techniques used of envisioning alternative futures and transitions pathways.
The second module is all about systems thinking and how systemic approaches are applied today to achieve long-term sustainability goals. Your will see what we mean with systems thinking and how systems thinking, and design is applied in practice to find new solutions.
The third module touches upon drivers for a sustainable future, namely links to economy and business with an introduction to notions of a circular economy, and also policy and regulatory frameworks. We introduce the basics of transformative policy frames and how they are designed and applied through several real-case examples.
The fourth module discusses the links between innovation and sustainability, highlighting approaches for technological, social, institutional, and financial innovations. Some examples (or cases) aim to show how different actors across society balance in practice the need for innovative approaches for social, environmental, and economic sustainability.
The fifth and last module provides general insights on how we work with models to create various scenarios that help us identify solutions and pathways for a more sustainable world. Three main dimensions are addressed namely climate and climate change, nature and biodiversity, and the importance of data and geodata science to support spatial planning and sustainable land use.
This course is brought to you by Lund University with input from four external contributors:
- Lund Municipality, Sweden
- DigIT Hub, a cluster organisation for digitalisation in society based in Lund, Sweden
- Forum for Social Innovation Sweden, a national network across 5 universities
- Sustainable Business Hub, a cluster organisation for smart sustainable cities, based in Malmö, Sweden...
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