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Missimer, M., Robèrt, K.-H. & Broman, G. (2017). A Strategic Approach to Social Sustainability - Part 2: A Principle-based Definition. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(Part 1), 42-52
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Strategic Approach to Social Sustainability - Part 2: A Principle-based Definition
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 42-52Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The vast and growing array of concepts, methods and tools in the sustainability field imply a need for a structuring and coordinating framework, including a unifying and operational definition of sustainability. One attempt at such framework began over 25 years ago and is now widely known as the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. However, as with the larger sustainability field, the social dimension of this framework has been found to not be sufficiently science-based and operational and thus in need of further development. In this two-part series an attempt at a science-based, operational definition of social sustainability is presented. In part 1 a systems-based approach to the social system was presented, based on extensive literature studies as well as conceptual modelling sessions using the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development as the guiding structure. The focus of that study was on the essential aspects of the social system that need to be sustained, namely trust, common meaning, diversity, capacity for learning and capacity for self-organization. The aim of this second paper is to identify and present overriding mechanisms by which these aspects of the social system can be degraded, thereby finding exclusion criteria for re-design for sustainability. Further literature studies, conceptual modelling sessions and initial testing of this prototype with partners in academia, business and NGOs were performed. Based on the understanding of the essential aspects of the social system and the identified overriding mechanisms of degradation of these, a hypothesis for a definition of social sustainability by basic principles is presented. The proposed principles are that in a socially sustainable society, people are not subject to structural obstacles to: (1) health, (2) influence, (3) competence, (4) impartiality and (5) meaning-making. Overall, the two papers aim to provide a hypothesis for a definition of social sustainability, which is general enough to be applied irrespective of spatial and temporal constraints, but concrete enough to guide decision-making and monitoring. It is also a further development of the social dimension of the FSSD, which practitioners and researchers have requested for some time and can act as a support towards better integration of social sustainability in many other fields, e.g., sustainable product innovation, sustainable supply chain management, sustainable transport system development, and others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
strategic sustainable development; social sustainability; social system; systems thinking; sustainability principles.
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11907 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.04.059 (DOI)000388775100005 ()
Note

Financial support was provided by the FUTURA foundation and is hereby gratefully acknowledged. FUTURA was not involved in the study design, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2017-09-20Bibliographically approved
Missimer, M., Robèrt, K.-H. & Broman, G. (2017). A Strategic Approach to Social Sustainability -Part 1: Exploring the Social System. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(Part 1), 32-41
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Strategic Approach to Social Sustainability -Part 1: Exploring the Social System
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no Part 1, p. 32-41Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The vast and growing array of concepts, methods and tools in the sustainability field imply a need for a structuring and coordinating framework, including a unifying and operational definition of sustainability. One attempt at such framework began over 25 years ago and is now widely known as the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. However, as with the larger sustainability field, the social dimension of this framework has been found to not be sufficiently science-based and operational and thus in need of further development. In this two-part series an attempt at a science-based, operational definition of social sustainability is presented. In this paper (part one), a systems-based approach to the social system is presented, as a basis for presenting a zero-hypothesis of principles for social sustainability in part two. Extensive literature studies as well as conceptual modeling sessions were performed and the social system was examined from various angles – complex adaptive system studies, human needs theory and other social sciences, and insights from these fields were woven together. The whole work was structured and guided by the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. The focus of the study was on the essential aspects of the social system that need to be sustained (that cannot be systematically degraded) for it to be possible for people to meet their needs. These essential aspects were found to be trust, common meaning, diversity, capacity for learning and capacity for self-organization. Trust seems to be generally acknowledged to be the overriding aspect of a vital social system. A sense of common meaning is also stated by several authors as an important part of social capital and something that helps to keep a group or society together. Diversity is acknowledged as essential for resilience; in the human social system this can be interpreted as, e.g., diversity of personalities, ages, gender, skills. Capacity for learning and self-organization are also motivated from a resilience point of view by several authors. These results form a basis for the hypothesis for a definition of social sustainability presented in paper 2, which in turn is a step towards creating an enhanced support for strategic planning and innovation for sustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
strategic sustainable development; social sustainability; social system; systems thinking; sustainability principles
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11906 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.03.170 (DOI)000388775100004 ()
Note

