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Graduate courses

Departments' graduate courses for PhD-students.

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Syllabus for

Academic year
SEE025 - Leadership for sustainability transitions  
Ledarskap för hållbarhetsomställningar
 
Syllabus adopted 2018-02-18 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPTSE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Five, Four, Three, Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Energy and Environmental Systems and Technology, Mechanical Engineering
Department: 70 - SPACE, EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT

The course is full. For waiting list, please contact the director of studies: johan.bankel@chalmers.se
Teaching language: English
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: D
Maximum participants: 50

Course elements   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0118 Project 6,0c Grading: TH   6,0c    
0218 Examination 1,5c Grading: TH   1,5c   Contact examiner   Contact examiner   Contact examiner  

In programs

MPAME APPLIED MECHANICS, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPPDE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPSES SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPAEM MATERIALS ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPAUT AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPDES INDUSTRIAL DESIGN ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPNAV NAVAL ARCHITECTURE AND OCEAN ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPTSE INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)

Examiner:

John Holmberg


Homepage missing

 

Eligibility:


In order to be eligible for a second cycle course the applicant needs to fulfil the general and specific entry requirements of the programme that owns the course. (If the second cycle course is owned by a first cycle programme, second cycle entry requirements apply.)
Exemption from the eligibility requirement: Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling these requirements.

Course specific prerequisites

Students who are admitted to the course are prioritized in the application process for the Challenge Lab master thesis.

Aim

The course provides theoretical perspectives, methods and tools for leading sustainability-driven innovation in society. The leadership builds on backcasting as an over-arching approach, where you develop a leadership on three levels: leading yourself, leading together with others, and leading for humanity. This leadership is introduced through literature and lectures, is applied in a real-world case "a Good Life on Campus", and is developed through individual exercises and reflection. Based on this foundation, you will in your future career be able to lead complex transitional processes involving stakeholders from different societal sectors. Some of the students attending the course choose to deepen their leadership capabilities further by conducting their master thesis at the Challenge Lab during the spring.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

1. Describe critical sustainability challenges and reflect upon necessary paradigm shifts.
- This includes relating challenges to the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals.

2. Conduct future studies.
- This includes backcasting and scenario planning methodologies to create visions, test robustness and handle uncertainties.

3. Clarify one's own values and strengths.
- This also includes understanding the values and strengths of others, tensions, conflicts and contradictions.

4. Apply systems thinking.
- This includes zooming across scales, the implication of universality, understanding dynamics through causal loop diagramming, identifying root-causes, understanding systems from different sustainability dimensions, and from a socio-technical perspective.

5. Apply transition strategies and challenge-driven innovation processes.
- This includes identifying leverage points in multi-level systems, understanding "lock-in" effects, developing conceptual solutions (design thinking), iteration and experimentation (entrepreneurial thinking), and the ability to put knowledge into practice.

6. Apply tools to enable and facilitate dialogue in a multi-stakeholder setting.
- This relates to the abilities to learn from others, to understand and respect the needs, perspectives and actions of others. This includes techniques on collaboration and participatory problem-solving, dialogue tools, co-creation, perspective awareness, and active listening.

7. Apply critical thinking.
- This includes both critical reflection inwards (owns values, norms and actions) and outwards (phenomena in the outside world).

8. Integrate problem identification and problem-solving frameworks.
- This is the overarching ability to comprehend and integrate the abovementioned competencies/abilities.

9. Lead oneself, lead together with others and lead for humanity.
- This includes the ability to develop one's own leadership capabilities based on the abovementioned competencies/abilities.

Content

Backcasting from sustainability principles is a key methodology during the whole course. Backcasting is helpful to break free from path-dependency and free the mind by starting from a desirable sustainable future and consist of four steps:

  1. Framing a sustainable future on a level of principles
  2. Understanding the current system in relation to the sustainability principles
  3. Designing conceptual solutions in leverage points
  4. Identifying feasible strategies to realize the future solution concepts
As well as in the backcasting approach, the course applies two perspectives for a holistic approach in dealing with complex challenges:

  • Outside-in perspective; including system dynamics, transition and design as tools to understand and deal with the external requirements global sustainability put on systems. 
  • Inside-out perspective; including methods and tools to understand and reflect on your own values, strengths and visions - as well as to understand and lead in the interaction with different stakeholders within the complex system.

In a case conducted during the course, you will, through group assignments, identify needs and possible ideas that can point the way for further solutions - for bridging the gap found between the sustainable future and the current situation. 

Organisation

For each of the steps in the backcasting approach, the two perspectives (Outside-in and Inside-out) will be addressed by three ways of learning:

  • Theory and Tools: Lectures and literature with introduction of tools.
  • Case Work: A hands-on case where the tools are applied in real-world sustainability challenges on Chalmers campus.
  • Reflection: A reflection paper on leadership encompassing the whole course where you will reflect upon the tools and their use in the case. The purpose of the reflection is to digest the knowledge and experiences (double-loop learning) and relate it to leadership abilities and to your own values.
To apply the theory and tools to address sustainability challenges in the socio-technical system, you will be introduced to a hands-on case. The case will be using Chalmers campus development as a live lab for initiating solutions - connecting the gap between the sustainable future and the current situation.
To be able to lead in a dialogue, while working on the case, you will also explore your own personal values and strengths. (Inside-Out perspective).
To be able to better understand the system and the current situation, you will in group work - be interacting with stakeholders, thereby getting a broader picture of the overall challenge and understand the system from different perspectives. In this part, dialogue tools are introduced and used hands-on. The dialogue and the application of causal loop diagrams, enables the identification of points for intervention in the system.
The project ideas, identified in this course, will serve to unlock and facilitating change in the sub-system, and subsequently to initiate possible transformation of the larger system.

The course can also be seen as a preparatory course for Challenge Lab. Those who participate in the course will have an advantage when applying for a Challenge Lab master thesis. For more information about Challenge Lab, see www.challengelab.org.

Literature

Course literature available in PingPong.

Examination including compulsory elements

The course is examined through a case that takes part during the entire course, a reflection paper and a mid-term exam. In the case, the following aspects are included:
  • Group hand-ins
  • Mandatory events (presence)


Published: Fri 18 Dec 2009. Modified: Wed 04 Apr 2018