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Conference

Program

Transformation of Teaching in Economic Sciences

Skills Development for Future Change Leaders

in Academia and Business

Overview

The whole program takes place on-site at Kulturpark, Zürich.

The input sessions will be livestreamed and one workshop will be held online. Every program point for which online participation is possible is marked in orange. 

Moderation: Ion Karagounis, WWF Switzerland

From 13:10

Arrival of Participants

With welcome coffee by Lilly Jo.

13:30 - 13:35

Welcome and Program Presentation (with livestream)

13:35 - 13:50

Keynote: Which skills does a business change maker need? (with livestream)

Speaker to be announced What kind of graduates does the increasingly sustainability-oriented economy need? What attitudes, knowledge and skills are important? In this keynote, we will hear about the experience in founding a sustainable company and the requirements for economic science degree programs in order to prepare graduates well for a sustainability-oriented working environment.

13:50 - 14:15

Keynote: Giving meaning a life. Transformative learning in economics (with livestream)

Prof. Dr. Silja Graupe, President of Hochschule für Gesellschaftsgestaltung In the midst of the serious and interdependent crises of our time, the question of why young people should study economics has to be asked anew. In her talk, Prof. Dr. Silja Graupe will show how a radical change of course is needed in the fundamental aims and motivations of these sciences, and how a life-world-oriented, future-shaping, transdisciplinary and responsibility-promoting curriculum can actually look like and be implemented at university level.

14:15 - 14:30

Survey: Embedding Sustainability into Economics and Business Education 2024 (with livestream)

Carole Probst, Senior Project Manager at econcept

14:30 - 14:35

Organisation of Workshops (with livestream)

14:40 - 15:40

(details below)

15:40 - 16:10

Break

With coffee and snacks by Lilly Jo.

16:15 - 17:15

(details below)

From 17:15

Aperitif

The opportunity to network and exchange your new ideas.

14:40 - 15:40

[A.1] Embedding Sustainability into Economics and Business Education: An Assessment of Curricula and Strategies at Swiss Universities 2024

Carole Probst, econcept

Simon Zysset, WWF Switzerland

The Switzerland-wide survey 2024 shows the anchoring of sustainability in economic sciences departments at Swiss higher education institutions, as well as the integration of sustainable development topics and teaching/learning approaches into their study programs. The results point to interesting differences between the fields of Business Administration, Economics and Banking & Finance as well as combined study programs. After a brief presentation of the most important results, main recommendations and some motivating examples, we will discuss the topic with the participants.

14:40 - 15:40

[A.2] Sustainable Finance – Moving Boundaries and Transforming Teaching Curricula in University Teaching

Annette Krauss, Universität Zürich

This workshop will explore how the topic of sustainability can be addressed in university-level higher education programs: (1) Anchoring sustainability in finance, economics, and management science – how to do it and why it is important. (2) Navigating the boundaries between scientific disciplines, and between theory, empirical science, and practice. (3) Practical insights into sustainable finane teaching strategies and practice.

14:40 - 15:40

[A.4] Sufficiency in Teaching - Because Less is More for a Good Life. 

Ralf Nacke, Gemeinwohlökonomie

A sufficient lifestyle enables a more fulfilling life and makes people happier. In the workshop, we will shed light on what sufficiency means, how it works in practice, how it becomes a business model - and how the topic can be taught in the classroom.

14:40 - 15:40

[A.1_online] Embedding Sustainability into Economics and Business Education: An Assessment of Curricula and Strategies at Swiss Universities 2024

Leo Gilliard, WWF Switzerland

(This is the same workshop as A.1, but will be held virtually for all online participants.) The Switzerland-wide survey 2024 shows the anchoring of sustainability in economic sciences departments at Swiss higher education institutions, as well as the integration of sustainable development topics and teaching/learning approaches into their study programs. The results point to interesting differences between the fields of Business Administration, Economics and Banking & Finance as well as combined study programs. After a brief presentation of the most important results, main recommendations and some motivating examples, we will discuss the topic with the participants.

14:40 - 15:40

[A.3] Be the Change: Student-Led Co-Teaching for Transformative Learning Journeys

Johannes Tschiderer & Bazyli von Salis, Student Impact

Jost Hamschmidt, Universität St. Gallen

Addressing the Polycrisis requires us to unlearn conventional thinking about change and innovation. How can academic institutions shift from developing leaders for the status quo to curating co-creative learning communities to accelerate sustainability transformations? How can we foster inner development and shift mental models towards sustainability action? Under the mantra "Be the change", a diverse community of learners consisting of faculty, students and alumni of the University of St. Gallen is currently prototyping such approaches in a business school environment. Within this workshop we will explore the nature of the process and discuss its systemic potential to transform learning for sustainability in university contexts. The workshop aims to build bridges, share expertise and potentially lay the foundation for new prototypes.