Financial support was provided by the FUTURA foundation and is hereby gratefully acknowledged. FUTURA was not involved in the study design, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, in the writing of the report or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2017-09-20Bibliographically approved
Gould, R., Missimer, M. & Lagun Mesquita, P. (2017). Using social sustainability principles to analyse activities of the extraction lifecycle phase: Learnings from designing support for concept selection. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(1), 267-276
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using social sustainability principles to analyse activities of the extraction lifecycle phase: Learnings from designing support for concept selection
2017 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 140, no 1, p. 267-276Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Analysing product concepts with respect to social sustainability is a contemporary challenge for which there is little support available for product developers. Our aim was to build on previous work to support product developers in a case company with this challenge. We designed a first prototype of support for product developers to use a previously developed definition when analysing the extraction lifecycle activities associated with their product concepts. The prototype instructs users to model the location of the extraction activities and then use existing databases and indicators to analyse the social sustainability performance of each location. The databases and indicators were selected according to their relevance to scientific principles for social sustainability. We then performed initial evaluation of the support, through which we learnt that the approach may make it possible for product developers to analyse extraction activities, but the level of accuracy of analysis that is possible is not good enough for comparing the concepts in the case study decision. We discuss the implications of these challenges and suggest that it may be better to re-design our approach in order to provide learningful support for product developers or support for other decision-making in the company.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2017
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-12921 (URN)10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.08.004 (DOI)000388775100025 ()
Projects
Model driven development and decision support
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2016-08-17 Created: 2016-08-17 Last updated: 2018-09-20Bibliographically approved
Missimer, M. (2015). Social Sustainability within the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. (Doctoral dissertation). Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Social Sustainability within the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A common criticism of the sustainability field is that definitions are vague and that the vast amount of different tools, methods and concepts leads to confusion. In response to this challenge, for the past 25 years a group of scientists has explored the possibility to develop an overarching and unifying framework that would allow for a structured overview of other concepts, methods and tools and therefore allow for concrete, strategic planning for sustainability. Over this 25-year period the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD) has been tested in learning loops between scientists and practitioners and has continuously been developed. The aim of this research is to contribute specifically to the social sustainability definition of this framework, which has been found lacking both in theory and practice.

The research first establishes exactly in which ways the social dimension is underdeveloped, both from a theoretical and from a practitioner’s perspective. In addition, the research explores the general field of social sustainability in order to understand the larger field, but also to gather inspiration and understand similar approaches. This exploration leads to the conclusion that also the larger field of social sustainability is also under-developed and underscores the importance of this research.

Based on this conclusion, a new approach to social sustainability within the FSSD is created based on a systems approach to the social system. Various aspects of the social system are identified to be essential for sustainability, namely trust, common meaning, diversity, capacity for learning and capacity for self-organization. Then, overriding mechanisms by which these aspects of the social system can be degraded are identified. Based on the understanding of the essential aspects of the social system and the identified overriding mechanisms of degradation of these, a hypothesis for a definition of social sustainability by basic principles is presented. The proposed principles are, that in a socially sustainable society, people are not subject to structural obstacles to: (1) health, (2) influence, (3) competence, (4) impartiality and (5) meaning-making. These aim to function as exclusion criteria for re-design for social sustainability. The research then presents two evaluations of this new approach, one based on workshops and interviews with FSSD practitioners and one via an FSSD-analysis of ISO 26000. Both evaluations support this new approach as useful and workable, and also contribute to suggestions for further improvement. 

