by Marina Schmitz (IEDC, Slovenia)
The EU Erasmus+ funded ISSUE (Innovative Solutions for Sustainability in Education) project (2018-2021) was dedicated to developing various education tools based on principles and goals of sustainable development and adapting them for higher educational institutions. Sustainability in any organization should be embedded through knowledge, engagement, collaboration, and innovation. Higher education institutions should ensure that their governance, faculty, staff, and students not only understand sustainability but also have the capacity to act sustainably and promote sustainable practices. To reach this goal, ISSUE developed innovative content and tools with modern pedagogical approaches, adapted to the different target groups of a university on various fields of sustainable development.
Eight European partners have been contributing to this project: Budapest Business School University of Applied Sciences, Hungary; Leeds Beckett University, UK; IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate Studies, Slovenia; CBS International Business School, Germany; Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland; INFODEF – Institute for the promotion of Development and Training, Spain; Business Council for Sustainable Development in Hungary, Hungary; CEEMAN – The International Association for Management Development in Dynamic Societies, Slovenia.
The following six outputs are available open access for educators across the globe to use and apply in their schools, curricula, and courses:
1. Integrated Reporting Manual for universities and business schools who want to transparently communicate their achievements
The Integrated Reporting Manual is intended to provide clear guidance as to the knowledge, skills, and behaviors necessary to work in an IR environment within the Higher Education Sector. The manual will incorporate clear guidance and mapping to ISO 26000, the Sustainable Development Goals, Principles for Responsible Management Education, and the UN Global Compact Principles. Should you like to access and use the digital training content on Integrated Reporting that was also developed under the ISSUE project, please write to: Varga.Laszlo@uni-bge.hu. You may access the Manual here.
Content. The Integrated Reporting Manual consists of two parts, the practical manual, which focuses on key concepts, main process elements, university experiences, and best practice examples of HEI integrated reporting, to serve as a guide to those embarking on the IR journey within their HEI. The second theoretical manual aims to provide a further in-depth reading on the background, concepts, academic research, and theory behind the key concepts of Integrated Reporting and Integrated Thinking.
Target group. The Integrated Reporting Manual is useful for key internal university stakeholders and decision-makers who want to get a more comprehensive understanding of their university’s ecosystem as well as about strategic development paths and indicators that contribute to a HEI’s sustainable development.
2. Green Office Concept for universities and business schools seeking to set up a green office and foster on-campus sustainability
The ISSUE partnership designed, implemented and tested a set of products to support the establishment of an environmentally and human-friendly place to work, following the innovative Green Office concept. The toolkit helps with reduction of the consumption of natural resources and materials, improving energy efficiency, green procurement (office paper, office furniture), water consumption, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable transport and mobility, air quality, and designing an ergonomic and healthy workplace. You may find the Guidelines here.
Content. Explains the green office concept and shared building blocks of a green office strategy by bringing together a series of steps and procedures to implement a Green Office at a HEI. The aim of this strategy is to establish an entire Green Office system based on the principles of sustainability. A number of templates are shared, e.g., eco-mapping, defining a green office strategy, eco-planning, and evaluation system to support newly established or existing green offices. Additionally, case studies from best practices of green offices are shared.
Target group. The Green Office Concept is introduced to help university staff and faculty that are already part of a green office/sustainability center or are interested in setting these infrastructures up at their respective institutions.
3. Methodology Handbook, including various HEI and corporate best practices and short teaching/research cases
The ISSUE partnership has developed a Methodology Handbook, best practice examples, and case studies from both the higher education and business sectors. The ISSUE Handbook series comprises of three main parts:
• Pt. 1: Collection of Best Practices
• Pt. 2: Collection of Teaching Cases
• Pt. 3: Collection of Research Cases
Content. Part 1 contains 12 HEI and 13 company best practice cases related to specific sustainable development goals. Part 2 highlights six teaching case studies and teaching notes, which educators can use in their business classes. Part 3 is compiled out of 6 research cases based on selected corporate examples.
Target group. The Methodology Handbook represents a collection of best practices, teaching, and research cases that can be used and adapted by educators in class.
4. 21-Day Challenge, an add-on course activity embracing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a gamified way
(available as a Moodle-based online platform or pdf)
The gamified “21-Day Challenge” provides insights and awareness on the various sustainability-related topics derived from the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The challenge consists of thematic videos in the e-learning (Moodle-based) environment and four supporting submodules for introductory, closing, and evaluation purposes. The 21-day Challenge is also featured in an offline mode and can be accessed by clicking here. Should you like to access and use the 21-Day Challenge virtual classroom, please write to: Varga.Laszlo@uni-bge.hu
Content. The 21-Day Challenge introduces learners and challenge participants to the 17 SDGs across a timeframe of 21 days. Each SDG is introduced in a brief video clip, as well as short intro texts followed by selected readings and several challenges matching the respective goal.
Target group. The 21-Day Challenge can be used across a variety of HEI stakeholders, e.g., students, faculty members, staff, and beyond who want to learn more about the 17 SDGs and get actively involved in reflecting on their own consumption behavior and lifestyle.
5. Future Sustainable Managers (FSM) Summer School
-an international summer school program and student guidebook developed to address and discuss sustainability practices around the globe
ISSUE partners have developed a summer university program for participating business schools based on the best international sustainability practices. While originally designed as a live event, the program was later redesigned as a fully online format. Building on this experience, a guidebook has been developed so that the program can be replicated in different countries with participants representing students, lecturers, and companies.
Content. The FSM Summer School program provides a brief overview of the selected program components and topic building blocks. In addition, an interactive Student Guidebook has been conceptualized, which students can use as a learning and reflection tool.
Target group. Faculty members and students are welcome to use the material developed to integrate it into already existing study programs or use the program as a template to organize their own event.
6. Escape Room, a physical (and virtual) SDG-related escape room game description
As a unique learning tool based on gamification, the “60 Minutes to Save the World” Escape Room aims to support classroom courses by providing an opportunity for students to work in groups and develop sustainability awareness as well as other soft skills.
Should you like to access and use the digital training content (Moodle-based) that was also developed under the ISSUE project or are interested in rebuilding the physical escape room at your own institution, please write to: Varga.Laszlo@uni-bge.hu. You may learn more about the Escape Room and how it was developed in this game description. In case you want to view the physical escape room feeling, please have a look at this short video.
Content. This educational escape room was conceptualized along the 17 SDGs. Students (or other university stakeholders) can jointly solve riddles in a gamified team-building experience.
Target group. Students and other university stakeholders can use the physical (or online) escape room in teams of max. 4-5 people.
In case you have any further questions or issues when downloading/accessing the material, please reach out to Marina: firstname.lastname@example.org