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The convergence of societal advancement and the education of future sustainability professionals: a solution-oriented approach to place-based environmental changes - A descriptive case study of the Master's course 'Strategic Environmental Development' of Lund University, Sweden

Zemler, Lindsey LU (2016) In IIIEE Masters Thesis IMEN56 20161
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Building sustainable, collaborative solutions to contemporary sustainability challenges requires
a new generation of future professionals or ‘change-agents,’ the engagement of non-academic
stakeholders, and academic facilitation. Educational reform is needed in order to enhance
students’ competencies in becoming effective sustainability professionals. Effective
collaborative platforms have the potential to contribute to such reform and also engage
societal actors and academic experts in building solutions for local, regional and global
sustainability problems. Sustainability research education and participatory sustainability research are
two complementary concepts which provide a framework to evaluate and understand the
processes... (More)
Building sustainable, collaborative solutions to contemporary sustainability challenges requires
a new generation of future professionals or ‘change-agents,’ the engagement of non-academic
stakeholders, and academic facilitation. Educational reform is needed in order to enhance
students’ competencies in becoming effective sustainability professionals. Effective
collaborative platforms have the potential to contribute to such reform and also engage
societal actors and academic experts in building solutions for local, regional and global
sustainability problems. Sustainability research education and participatory sustainability research are
two complementary concepts which provide a framework to evaluate and understand the
processes and outcomes of participatory, solution-oriented projects between students,
stakeholders and academics. In this thesis, these frameworks are applied to gain insight to a
course within a Master’s of Science program in Environmental Policy and Management. The
course, called Strategic Environmental Development (SED), is conducted yearly at the
International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) within Lund
University in Lund, Sweden. It has been implemented for 20 years and has engaged over 500
students and dozens of societal actors around the world, ranging from municipalities to
companies. The course is based on a practical, real-world approach to learning using shortterm
projects in collaboration with professionals throughout various sectors of society and
from around the world.
The aim of this thesis is to describe the course as a phenomenon in it’s implementation and
further describe and analyze the process and outcomes, structured according to the concepts
of sustainability research education and participatory sustainability research, as well as key competencies in
sustainability education. This research sought perspectives within three distinct stakeholder
groups; students, the academic institution and clients. The findings explore the causal links
between the recognized outcomes of the course (e.g. enhanced capacity and expanded
networks) to specific variables of the process (e.g. supervision, communication, course
structure, collaborative elements, and client interaction). This thesis recommends flexible and
dynamic but well-structured management, a combination of one-time projects and repeating
clients, making information clear and accessible, introducing tools to maximize student
learning, and cultivating a balance between stakeholder groups in allocating responsibility. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Zemler, Lindsey LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN56 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
sustainability research education, participatory sustainability research, key competencies, stakeholder engagement, real-world learning, higher education
publication/series
IIIEE Masters Thesis
report number
2016:10
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8890896
date added to LUP
2016-09-06 11:16:14
date last changed
2016-09-06 11:16:14
@misc{8890896,
  abstract     = {Building sustainable, collaborative solutions to contemporary sustainability challenges requires
a new generation of future professionals or ‘change-agents,’ the engagement of non-academic
stakeholders, and academic facilitation. Educational reform is needed in order to enhance
students’ competencies in becoming effective sustainability professionals. Effective
collaborative platforms have the potential to contribute to such reform and also engage
societal actors and academic experts in building solutions for local, regional and global
sustainability problems. Sustainability research education and participatory sustainability research are
two complementary concepts which provide a framework to evaluate and understand the
processes and outcomes of participatory, solution-oriented projects between students,
stakeholders and academics. In this thesis, these frameworks are applied to gain insight to a
course within a Master’s of Science program in Environmental Policy and Management. The
course, called Strategic Environmental Development (SED), is conducted yearly at the
International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) within Lund
University in Lund, Sweden. It has been implemented for 20 years and has engaged over 500
students and dozens of societal actors around the world, ranging from municipalities to
companies. The course is based on a practical, real-world approach to learning using shortterm
projects in collaboration with professionals throughout various sectors of society and
from around the world.
The aim of this thesis is to describe the course as a phenomenon in it’s implementation and
further describe and analyze the process and outcomes, structured according to the concepts
of sustainability research education and participatory sustainability research, as well as key competencies in
sustainability education. This research sought perspectives within three distinct stakeholder
groups; students, the academic institution and clients. The findings explore the causal links
between the recognized outcomes of the course (e.g. enhanced capacity and expanded
networks) to specific variables of the process (e.g. supervision, communication, course
structure, collaborative elements, and client interaction). This thesis recommends flexible and
dynamic but well-structured management, a combination of one-time projects and repeating
clients, making information clear and accessible, introducing tools to maximize student
learning, and cultivating a balance between stakeholder groups in allocating responsibility.},
  author       = {Zemler, Lindsey},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {sustainability research education,participatory sustainability research,key competencies,stakeholder engagement,real-world learning,higher education},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Masters Thesis},
  title        = {The convergence of societal advancement and the education of future sustainability professionals: a solution-oriented approach to place-based environmental changes - A descriptive case study of the Master's course 'Strategic Environmental Development' of Lund University, Sweden},
  year         = {2016},
}