Overall, the research contributes with a hypothesis for a definition of social sustainability, which is general enough to be applied irrespective of spatial and temporal constraints, but concrete enough to guide decision-making and monitoring. This is a contribution to systems science in the sustainability field, and it is a step towards creating an enhanced support for strategic planning and innovation for sustainability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2015
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 9
Keywords
Strategic sustainable development, social sustainability, systems approach, backcasting, sustainability principles
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-10464 (URN)978-91-7295-307-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-09-07, G340, Campus Gräsvik, Karlskrona, 10:56 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-09-10 Created: 2015-08-03 Last updated: 2015-09-17Bibliographically approved
Missimer, M., Robèrt, K.-H. & Broman, G. (2014). A Systems Perspective on ISO 26000. In: : . Paper presented at 2nd International Symposium “SYSTEMS THINKING FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY. Advancements in Economic and Managerial Theory and Practice. Rome: Universitas Mercatorum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Systems Perspective on ISO 26000
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Since its publication in 2010, ISO 26000 has become the de-facto standard of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). While not a certifiable standard in ISO terms, but rather a guidance document, it has become the document many corporations use as their basis for CSR work. ISO 26000 claims that the objective of social responsibility is to contribute to sustainable development, using the Brundtland definition – development, which meets the needs the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs – as the basis for sustainable development. However, the Brundtland definition, while commonly referred to, is not sufficiently concrete to give guidance for strategic planning and action in businesses, municipalities and society at large. Therefore it is helpful to supplement the Brundtland definition with a framework that allows for this concrete and strategic planning, e.g. the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD). The FSSD is based on a principled definition of sustainability, defining social and ecological sustainability in more operational terms, and includes guidelines for how to contribute systematically and strategically to fulfillment of this definition. It is a transdisciplinary framework built on insights from systems thinking and has been continuously developed as well as used and improved in organizations all over the world for the last two decades. A particular recent development focus has been the social dimension of sustainability, with new insights based on the application of systems thinking to social systems having been recently presented. In this paper, these new insights are used to analyze and evaluate ISO 26000´s contribution to sustainability, highlighting both benefits and shortcomings of ISO 26000 from a social systems and strategic sustainable development perspective. Main points include that, while ISO 26000 is comprehensive in it´s scope and provides a vast achievement in terms of international consensus building around the essential issues in CSR, it is not based on a scientific understanding of social and ecological systems and is therefore a document highlighting current societal expectations rather than a document allowing organizations to innovate, plan, act and monitor long-term for sustainability. The paper further points out examples of aspects of sustainability that are likely to become issues in the future, but that are currently not covered by the ISO guidance. Finally, the paper points at research needed to explore more in detail in which ways ISO 26000 can support strategic working towards sustainability, and in which areas other tools are necessary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Rome: Universitas Mercatorum, 2014
Keywords
ISO 26000, Strategic Sustainable Development, Social Sustainability, Systems Thinking.
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-6754 (URN)oai:bth.se:forskinfo9071C4D1E4C7C996C1257CA10036984E (Local ID)oai:bth.se:forskinfo9071C4D1E4C7C996C1257CA10036984E (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfo9071C4D1E4C7C996C1257CA10036984E (OAI)
Conference
2nd International Symposium “SYSTEMS THINKING FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY. Advancements in Economic and Managerial Theory and Practice
Note

This paper was presented at the 2nd International Symposium “SYSTEMS THINKING FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY. Advancements in Economic and Managerial Theory and Practice” Rome 23-24 January, 2014 - Universitas Mercatorum. Please cite as: Missimer, M., et al., 2014. A systems perspective on ISO 26000. Proceedings of the 2nd International Symposium “SYSTEMS THINKING FOR A SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY. Advancements in Economic and Managerial Theory and Practice. Rome, Italy: January 23-24, 2014

Available from: 2014-03-21 Created: 2014-03-20 Last updated: 2018-05-22Bibliographically approved
Missimer, M., Robèrt, K.-H. & Broman, G. (2014). Lessons from the field:A first evaluation of working with the elaborated social dimension of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. In: Birger Sevaldson and Peter Jones (Ed.), Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2014 Symposium Proceedings: . Paper presented at RSD3 Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2014, Oslo. Oslo
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lessons from the field:A first evaluation of working with the elaborated social dimension of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development
2014 (Swedish)In: Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2014 Symposium Proceedings / [ed] Birger Sevaldson and Peter Jones, Oslo, 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Arguably, sustainability is the most complex challenge humanity has faced to date. Not only are the impacts of our behavior resulting in more and more sever repercussions, but we are also realizing that the causes of unsustainability are deeply embedded in the design of many of the systems we rely on. This means, of course, also, that solutions to the problem cannot be one-off ideas, but that strategic and systematic transformation of many of our systems is needed. Because of the necessity of the re-design of our economic and other man-made systems, it has been suggested that sustainability science should be considered a “science of design” (Miller 2011). Perhaps it can be considered one of the most “wicked” cases of design, as it needs to aim both for significant impact and a participatory approach to solve the challenge.

