The 2017 WEF ISCN-GULF “Educating for Sustainability. Best Practice Report” describes the initiatives of member universities to educate all their students on sustainability issues.
The approaches highlighted vary in scope from the whole institute, a research focus, integration into the curriculum, and collaborations to address global issues.
To punctuate the dynamics of sustainability collaboration, this report has selected “the collaborative design and development of the Innovation and Technology for Development Centre at the Technical University of Madrid (itdUPM) in Spain, an example of an inter-disciplinary, multi-actor working space that is underpinned by the principles of transdisciplinary, cogeneration, and community involvement”.
Report in PDF (See pages 68 to 70)
“More than ever, holistic and cross disciplinary initiatives are needed to link academic and operational excellence into a truly sustainable learning environment and experience. Solutions oriented sustainability research will require more inter and transdisciplinary approaches.
This presents a challenge to today’s academic system, which does not tend to favor such endeavors. Scientists and academic institutions are still primarily evaluated, valued, and ranked based on simple quantitative bibliometric indicators that emphasize individual, mostly disciplinary, productivity.
We need a cultural change to reward, not punish, academics engaged in inter and transdisciplinary research, particularly young scientists. This does not infer by any means that disciplinary research should become less valued, but it requires that universities expand and broaden their evaluation and incentive system.
However, this can only be accomplished when the top universities in the world jointly agree to foster this cultural change.”
René Schwarzenbach and Guido Schmidt (UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network – SDSN)