Search programme

​Use the search function to search amongst programmes at Chalmers. The study programme and the study programme syllabus relating to your studies are generally from the academic year you began your studies.

Syllabus for

Academic year
SEE040 - Leadership for sustainability transitions
Ledarskap för hållbarhetsomställningar
 
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-26 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPTSE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Energy and Environmental Systems and Technology, Mechanical Engineering
Department: 70 - SPACE, EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT


Teaching language: English
Application code: 28119
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D
Maximum participants: 45

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0119 Project 2,5c Grading: UG   2,5c    
0219 Intermediate test 2,0c Grading: TH   2,0c   Contact examiner,  Contact examiner,  Contact examiner
0319 Written and oral assignments 3,0c Grading: TH   3,0c    

In programs

MPAEM MATERIALS ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPAME APPLIED MECHANICS, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPAUT AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPDES INDUSTRIAL DESIGN ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPMEI MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMICS OF INNOVATION, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPNAV NAVAL ARCHITECTURE AND OCEAN ENGINEERING, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPPDE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPQOM QUALITY AND OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPSES SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPTSE INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPTSE INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)
MPHPC HIGH-PERFORMANCE COMPUTER SYSTEMS, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)
MPDCM DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION PROJECT MANAGEMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 2 (elective)

Examiner:

John Holmberg

  Go to Course Homepage


Eligibility

General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

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, 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 taking the course SEE050 "system interventions for sustainability transitions", which in turn prepares for a thesis in line with Challenge Lab.

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, integrate and scrutinize the frameworks and tools presented in this course.

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 theories and tools, case assignment and reflection assignments in this course.

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. Frame conditions for a sustainable future on a level of principles
  2. Analyse gaps between the present situation and sustainable futures
  3. Identify leverage point interventions for bridging the gaps
  4. Create strategies for realising the leverage point interventions
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.
  • 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 sustainability challenges in West Sweden 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.

Literature

Course literature available at the Canvas course page.

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.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.


Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.