The sub-team “Engagement” is part of the working group for sustainable development and will develop structures to professionalize and interconnect student initiatives on sustainable development. The sub-team is based on the student-led Green Office at the University of Konstanz, which understands sustainability – beyond ecological sustainability – in the framework of the UN’s 17 sustainability targets. “We would like to create a model with even broader structures than the Green Office to promote student activities”, says Maren Rühmann, speaker of the sub-team and director of the Division of Academic and International Affairs. The university’s working group for sustainable development was established on initiative of our Senate and consists of six sub-teams.
Alongside the student-led Green Office and other university groups dedicated to sustainable development, the Centre for Transferable Skills as well international students are involved in the sub-team. Christiane Harmsen, who represents the Office for Equal Opportunity, Family Affairs and Diversity in the sub-team: “The concept of the sub-team is related to all sustainability topics at our university. The broad range of topics is reflected in the composition of our team, which, by the way, is open to all who would like to work with us."
Students can contribute to a more just and sustainable society, in the context of the university’s further development as a sustainable organization and by acquiring personal competencies – in keeping with the concept of “training students to become responsible members of society”, Maren Rühmann says. Innovative education for sustainable development emerges in contexts where structures exist for linking personal action to subject-specific expertise.
In addition to taking its inspiration from Green Office activities, the sub-team also gathers ideas from other universities, for example, the University of Tübingen’s “World Citizen School” and its toolbox with guidance for organizing and managing teams and initiatives as well as for implementing project ideas using project management. “The university should create the framework so that students can contribute and develop their knowledge and abilities for a more peaceful, just and humane world while they are studying”, says Christiane Harmsen. In cooperation especially with the Centre for Transferable Skills, synergies can be created between learning, doing and acquiring credits.