Create Impact: Sustainability by Design
By: Poul M. Schulte-Frankenfeld, Bachelor’s student in Psychology
Our future needs new approaches and fresh ideas: In this praxis-focused, dynamic and engaging 15-weeks program you will create your own solutions to real-life sustainability challenges. With lectures providing basic knowledge about the nature and status quo of sustainability research, interdisciplinary perspectives from various fields of academia such as biotechnology, economics, computer science, political science, psychology, philosophy on promising ideas that could contribute to new solutions, and a coaching-based approach to support you throughout your hands-on Design Thinking process, you will be prepared to develop, test and present a science-based concepts for a better world by the end of the course. Are you ready to save the planet?
Critical Animal Studies: Multi-Species Oppression in the Anthropocene
By: Tim Reijsoo, Research Master’s student in Philosophy
Critical Animal Studies is a rapidly developing interdisciplinary field that draws from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to examine what nonhuman animals are like, how human and nonhuman animals relate to each other, and the aesthetic, moral, social, political, economic, and ecological significance of these relations. Given that most of today’s global and sustainability problems e.g. climate change, Covid-19 etc. are related to distorted human-animal relations, we have to approach animal-studies in a critical way. The course will address questions about non-human animals in a rigorous, systematic, and multi-disciplinary manner. For example: In which ways are human and animal oppression related? Do they intersect and reinforce each other? How did these systems of oppression co-evolve? The Critical Animal Studies UVA course empowers students to 1) examine the key debates that define the field, and 2) understand the connections across animal issues, environmental issues, and social issues.
Doughnut Economics: Economics for the 21st century
By: Max Keijzer, Master’s student in Environmental Geography
As the “breakthrough alternative to growth economics”, Doughnut Economics challenges and offers alternative perspectives to mainstream economics by looking at the nexus between sustainability and social justice. Through its ecological and social lens, the Doughnut frames an inquiry into the problematics of the hegemonic growth paradigm by exploring alternatives across a broad range of perspectives and disciplines, reflecting deeply on what type of society can be operational within planetary boundaries.
Amsterdam’s journey to become the first Doughnut-proof city in the world has just started. No country or city lives within “the safe and just space” of the Doughnut so there is a lot of space for action, innovation and pioneering, transformative change. Guided by Kate Raworth’s organization (the Doughnut Economics Action Lab) and the Amsterdam Donut Coaltion, the city is buzzing with initiatives and new policies that ensure human flourishing while reversing ecological breakdown. Embark on the journey to the Doughnut.
Duurzame zorgen in de zorg
By: Daphne Jonkers Both, Sabine Gorter and Muamer Hajtic, Master’s students in Medical Informatics
De Nederlandse gezondheidszorg is een van de beste van de wereld. Elk jaar worden duizenden mensen beter dankzij ons zorgsysteem, maar tegelijkertijd heeft onze gezondheidszorg ook de potentie om ons ziek te maken. Zij is voor 5-10% van de landelijke CO2 uitstoot verantwoordelijk en dit percentage neemt elk jaar toe. Ziekenhuizen zorgen voor een grote hoeveelheid afval, waarvan medisch afval slechts een klein percentage van 10% is. Papier en verpakkingsmaterialen als plastic zijn verantwoordelijk voor het meeste afval in de zorg. Blijft de gezondheidszorg achter op het gebied van duurzaamheid en waarom? Welke oplossingen zijn er te bedenken voor het afval in de gezondheidszorg?
In dit interactieve en interdisciplinaire vak leer je om vanuit je eigen achtergrond na te denken over oplossingen voor de verduurzaming van de gezondheidszorg. Je duikt in de realiteit van de gezondheidszorg en gaat middels een project op zoek naar oplossingen die de gezondheidszorg verduurzamen.
Food, Animals and the Environment
By: Caatje Kluskens, Bachelor’s student in Media en Cultuur
Our food system produces a large amount of waste and pollution. Many animal species are in danger of extinction. Industrial animal agriculture kills 100+ billion animals per year and takes up a large part of the available land. Land that used to be the habitat of wild animals. This poses a risk to global health because of potential zoonoses. If we want to create a sustainable world, we need to think about our relationship with nature and with food. Many climate problems are intertwined with our food system and the way of thinking about nature. The relationships between humans, animals and nature are central to the climate crisis, both the causes as the effects. The purpose of the course Food, Animals and the Environment is to critically analyze the interconnectedness of a variety of global problems and our relationship with animals and nature. It examines the main impacts of the Western food system on the environment, non-human animals, ecosystems, global health and future human societies. The course deals with components from environmental and animal ethics, political science, media studies, sociology, psychology and environmental studies. Students will learn about nature, in nature. By having lectures in nature, students will be encouraged to question their own relationship with nature.
