Designing Innovations for Sustainability

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Designing Innovations for Sustainability

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Sustainable Development

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    This interdisciplinary course aims at designing innovative solutions for a more sustainable university through creative team work, solid theoretical and practical knowledge exchange and intensive coaching by experts in sustainability


    This course intends to give you the chance to come into contact with the (practical) themes of sustainability by searching for innovative solutions. Besides gaining a sound understanding of sustainability challenges, you will develop crucial professional competences and work together in diverse teams. You will design practical and innovative solutions for sustainability that can be implemented within the university (i.e. VU, UvA, AUC). The main challenge addressed in this course is:

    How to make the university more sustainable?

    The course starts with a general introduction on sustainability and transition. In this first week, you will be asked to choose one of the themes mentioned above (i.e. energy, water, waste, food) and teams will be assembled. The subjects addressed in short guest lectures will specifically address these different domains. Once the main sustainability challenge of the university in one of these domains has been defined and analyzed you will start a comprehensive process of designing possible solutions. The student will receive guidance from a practical coach who is an expert in one of the themes and a theoretical coach who is a researcher within a discipline focused on sustainability. The coaches, lecturers and fellow students will provide feedback on the possible solutions you come up with. You will work towards a final presentation in which you will present an elaborate advice to the universities (i.e. VU, UvA and AUC). These presentations are targeted to relevant people within and outside the VU who are in a position to implement the solutions you provide. By activity designing real solutions for sustainability at the campus, you will learn more about the complex and interdisciplinary nature of sustainability while grasping professional skills such as co-creation, communication and team work.


    • Project presentation and report
    • Theoretical examination


Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.