 

One framework that approaches the sustainability challenge from a design angle is the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD). Specifically, it is based on the idea of strategically and step-wise designing sustainability out of the systems we currently rely on. The FSSD is a trans-disciplinary framework built on insights from systems thinking and has been continuously developed for the last two decades. Its core is built on backcasting from principles of re-design for sustainability, which allows for wide-spread agreement on what sustainability means and allows for creativity within these constraints, so that each group or organization can create their own path towards sustainability within these constraints. The FSSD has been used in organizations all over the world to create real transformation towards sustainability.

 

A particular recent development focus has been the social dimension of sustainability. Following the idea of sustainability as a design science, the development was based on a design research methodology (e.g Blessing and Chakrabarti 2009), which included a suggested new ‘prototype’ for the approach to social sustainability within the FSSD. Based on a systems approach to the social system, five new principles of social sustainability have been proposed (Missimer 2013, Missimer et al. 2013a, 2013b). This paper aims to contribute to the evaluation stage of the prototype and presents preliminary results of an evaluation based on field-work with the new social sustainability principles. Overall, a clearer definition of social sustainability is not just for theoretical purposes, but because without a clear theoretical concept, it is hard to strategically work towards social sustainability in practice.

The data for evaluation comes from workshops that were run with sustainability professionals (also called practitioners) who use the FSSD in their work. In three workshops, the authors, as well as groups of sustainability professionals, used the new social sustainability principles to assess projects on their contribution to social sustainability. The workshops were followed by reflections by and interviews with the professionals assessing the usability of the new principles.

 

Preliminary results indicate that it is indeed possible to use the newly proposed social sustainability principles in the manner intended and that the approach yields results that are valuable to the professional and the potential clients of these professionals. Integration with existing tools commonly used by the practitioners was possible, although further refinement of the designed tool prototypes will be needed.

 

Practitioners reflected that the earlier approach to social sustainability lacked in clarity and the ability to structure other tools and concepts in the field. They reported that most practitioners designed their own way of working with social sustainability, which lead to confusion and undermined a common approach. They appreciated the more thorough and scientific approach to the social aspects presented in the new approach, which allowed for a common language and a more thorough assessment of contributions to un-sustainability. The practitioners also reported new insights regarding the use and connection to other tools and concepts in the field of social sustainability.

 

However, challenges were expressed as regards the somewhat more difficult nature of the science behind the new approach and how this impacted the ease of working with the framework for practitioners. The paper ends with some reflections by the authors. In further research this preliminary evaluation will be expanded and built upon to facilitate continuous improvement and applicability of the FSSD.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: , 2014
Keywords
Strategic Sustainable Development, Social Sustainability, Systems Thinking, Action Research
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-11908 (URN)978-82-547-0263-5 (ISBN)
Conference
RSD3 Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2014, Oslo
Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2016-05-25Bibliographically approved
Missimer, M., Valente, M., Meisterheim, T. & Johnson, P. (2013). Creating a learning environment for transformation: A case study of a course in sustainability leadership. In: Hampson, Gary P; Rich-Tolsma, Matthew (Ed.), Leading Transformative Higher Education: . Olomouc: Palacký University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Creating a learning environment for transformation: A case study of a course in sustainability leadership
2013 (English)In: Leading Transformative Higher Education / [ed] Hampson, Gary P; Rich-Tolsma, Matthew, Olomouc: Palacký University , 2013Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

