This is a course for professionals and PhD students seeking a wider understanding of our current global predicaments, how to make sense of them, and how to respond.
The first module introduces the Anthropocene, The Great Acceleration, Planetary Boundaries along with causal relationships between energy, technology, economy, values and the human and more-than-human experience. The second module explores how our own cognition, values, norms and emotions guide our responses to the crises of our time, and how we can formulate coherent responses based on our experiences. The third introduces a way of reasoning about the world in terms of interconnected systems instead of independent problems, and explores what such a view means for us.
The course is run online with 2h highly interactive seminars connected to each module along with recorded material, readings and exercises.
This course looks at where important materials in products we use every day come from and how these materials can be used more efficiently, longer, and in closed loops. This is the aim of the Circular Economy, but it doesn’t happen on its own. It is the result of choices and strategies by suppliers, designers, businesses, policymakers and all of us as consumers.
In addition to providing many cases of managing materials for sustainability, the course also teaches skills and tools for analyzing circular business models and promotes development of your own ideas to become more involved in the transition to a Circular Economy. You will learn from expert researchers and practitioners from around Europe as they explain core elements and challenges in the transition to a circular economy over the course of 5 modules:
Module 1: Materials. This module explores where materials come from, and builds a rationale for why society needs more circularity.
Module 2: Circular Business Models. In this module circular business models are explored in-depth and a range of ways for business to create economic and social value are discussed.
Module 3: Circular Design, Innovation and Assessment. This module presents topics like functional materials and eco-design as well as methods to assess environmental impacts.
Module 4: Policies and Networks. This module explores the role of governments and networks and how policies and sharing best practices can enable the circular economy.
Module 5: Circular Societies. This module examines new norms, forms of engagement, social systems, and institutions, needed by the circular economy and how we, as individuals, can help society become more circular.
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.
How can we work with nature to design and build our cities?
This course explores urban nature and nature-based solutions in cities in Europe and around the world. We connect together the key themes of cities, nature, sustainability and innovation. We discuss how to assess what nature-based solutions can achieve in cities. We examine how innovation is taking place in cities in relation to nature. And we analyse the potential of nature-based solutions to help respond to climate change and sustainability challenges.
This course was launched in January 2020, and it was updated in September 2021 with new podcasts, films and publications. The course is produced by Lund University in cooperation with partners from Naturvation – a collaborative project on finding synergies between cities, nature, sustainability and innovation. The course features researchers, practitioners and entrepreneurs from a range organisations.
The course will give insights in fundamental concepts of machine learning and actionable forecasting using predictive analytics. It will cover the key concepts to extract useful information and knowledge from big data sets for analytical modeling
The course is given by Chalmers University of Technology.
VIDEOCLIP - TEASER: Take two min to get a sense of the course and hear why you should take it: https://play.chalmers.se/embed/secure/iframe/entryId/0_wvsk9cji/uiConfId/23450493/st/0
FOR WHO: The course aims at professionals working with or affected by ongoing sustainability transitions. For example, the course targets professionals such as:
Those who work with environmental policy related business development and sustainability practice in larger corporations. Examples of typical sectors include transport, energy, food and manufacturing.
Civil servants within authorities or municipal operations who are responsible for issues with climate relevance or circular economy.
Professionals working with development cooperations, or in intergovernmental organizations with related issues.
Applied researchers who want to get an introduction to the subjects.
WHAT AND WHY: In this course your invited to learn from the experience and knowledge of a world-leading expert in environmental policy instruments (Thomas Sterner) who, with the help of pedagogical experts, has cherry-picked content from a master's course at Chalmers and tailored the course structure for you as a professional. In the wake of the increased pace of ongoing sustainability transitions, environmental policies are becoming more comprehensive, complex and stringent. The purpose of this course is to give professionals an introduction to the portfolio of environmental policy instruments and equip them with tools to understand the mechanisms of the respective instruments and learn to work strategically with them in their own practice. The course will focus on topics such as climate change, the circular economy, and the energy crisis. To learn from the experience of thought leaders from several major industries, you will be able to view interviews with experts who talk about the role and implications of policies to their work and the sustainability transitions of their industry.
WHEN AND HOW: All parts of the course are free of charge, and you choose when and at what pace you want to complete the course elements. The course will be given in English, and the estimated time spent is 35-50 hours, depending on how much of the optional material you chose to study. The course offers you the possibility to tailor the learning experience as it fits best with your professional development. Therefore, it is recommended to read the course together with colleagues, to share joint learning and anchor it in your daily work. However, this is not a requirement.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN: The course gives a broad overview of the economic concepts underlying environmental policymaking. You will get insights into the practicalities of environmental and climate policies, both from the perspectives of those implementing the policy and of those facing new regulations. On completion of the course, you will for example be able to:
describe and recognize how environmental policy instruments work.
identify and relate to which environmental policy instruments are key to climate action and circular economy efforts in one's own sector and organization.
The course offers a dynamic learning environment with short videos, quizzes, exercises, and resources.