In the 21st century, mankind faces tremendous challenges: Social justice has to be established, economic development needs to be facilitated whilst preserving natural resources and cultural heritage for future generations - all in the horizon of ambivalent processes of globalization. Technological development and economic growth can contribute to, but cannot suffice to achieve sustainable development. What is urgently needed is a transformation of our currently non-sustainable way of life. To achieve such a transformation, we also need a change in our style of education: whilst developing and deepening disciplinary knowledge, this knowledge has to be embedded into the global, societal and also personal overall context of sustainable development.
In 2014, the university-wide "Karlsruhe School of Sustainability" (KSS) was founded under the roof of the KIT Focus Humans and Technology. In the KSS, several different programs in the field of higher education for sustainable development will be established over the next few years:
- an introduction to the sustainability-oriented research at KIT for first-year students ("KIT-Intro")
- a transdisciplinary elective module for all students ("Sustainability and Transformation")
- courses for graduates and KIT scientists ("Sustainability background")
- "Public Sustainability Science" for the Karlsruhe region
- a master's course on sustainable development is also in planning
To realize this broad spectrum of courses and modules, KSS cooperates with a number of institutions and centers within the KIT which are either engaged in interdisciplinary teaching or in sustainability sciences, like ITAS.
A specific topic in the profile of KSS is theory and implementation of "personal sustainability". This accentuation emphasizes the integrative understanding of education, and offers a connection to the life-world and corporeality of participants and scientists alike – because sustainable development requires a culture of sustainability, which cannot remain limited to its academic aspects.
Project website (German): http://www.mensch-und-technik.kit.edu/karlsruher_schule_der_nachhaltigkeit.php