Working for Sustainability Transformation in an Academic Environment: The Case of itdUPM

Ecosistema del itdUPMThis paper, included as a chapter in the book “Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development in Higher Education”, is based on a in-depth analysis of itdUPM’s co-evolutionary design process.

itdUPM is an example of an inter-disciplinary environment that has been established for the co-creation of innovative technical and organisational solutions to address sustainable development challenges.

Two focus areas are emphasised:

  • The action research process chosen for the establishment and development of a networked centre, the Innovation and Technology for Development Centre (itdUPM), within the dominant disciplinary culture of a University organised along traditional lines,
  • the Centre’s organisational design features which have proven to be appropriate for the inter-disciplinary and multi-actor action research processes necessary for addressing the challenges of creating a more sustainable society.

The paper presents the context, background, design, and launch features of the itdUPM. The main lessons learnt refer to several organisational design issues that were critical for the success of the Centre and its activities.

The paper describes the issues and challenges faced by the Centre as a “niche” operating in a dissimilar “regime” in order to inspire and stimulate other Universities interested in the development of sustainability initiatives.

This paper is included in the book “Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development in Higher Education” and is part of the series “World Sustainability Series”.

Working for Sustainability Transformation in an Academic Environment: The Case of itdUPM Date published: January 2017 Language: English
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