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Published: 2024-03-01

Competence building on sustainable development

NEWS Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics (USBE) hosted a symposium, 22-23 February 2024, called “Competence building on sustainable development in undergraduate and post-graduate programmes”, dedicated to discuss sustainability education across diverse countries and cultures.

Alice Annelin and Gert-Olof Boström, Associate professors in Business Administration at USBE, organized the event along with UTRI (Umeå Transformation Research Initiative) and HAW-Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany. 26 participants from 11 countries took part in the symposium consisting of presentations, workshops and online presentations. The event was also made available for all employees at Umeå university to participate.

Professor Nick McGuigan at Monash University in Australia lead a futuring workshop where backcasting techniques were applied with different activities to inspire creative thinking on how to reach the desired future within higher education.

- The room was filled with passion, interdisciplinary discussion and solution thinking that together lead to some positive and fruitful activities. I am so grateful to all participants for providing the support for sustainability education, says Alice.

During the symposium the participants delved into the integration of sustainability competencies within educational frameworks. Key themes included the role of experiential learning in fostering intrapersonal competencies, innovative strategies for incorporating sustainability into academic curricula, and the ethical considerations inherent in sustainability education.

Among the highlights was the unveiling of an upcoming publication titled "Competence Building on Sustainable Development in Undergraduate and Post-Graduate Programmes." This collaborative effort aims to consolidate the collective wisdom shared during the symposium, offering a comprehensive resource for scholars and practitioners in the field.

Reflecting on the symposium, participants pondered critical questions about the future of sustainability education. They explored avenues for providing spaces that support interdisciplinary learning and discussed how to inspire action on sustainability challenges through collaborative efforts.

- It all went very well and we are grateful to have had the possibility to organise such a successful event, says Gert-Olof.