Sustainability TransitionsOrganization logo: Erasmus University Rotterdam

About this minor

Why have science, policy, business, and politics thus far failed to effectively deal with our current ecological and climate crisis?

To achieve meaningful change towards sustainability, we need to think, engage, and act differently. That is why this minor is based on interdisciplinary knowledge and key sustainability competencies. Throughout the minor you will be embedded in a transformative learning journey together with your teachers and peers that will focus on your unique experience and personal development. We will use the framework of the Inner Development Goalsto guide this journey. The minor is organized by the Design, Impact and Transition (DIT) Platformat EUR, a place for academic transdisciplinary and transformative work on sustainability of the university Strategy 2024.

You will work in a team with students from different disciplines to develop a project related to sustainable consumerism from beginning to the end of the minor. After defining a topic with your group, you will go into the field and gain practical insights and experiences while collecting data (through interviews, surveys and policy documents, amongst others), you will design a real-world, local intervention and by interacting with stakeholders about your plans you will already make impact. This minor follows the moto to “think globally, act locally”.

Learning outcomes

  • define a consumerism challenge and develop an action research project that will culminate in an intervention;

  • apply the fundamentals of transformations and transitions, including relevant complexity theory and systems and resilience thinking to the project;

  • interpret normativity and a variety of interests from different stakeholders while navigating uncertainty and complexity in an open learning environment;

  • collaborate with a group of peers with different disciplinary backgrounds;

  • communicate the outcomes of your research clearly with interested parties; and

  • reflect on your academic, theoretical, practical and (intra)personal experiences, both as a group and individually.

Hear the testimonies from minor alumni here.

Read this article about the minor.

Teaching method and examination

Teaching methods:
Each week will consist of a combination of interactive seminars, skills workshops, group work tutorials with feedback from coaches and peers and guided reflection sessions. The minor consists of a workload of 420 hours. Every week there will be approximately 10 contact hours. The assignments of this minor are linked to the development of an intervention to tackle a persistent problem and to the reflection over that process. Each separate session provides, theoretical insights, inspiration, skills and tools for the project. The Minor will follow the EUR calendar.

Teaching materials:
This minor will use scientific articles, chapters from books, videos and reports as resources.

Method of examination
Students will design a concrete intervention based on the theoretical foundation they acquire in this minor. Grades will be based on communicating, presenting, reporting and theoretical soundness.
Group assignment (40%): group analysis of a persistent problem that highlights its transformative change potential, elaboration of a report and short presentation of the report.
Pitch (20%): individual video pitch proposing an intervention to an external party.
Learning reflection (30%): individual reflection on the contents learned in the minor, which includes the application of the theory to the process of designing an intervention.
Professional behaviour (10%)

Composition of the final grade
The final grade will be composed of two small individual assignments (20% for a pitch and 30% for a learning reflection), a large academic group assignment (40%) and professional behaviour (10%).

Good to know

This minor is based on a group project that requires engagement, responsibility, commitment, self-organization and a growth mindset. The sessions are of an interactive nature and their success depend on student participation, which is therefore mandatory. The classes will take place in person except for a few workshops with international guest lecturers.

Additional information

  • Code
  • Theme
  • Credits
    ECTS 15
  • Selection minor
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