14:40 - 15:40

[A.5] Transformation of Economics Education. Current Challenges and Ways Ahead

Florian Rommel, Money Museum

Mara Moos, Plurale Ökonomik Zürich

Economics for a long time was defined formally by its trias of maximization, efficiency, and markets. Since the 1970s economics research has been growing beyond those narrow limits. This raises serious questions of disciplinary unity and provides an open challenge for economics curricula. As many new approaches are sprouting, a new frame to introduce economics to young minds is needed. In this session, we propose and deliberate on the requirements, exchange our perspectives, and discuss concrete alternatives and prospects of economics education.

The workshops are divided in two sessions. In every session, every participant can choose one of five workshops. The room of each workshop will be announced at the conference.

Workshops

Session A: 14:40 - 15:40

Session B: 16:15 - 17:15

16:15 - 17:15

[B.1] Integration of Sustainability into Higher Education: Learning Outcomes and Teaching Practices

Estefania Amer, HEC - Université Lausanne

Through the example of the compulsory course Introduction to sustainability taught at HEC Lausanne (UNIL), we will discuss what knowledge and competencies enable future professionals to tackle sustainability challenges, and how they can be translated into learning outcomes and teaching practices in the classroom.

16:15 - 17:15

[B.3] (How) can Technology Support Inner-Curricular Integration of the Inner Development Goals?

Niels Rot, Rflect

Even when universities subscribe to the thesis that they should integrate competences for sustainable development, e.g. following the IDG framework, into their education programs, there are significant implementation hurdles. Existing approaches such as coaching programs, experiential seminars and flipped classrooms are expensive, difficult to scale and often universities lack the expertise to do it well. In this workshop we'll work on solutions to these challenges in two parts. First, we will introduce a case study for how the Swiss social enterprise Rflect is helping a Swiss education program to do this (case study to be announced later). Second, we will go on a concise 'visioning journey' how you could overcome the challenges at your institution.

16:15 - 17:15

[B.5] Bridging Borders: Creating a Cross-border Sustainability Degree Program in Higher Education

Jörg Wombacher, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW)

Ananda Wyss, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW)

This workshop will explore the development and implementation of a cross-border, trinational degree program involving Germany, France, and Switzerland. Participants will discuss the challenges of culture change within one's academic institutions toward developing and implementing sustainable policies and degree programs in higher education institutions ("put your money where your mouth is") more generally, and the structural challenges of developing and implementing a cross-border sustainability study program more particularly (e.g. , fostering close collaboration, coordination and understanding among academic institutions across borders, aligning curriculum requirements, assessment procedures, and grading systems, funding sources and cost-sharing mechanisms, etc.).

16:15 - 17:15

[B.2] Sustainability in Academia: Connecting the dots by strengthening sustainability in economic science teaching through content and didactics

Clementine Robert, Universität St. Gallen

Mara Moos, WWF Switzerland

In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to discover the Sustainability in Academia platform, an entry door to diverse existing resource materials related to sustainability (content & didactics, all selected for their quality and relevance in a teaching environment). This platform offers an empowering and collaborative tool for lecturers to further integrate sustainability in diverse ways into their existing/new courses in business education, whatever their core topic. This is a supportive tool to any lecturer looking to address the students’ skills and competences development so they are equipped to become change leaders in their field. In keeping with the tool's accompanying spirit, this workshop enables you to explore the possible applications of the platform and how it can be used for the development of existing and new courses. Participants are invited to bring their own course or module they would like to develop or adapt so they can support each other in this endeavor.

16:15 - 17:15

[B.4] Beyond the Three Classical Dimensions of Sustainability: Navigating Sustainability in the Digital Domain

Jan Frecè, Berner Fachhochschule (BFH)

The concepts of sustainable development and organizational sustainability were originally conceived in the late 20th century by individuals who grew up in an analog world. However, in the past four decades, digitization has profoundly transformed human development and organizations. Simply applying the traditional analog concept of sustainability to the digital realm would mean disregarding the significant impact of digitization. In order to fully address sustainability in a digital world, we need to go beyond the traditional three dimensions (ecology, economy, social) and explore critical aspects such as access to knowledge and tools, data sovereignty, and permission to innovate.

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