Introduction days on sustainability at Campus Gotland

19 September 2019

Workshop

Students presents visions of sustainable futures during a workshop at Campus Gotland.

More than 100 new students at Campus Gotland participated in ’Searching for Sustainability’ on 11-13 September to explore wicked sustainability challenges and to reflect on the role of education in sustainable development.

What is your vision of sustainability? What can we do today to make alternative futures possible? How can education contribute to sustainable development? Those were some of the questions for the students participating in the introduction week ’Searching for Sustainability’ at Campus Gotland.

The event kicked off with a literature seminar to discuss perspectives on sustainability, global justice, the historical roots of the concept sustainable development, and the role of education. The more traditional seminar was followed by a full-day excursion to the northern part of Gotland where students visited different places and actors linked to the controversial limestone mining in the region. The company Nordkalk showcased how they work with limestone extraction and responded to questions by the students.

The students also visited the racetrack ’Gotland Ring’, the mining museum ’Bläse Kalkbruksmuseum’, and the protected forest ’Ojnareskogen’ to collect further information and perspectives on the issue and conflict of interest between prolonged exploitation, improved ground water security and protected biodiversity.

Sofia Petterson participated in the excursion to Ojnareskogen. While graduating from her previous studies in textile, marketing and management in Borås, she became aware about sustainability challenges in the industry. This year, Sofia is studying Sustainable Management at Uppsala University - Campus Gotland.

During the third and final day of the introduction week, students worked together across disciplines to create alternative futures and ’sustainable’ scenarios on Gotland. The discussion was spurred by critical questions related to privilege, power, technology, global justice and power. The aim was not to create a perfect alternative future but to practice working through the complexities using systems- and futures thinking. The results were presented for teachers and students at Campus Gotland.

’Searching for Sustainability’ was organized for the second year for students at the following programmes: Energy Transition -Sustainability and Leadership, bachelor’s programme; Cultural Heritage and Sustainability, master’s programme; Sustainable Destination Development, master’s programme; Sustainable Management, master’s programme; and Wind Power Project Management, master’s programme, within Campus Gotland ESD Learning Lab, a space for further developing of teaching and cooperation on sustainable development, led by SWEDESD.