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Honoursmodule: The Next Great/Small Transformation

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Katusha Sol (other lecturers: Luca Bertolini, Debby Gerritsen)

Entry requirements 

Second and Third year bachelor students participating in an honours programme.

Recommended prior knowledge

No specific prior knowledge is required. However, willingness to engage with different disciplines than the own, and with practice is a must.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course the student can:

  • As member of an interdisciplinary team: critically and constructively mobilize transition theories, methods, visions and applications to develop a strategy to address a current societal transition challenge relevant to their domain of study
  • As member of an interdisciplinary team: conceive, implement and assess a simple, real-life intervention following from the developed transition strategy
  • Individually: reflect on and draw lessons to improve (1) the implemented intervention, (2) the contents of the developed strategy, and (3) the process of developing the strategy


Our world is ridden with urgent, but daunting transition challenges. Just think about the challenges prompted by climate change, inequality, pandemics, or digitalization. In all these and similar cases we know we must fundamentally change the way we do and think about things, and urgently so, but do not know how. Uncertainty about the direction of change, and resistance to change are ubiquitous. How to move forward?

In this course, we aim to critically and constructively familiarize students with conceptual and operational tools to cope with these transition challenges. With the help of these tools, interdisciplinary teams of students will identify a transition challenge and develop a strategy to address it. In recognition of the open nature of the field, students will at the same time be prompted to critically assess the tools and propose improvements.

The process will be articulated in four iterative stages:
-Imagining: identifying a transition challenge, and a vision that could address it
-Connecting: developing a systemic understanding of the challenge
-Acting: conceiving and implementing a simple, real-life intervention towards realization of the vision
-Assessing: monitoring and evaluating the impact of the intervention

In parallel to the development of the strategy, individual students will be asked to reflect and draw lessons for the improvement of the intervention, the contents of the strategy, and the process of developing the strategy.

Teaching methods

  • Seminar
  • Fieldwork / excursion
  • Presentation / symposium
  • Work independently on project/ thesis
  • Guidance / feedback moment


  • Group portfolio on the transition strategy and real-life intervention: 70%
  • Individual reflection: 30%

Study material

  • Literature (digital reader)
  • Syllabus

Min/max participants

max. 25


The schedule will be available on Datanose 


Registration is possible for 2nd year (or higher) students participating in an Honours programme. The registration for the Honours courses will start on June 1, 10 am -  June 4, 11 pm, You can register through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS (registration is NOT through SIS)

Placement will be at random and students will be informered about their placement in the week of June 21. 

There is NO guarantee for placement if you register AFTER June 4, so make sure you apply on time! 

For questions about registration please email to: Honours-iis@uva.nl

SDGs in education

The IIS strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in our elective courses, honours modules and degree programmes, and attempts to integrate the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in this course. For more information about these goals, please visit the SDGs website

Facts & Figures
Mode Honours programme
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in September