From Local to Global: Take Action for the Climate
By: Emilia Berenyi, Master’s student in Political Science
This course will bring together all UvA second- and third-year undergraduate students interested in developing sustainability solutions, whether it is an individual-level or global-level solution, whether it is a social, biological or technological innovation. The goal is one: developing effective sustainability solutions to tackle climate change and reverse global warming and its extreme effects, from earthquakes to water-shortage. An interdisciplinary environment with field visits and sustainability-solution projects outside the lectures and seminars allows students of the course to build up their own resolutions, based on their own field of study, thinking outside of the box, while they develop a critical thinking on existing practices and technologies. The diversity of study-materials, the broad scale of angles on sustainability and climate change, the variety of lecturers and field visits will all contribute to widen students’ perspectives and strengthen their research-, critical thinking-, and interdisciplinary skillset.
Rethinking the World: From Economic Impact to Impact Economy
By: Diana Hmelevska, Master’s student in Business Administration: International Business
For centuries, the world leaders and public defined their lives and work by economic impact, where money was central to the happiness and well-being of our society. However, this model is no longer sustainable and the world needs change. While many governments, businesses and individuals put action forward to create a more sustainable world, such actions are often criticized as short-sighted, insufficient or ineffective. Put simply, the existing initiatives are damage controlling rather than preventative. And fairly so, since the world sees sustainability as a new problem to tackle. But how can we solve a ‘new’ problem using ‘old’ thinking? The world that is turned by prioritizing profit will always discount people and planet to maintain the long-existing order of economic impact. Thus, to address the current and future sustainable development challenges, a new thinking must emerge. This course invites Bachelor students to rethink the world and see it through the lens of impact economy: the economy that is defined by the social and environmental impact it creates, not only gained economic profit.
Sustainability Deconstructed: Inequalities and Solutions
By: Mira Toliou, Bachelor’s student in Media en Cultuur
Over the past couple of years more and more people and institutions seem to me interested with the concept of sustainability and rightly show. In a world where global climate change is an ever-increasing threat sustainability is one thing that we can all do to help combat this worldwide problem. But can all of us actually engage in it? Or are some of us better equipped due to things such as our location, economic status etc. ?
This course asks these questions and more in order to find out the inequalities surrounding sustainability. Through a series of tutorials students learn about different types of inequalities and get various perspectives before applying them in real-life through various actions conducted in the city of Amsterdam. By the end of this course students will be able to see Sustainability Deconstructed: Inequalities and Solutions.
Sustainability Marketing and Businesses in a World of Consumerism
By: Cristiana Scriba, Bachelor’s student in Communication Science
Many students dream of being their own boss in the future. Well, with the environmental crisis being more and more prevalent in society, companies will have to adapt their business models to be more sustainable. This means that most of the traditional business ways will have to change, from products to marketing campaigns and stakeholder relationships. This course will help you nurture your creativity as well as your entrepreneurial spirit as you will be designing a fictive sustainable company.
In this course, you will learn how to develop a sustainable business model and how to create marketing campaigns and communication messages, from the perspective of a decision-maker. You will learn how to strengthen the relationship between the firm and stakeholders while persuading them to adopt a more sustainable behaviour by analyzing the target group’s psychological traits.
Sustainability, Policy and Communication
By: Louise Snel, Bachelor’s student in Communication Science
The climate crisis is growing and even though action should be taken now, citizens aren’t too eager to make changes. It is of great importance that we start transitioning to a more sustainable world and change our countries policies and behaviour. This course combines perspectives on sustainability from political science, communication science and sustainability science.
The first step of transitioning to a more sustainable world will lay with politics. Politicians have the ability to create policies which can finally degreed our emissions and fight the climate crisis were facing. But policy making on its own won’t make the difference. Citizens need more understanding and better explanation of certain policies for them not to revolt. Going through changes can be frightening and often leads to resistance. In this course you will not only learn what is needed to solve the climate crisis policy-wise, but will also learn the possible communication tools to explain and transfer your policy. Because we cannot fight the climate crisis on our own, we will need everyone.