Transformative skills for sustainability

Community of Practice network initiative of the Stifterverband, the Carl Zeiss Foundation and the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt for Transformative Skills for Sustainability

The need for qualifications in dealing with sustainability has increased enormously in recent years. Universities are gradually developing concepts for implementing the topic of sustainability in university teaching - also in response to social changes - and are thus increasingly preparing their students for living and working in a transforming world. However, the interdisciplinary courses still reach too few students. Subject-related courses are often optional and unrelated to other modules. There is often a lack of connection to the needs of the job market.

Theaim of the Community of Practice is to ensure that Transformative Skills for Sustainability reach as many students as possible from a wide range of disciplines. To this end, the program supports the collaborative development of teaching-learning concepts that are sustainably integrated into the curriculum and impart these skills across the breadth of study programmes.

The following 20 submissions were selected by a jury of representatives from academia and industry:

  • Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen
  • Otto-Friedrich-University Bamberg
  • Ruhr University Bochum
  • Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg
  • Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
  • Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development
  • Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences
  • Hamburg University of Applied Sciences
  • Fresenius University of Applied Sciences Heidelberg
  • Heidelberg University of Education
  • Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen
  • University of Constance
  • University of Applied Sciences Cologne
  • Munich University of Applied Sciences
  • Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich
  • Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Regensburg
  • University of Vechta
  • Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

Specifically, the network initiative supports the selected universities in designing new teaching modules or further developing existing ones that are dedicated to teaching sustainability skills with the aim of integrating them into the curricula. Problems that have so far stood in the way of the integration and design of such modules are to be addressed and overcome at peer-to-peer level.

Four prototype labs are at the heart of the work. In exchange with and supported by the know-how of sustainability experts in the university context, such as the German Society for Sustainability at Universities (DG HochN), the universities are working on individual solutions. The Prototype Labs offer universities the space to collaboratively develop prototypes, i.e. initial versions of concepts that can be used across universities to teach sustainability skills and anchor them in the curricula.