How do universities tackle wicked sustainability challenges faced by society?
The Wicked Learning Workbook is a toolkit for setting up and running an interdisciplinary master-level course in the context of real-world problems such as food waste and loss. The book offers a new pedagogical approach that we call 'wicked' because it is unorthodox, ambitious, and tackles complex problems that won’t go away. The pedagogy is also international at the course level rather than the conventional exchange semester, enabling institutions to embed international approaches to their core teaching.
The Wicked Learning Workbook speaks directly to academics who are looking for solutions that provide stimuli for research and teaching while giving students an innovative, international learning experience. The approach develops student understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals as broad-scale societal issues which are difficult, if not impossible, to ‘solve’. An important outcome of this approach is the laboratory-style classroom that creates opportunities for faculty, students and companies to co-create solutions that are immediately implementable. The resulting methodology is based on industry–university collaboration (such as IKEA and Nestlé). The methodology is of interest to corporate leaders pursuing sustainability goals and business transformation.
Achieving sustainability requires cross-boundary, cross-disciplinary, experimental approaches that allow for scalability. Wicked problems can only be tackled with wicked solution approaches.
Table of Contents
Setting: wicked, scarcity, waste, experimental, anthropocene, bubbly 1. Wicked learning: why this course and why now? 2. Global Challenges as necessary preparation for students 3. The proposal: how we got started 4. A new ambiance of internationalisation, digitalisation, and sustainability for students through pedagogy 5. Tackling world challenges through renewed consumption habits Ingredients: blender, diversity, learning, international, encounters, broken 6. The invitation: timing is everything 7. A learning blender: how virtual team set-up influences outcomes 8. Virtual etiquette: encounters among digital natives 9. Where are we going and how do we get there? Method: collaboration, tools, creativity, resilience, challenge, salt 10. Collaborative pedagogy and overcoming differences 11. A toolkit for tackling world challenges: approaches and methodologies for teaching sustainability 12. Wicked pedagogy as creative bricolage 13. Problems you solve and problems you work on: connecting to, and engaging with, society and corporations Feedback: enjoying, sharing, dinner, partnering, scaling, entrepreneurial 14. Sharing student voices 15. Creating shared value for companies in tackling world challenges 16. Wicked Learning: an evolving recipe
Michael Gibbert is Professor of Sustainable Consumption and director of the World Challenge Program at Università della Svizzera italiana in Switzerland.
Liisa Välikangas is Professor of Leadership at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU. She is also affiliated with Hanken School of Economics in Finland.
Marijane Luistro-Jonsson is Post-Doctoral Researcher at Stockholm School of Economics in Sweden, where she teaches and conducts interdisciplinary research on the behavioural dimension of sustainability.
"This book speaks and educates to think outside the box. Young people, who are going be the ruling class of our future, are finally called to face real and tangible problems of the real world with the possibility to develop a critical awareness also in the world of food, too often underestimated despite its central position in the lives of all individuals." - Dany Stauffacher, CEO & Founder S.Pellegrino Sapori Ticino
"Take a course that encourages students to tackle global and interdisciplinary problems; put them into international and cross-institutional teams; let them work hands-on with society and corporations. In short, a course every youth wants to take, and every school wants to offer. Then, write a book about how to do this at your school. You get a book everyone wants to read!" - Maria Perrotta Berlin Global Challenges and UN PRME Development Director at the Stockholm School of Economics
"This programme is effective – students work with an organisation in interdisciplinary, international teams, exploring solutions to real sustainable business challenges. They learn what it means to create value in society. I can't think of a better approach to help these students face world challenges when they begin their careers." - Thomas Candeal, Project Manager – International Food Waste Coalition