Upcoming meetings, events and news

1. Sustainability in the Curriculum meeting: Carbon literacy

Come along to the next meeting continuing our focus on carbon literacy. Wednesday, 20th April from 2pm to 4pm in University Place, Room 6.206. Dr Chris Stone (MMU) and Lucy Millard (UoM) will discuss current and prospective activities relating to the Carbon Literacy Project. Chris Stone will present an overview and evaluation assessment of an innovative ‘carbon literacy’ (CL) education and training programme delivered to undergraduate students studying MMU postgraduate degree programmes in 2014-15. Lucy Millard will talk about initial plans for a carbon literacy accreditation scheme for staff at the UoM. As is usual in these meetings there will be opportunities for discussion around the theme.

20th EAUC Annual Conference, which will take place at the University of the West of England (UWE) on 25th - 26th May 2016. See website for details: http://bit.ly/1KU8pzq

The ultimate challenge: an Organic development

Image of tree
Courtesy of Helen Dobson

A significant challenge in developing sustainability education is to ensure the approaches used to do so are themselves sustainable. The presenters at the CoP meeting on the 18th February (Bland Tomkinson, Rosemary Tomkinson, Helen Dobson, Fumi Kitagawa, Alexander Clark, Veronica Sanchez and Anna Hiley) discussed ways in which this challenge has been addressed at the University of Manchester and in collaborations with other UK and international institutions. They discussed the rationale for and nature of the problem based approaches used on courses, the reactions of students to those projects and the ways in which collaborations and the work done to foster those collaborations has led to the ongoing organic development and proliferation of these approaches. The discussion is rich and well worth engaging with if you’re interested in sustainability education and its development and problem based learning.

Please find here a recording of the presentation and the related slides (each slide indicates the part of the recording it pertains to):

University of Manchester Community of Practice Sustainability in the Curriculum presentation by Ragged University on Mixcloud





 Key questions 

The presenters raised the following questions that they  were keen for anyone interested to consider and respond to:

  • Should we look at ESD in the wider context of CSR/global citizenship?
  • Do EBL /PBL approaches work for everyone?
  • How can we run student-focussed sessions without extra resources?

You can respond to these questions via the forum area (see top menu bar). You do not need to register to respond to these questions. Simply navigate to the relevant question and start typing.

Resources and references

Slide 5: Tomkinson B, Tomkinson R, Dobson H and Engel C (2008). “Education for Sustainable Development the RAEng pilot course unit”. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering. Vol. 1. No. 1

Slide 31: Problem based learning: A case study of sustainability education

Slide 32: ESD MEP Workbook 2015

Slide 33:  ESD Finland Handbook 2013ESD MEP Workbook 2015


 Slide 35: Hatton & Smith (1995) http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/development/reflection.html [accessed 18.3.15]

Slide 37: Guidance notes to support the development of creative problem-solving skills to address open-ended and wicked problems (please contact Anna Hiley) : [email protected]

Piloting the sustainability grand challenge

In May 2014 community of practice participants  met to discuss the UoM Sustainable World Grand Challenge pilot event. The event was piloted in order to gain insights into how to approach future ‘grand challenge’ signature events. The Sustainable World event is one of three potential ‘grand challenge’ events being considered as an offer to all UG students at the University. The first year event will address sustainability issues, and in the successive two years the topics will be ‘social justice’ and ‘work place ethics’.

Helen Dobson, one of the organisors of the event, gave a talk on aspects of it


click here for file.


Key points made at the meeting were summarized


Click here for file


Since the meeting in May  a Sustainability Signature event took place in the UoM Freshers week. There will be a CoP meeting in 2015 where we  reflect on that event (dates to be confirmed).

The Living Lab

On  October the 15th the community discussed ways of integrating campus or city-based sustainability related activities and projects into the curriculum, and the potential value of ‘place-based’ activities within the curriculum.


The Living Lab is keen to support such activity and Ross Jones presented the work of the Living Lab.  Ross introduced the Living Lab approach and how it can be used to facilitate collaboration and innovation in cities and on the campus. He demoed the Living Lab website (http://universitylivinglab.org/  and discussed what it offers to staff and students. He discussed the  key role students can play as agents of change, and how Living Lab is working to facilitate more student-led sustainability projects on campus and in the city.

See Ross’s Powerpoint here: The Living Lab