For over 50 years, scientists and other thought leaders have been trying to call attention to the degradation of the foundation of human civilization through unsustainable behaviour (Carson 1962, Meadows et al. 1972, IGBP. 2004, Millenium Ecosystem Assessment 2005, Stern 2007, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007, Rockström et al. 2009). The United Nations’ Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) has recently put renewed focus on not only what we need to learn and teach in the field of sustainable development, but also how we learn and teach about sustainable development. Pedagogical methods such as lifelong learning, social learning, problem-based learning, dialogue education, and transformational learning in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) have been put forward. Transformative or transformational learning seems especially relevant to ESD as deep transformational change on a personal level might be one of the key aspects needed to facilitate a larger societal transformation. The chapter presents research on transformational learning and the components necessary for it, and provides a case study of a course that works specifically with transformational learning for sustainability. The Advanced Societal Leadership course is a 10-week course of the 10-month Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability programme at the Blekinge Institute of Technology. This course aims at providing learners with critical insights into how large-scale societal transformation for sustainability might occur, and explores several topics for social transformation. The chapter discusses the pedagogical design of the course as well as some of the challenges and questions that the staff has experienced over the last 9 years in imbedding transformational learning and personal transformational change in a traditional university setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Olomouc: Palacký University, 2013
Keywords
Transformational Learning, Transformative Learning, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), Sustainability Leadership Education, Sustainability Leadership Development
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-6422 (URN)oai:bth.se:forskinfo497C3F7BDFEB9BEBC1257DE40054D3EE (Local ID)978-80-244-3918-1 (ISBN)oai:bth.se:forskinfo497C3F7BDFEB9BEBC1257DE40054D3EE (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfo497C3F7BDFEB9BEBC1257DE40054D3EE (OAI)
Available from: 2015-02-09 Created: 2015-02-06 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Missimer, M. (2013). The Social Dimension of Strategic Sustainable Development. (Licentiate dissertation). Karlskrona: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Social Dimension of Strategic Sustainable Development
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sustainable development most prominently entered the global political arena in 1987 in a report from the United Nations Commission on Environment and Development, also known as the Brundtland report. In response to the concept of sustainable development, a vast array of ideas, concepts, methods and tools to aid organizations and governments in addressing the socio-ecological problems has been developed. Though helpful in many contexts, the multitude of such support also risks creating confusion, not the least since there is no generally endorsed overriding and operational definition of sustainability. Thus, there is a growing need for such a definition and for an understanding of how these ideas, concepts, methods and tools relate to sustainability and to each other. A framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD) has been developed over the last 20 years to create such a unifying structure. The aim of this research is to contribute specifically to the social sustainability definition of this framework. The research follows the Design Research Methodology. First, the social dimension of the FSSD as it stands currently was examined and described as was the general field of social sustainability. Then, a new approach to the social side of the FSSD was created. The studies revealed that the field of social sustainability, in general, is vastly under-theorized and under-developed, and that a clear framework is important and desired. They also laid out in which ways specifically the structure of the FSSD could be used to further develop the social dimension of strategic planning and innovation, and that currently this aspect of the FSSD is relatively under-developed. This assessment was followed by a first attempt at a clearer definition of social sustainability. Based on these explorations, this research suggests five principles as a hypothesis to be used as a definition of social sustainability, the key-terms of which being ’integrity’, ‘influence’, ‘competence’, ‘impartiality’ and ‘meaning’. For validity purposes the results were cross-checked with other approaches and theories. The validity check shows that similar key-terms have been found by other researchers. In conclusion, this research contributes with a hypothesis for a clearer definition of social sustainability, which is general enough to be applied irrespective of spatial and temporal constraints, but concrete enough to guide decision-making. This is a contribution to systems science in the sustainability field and it is a step to creating an enhanced support for strategic planning and innovation for sustainability. Further testing and refinement of this theoretical foundation, and bringing it into practical use, will be the subject of the continued studies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Institute of Technology, 2013
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 3
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-00555 (URN)oai:bth.se:forskinfo30692DF535B84F62C1257B390042ED84 (Local ID)978-91-7295-254-6 (ISBN)oai:bth.se:forskinfo30692DF535B84F62C1257B390042ED84 (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfo30692DF535B84F62C1257B390042ED84 (OAI)
Available from: 2013-04-09 Created: 2013-03-25 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Missimer, M. & Connell, T. (2012). Pedagogical Approaches and Design Aspects To Enable Leadership for Sustainable Development. Sustainability: The Journal of Record, 5(3), 172-181
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pedagogical Approaches and Design Aspects To Enable Leadership for Sustainable Development
2012 (English)In: Sustainability: The Journal of Record, ISSN 1937-0695, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 172-181Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Various sets of skills for dealing with sustainability and the complexity of the modern world have been put forward by different actors in the field of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). In connection with these skills, pedagogical methods such as lifelong learning, social learning, problem-based learning, dialogue education, and empowerment for ESD have been discussed. This paper looks at how these theories and methods can be put into practice by examining a real-world example of a sustainability master’s program at Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) in Sweden. In 2004, BTH launched the international transdisciplinary master’s program Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, which aims to develop leaders who will be able to address the ever-increasing sustainability challenge. The program combines a robust scientific framework for planning and decision making toward sustainability, with the leadership skills needed to energize large-scale societal change. In 2009, the Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD) observatory awarded BTH the ranking of No. 1 in Sweden and third in Europe for demonstrating success in EESD. This paper describes the specific pedagogical approaches and design elements that were implemented to train and develop the skills and expertise surrounding leadership for sustainable development. It further presents and analyzes survey data taken from program alumni reflecting on the success of the program. The results of the survey clearly show that while there is room for improvement, overall the program design is extremely successful in equipping its graduates with the skills necessary to address the sustainability challenge. Finally, the authors offer reflections on the lessons learned after six years of continual improvements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, 2012
Keywords
Education for sustainable development, pedagogy, skills, competencies, leadership, sustainability
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Pedagogy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-7277 (URN)10.1089/sus.2012.9961 (DOI)oai:bth.se:forskinfo35015DDE222F462AC1257A1C0036FB0F (Local ID)oai:bth.se:forskinfo35015DDE222F462AC1257A1C0036FB0F (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfo35015DDE222F462AC1257A1C0036FB0F (OAI)
External cooperation:
Note

