By Joern Fischer
Today’s entry is all about conferences, because that’s what my life is going to revolve around for the next week! We have two coming up, both of them related to sustainability, and both at Leuphana University Lueneburg.
One is the annual student conference. In this conference, all first semester students come together to present findings to one another from research projects that they conducted in their first semester. About one third of the time of all first semester students is spent on issues such as sustainability and global change – so even you’re a business student, you’ve got to take some of these classes on sustainable development and participate in the resulting conference. I wish more universities did this!
For the first time this year, I also ran a first-semester class (the results of which now will be presented at the conference). And I got them to investigate … sustainable development in Transylvania! We started with just a small slide show from me, and some hints regarding literature – and the overarching question of wanting to understand which factors may influence sustainable development in Transylvania in the future. A group of about 20 students then worked on this throughout the semester. They exchanged information via a blog – which is now publically visible, and you can access it here: https://thesaxonarea.wordpress.com/
Have a flick through it if you like: some of the entries are incredibly good, considering we’re dealing with first year Bachelor students! (And some are, admittedly, less good. Such is life.) Using a blog was a way to get them to discuss things with each other and share information. It worked well in many ways: at the beginning of the year the whole class had no idea about Transylvania; by the end students had come up with a few ‘scenarios’ of what the future might look like. Anyway … if you’re interested, check out the link above.
Second, there’s the Leuphana Sustainability Summit next week. This is an interesting event, with lots of international speakers from academia, civil society, private enterprises and politics. I’ll be talking, too, on the topic: Why is society failing to halt biodiversity loss? If all goes well (from a technology perspective…), I’ll post a video of my talk on this blog later.
The aim of the conference is to have a transdisciplinary approach, meaning to bring together a range of different actors, and academic disciplines, to address some of the big challenges of sustainability. You can find out more about the Sustainability Summit on the conference website: http://www.leuphana.de/fakultaet-nachhaltigkeit/aktuell/leuphana-sustainability-summit.html
With all those conferences coming up, let’s hope I’ll find some time to maintain the blog!