800740 VU Sustainability: a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary perspective

winter semester 2019/2020 | Last update: 26.09.2019 Place course on memo list
VU Sustainability: a multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary perspective
VU 4
not applicable
not applicable

At the end of the module, students are able:

- to identify the most relevant natural resources to be managed in the alpine environment

- to identify optimal management strategies using both environmental friendly, stakeholder relevant as well as economically sustainable criteria

- to know the meaning of some core concepts such as sustainable resource management, corporate sustainability, CSR, sustainable development, stakeholder management, etc.;

- to gain an in-depth theoretical understanding of the components and interrelations of economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable management decisions

- to critically evaluate and compare different theories on sustainability and sustainable resource management

- to chart ‘real-life’ practices of sustainable resource management practices, business opportunities and threats as well as learn from real world examples and cases that illustrate how to put sustainable (resource) management into practice; 

- to develop the skills to analyze a problem and to find solutions relevant to the implementation of sustainability management approaches in different settings;

- to critically reflect, apply and review scientific literature; 

- to structure and write a short scientific paper

- to present the results of a scientific work in a presentation    

The module will combine in-class lectures and discussions, presentations and field trips. We apply a multi-disciplinary perspective: 

- A business perspective on sustainable management: sustainability from a stakeholder perspective; strategic, organizational and ethical implications of corporate sustainability; what makes a sustainable company, e.g. how would key business functions look like and which key instruments exists; how can managers build a sustainable business model?


- A natural science perspective: focusing on water resources management at the catchment scale: water quantity and quality issues, stakeholder's conflicts


- A system perspective: systems innovation: understanding, designing, managing and evaluating resource-productive energy, industrial and landuse systems through next generation, products, operations and business models. 

We accomplish the course objectives through the following teaching methods. During the first part of the lecture the students will be prepared content-wise to take part to one or two 1-day excursions, focusing on the EUREGIO. The plan is as follows: the first excursion (ca 9 hours) will be in Trentino region and look at the sustainabliity topic in an integrative way, combining the ecological/natural science and management perspective. The second excursion (ca. 9 hours) follows a similar approach, but will take place in Tyrol, in a local company.

In the second part of the lecture, each student will work on an assigned inter-disciplinary sustainability topic, under the supervision of the lecturers. Each student will receive instructions about how to perform an adequate literature review and how to present results to a scientific public. Students will present their work in a setting which compares to a scientific confernce. Depending on the number of participants, this work can also be organized as small-group work (e.g. two students per topic).

Assessments: (1) presentation: preparation and presentation and short scientific report of the project (short academic paper of ca. 5 pages)- 50%

(2) Contributions to field trips (oral or written reflections, discussions, development of problem solutions) - 30%;

(3) oral or written exam - 20%.

A literature list with selected papers from scientific literature as well as case studies will be provided.

Obligatory: very good english skills

Group 0
Date Time Location
Wed 2019-10-02
14.00 - 18.00 SR 8 (Sowi) SR 8 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Thu 2019-10-03
09.00 - 14.00 SR 8 (Sowi) SR 8 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Fri 2019-10-04
15.00 - 16.00 SR 8 (Sowi) SR 8 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Mon 2019-10-07
09.00 - 12.30 SR 9 (Sowi) SR 9 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Wed 2019-10-09
09.30 - 17.00 SR 16 (Sowi) SR 16 (Sowi) Barrier-free Field Trip
Thu 2019-10-10
09.00 - 10.45 SR 7 (Sowi) SR 7 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Mon 2019-10-14
14.00 - 18.00 SR 13 (Sowi) SR 13 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Wed 2019-10-16
09.30 - 17.00 SR 6 (Sowi) SR 6 (Sowi) Barrier-free
Mon 2019-10-28
13.00 - 18.30 SR 13 (Sowi) SR 13 (Sowi) Barrier-free