Sustainability: The Journal of Record, Vol. 5, No. 3, June 2012: 172-181 http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/SUS.2012.9961 Open Access Journal - Romeo Blue publisher

Available from: 2012-09-18 Created: 2012-06-13 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Robèrt, K.-H., Göran, B., Ny, H., Byggeth, S., Missimer, M., Connel, T., . . . Oldmark, J. (2012). Sustainability Handbook. Lund: Studentlitteratur
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainability Handbook
Show others...
2012 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Today"s society is faced with a multitude of compounding and inter-related socio-ecological challenges. In order to adequately navigate this 'sustainability challenge" and to capture the innovation opportunities that come with it, we need professionals from all sectors of society who can help plan, act, and lead strategically towards sustainability. Sustainability handbook first outlines a structured approach to planning within this complex challenge, which is known as the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development. It provides the readers with fundamental social and ecological knowledge from which a scientifically-derived definition of sustainability has been established. From there, the book shares examples of how this Framework can be applied in a variety of situations, sectors, and scales and points to the self-benefit for companies, municipalities and other organizations of working strategically for sustainability. The readers are left with a solid understanding of how to define sustainability, how to plan and act towards it, and how to select from the vast array of sustainability-related concepts, methods and tools in the field today. Sustainability handbook combines the academic and practical experience from a collection of authors. The content has been used, tested and refined over many iterations, and now serves as a primary resource for academic courses and programmes around the world. Any student or practitioner looking for more clarity on how to strategically plan and act towards sustainability in a structured, scientific, and collaborative manner will find value inside. Because of the generic nature of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, it can be useful for any discipline, from engineering, to product-service innovation, to business management, to urban and regional planning, and beyond.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Studentlitteratur, 2012. p. 201
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-6835 (URN)oai:bth.se:forskinfo5D7F5504F3C31B45C1257C3500461CD3 (Local ID)9789144075495 (ISBN)oai:bth.se:forskinfo5D7F5504F3C31B45C1257C3500461CD3 (Archive number)oai:bth.se:forskinfo5D7F5504F3C31B45C1257C3500461CD3 (OAI)
Note

14 authors. Not mentioned: Hördur Haraldsson, Jamie MacDonald, George Basil, Lena Johansson

Available from: 2013-12-02 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-5822-5152

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