Sustainability and Circular Economy

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the goal to achieve a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, increasing pressures on veal industries, and the depletion of fossil fuels are recurring themes in daily news programmes. However, understanding the precise implications of these issues and their impact on individuals and businesses is crucial. But what does it exactly mean? What are the consequences on you? On business? And what can you do to make a positive change to this situation? How can you find your inner drive to stimulate positive change in business? Let’s find that out together in this Summer Course!

Acquired skills

  • Understanding of complexity of Sustainable Business Transformation!
  • Ability to create tailor-made sustainable business transformation proposals
  • Understanding of your own position in the movement to a more sustainable world
  • Ability to find useful, reliable, and up-to-date information on sustainability and circular economy

General information

Course term: 122.07. - 02.08.

Available seats: 6

Price: 950 €

Category: Bussiness & Marketing

Status: Available

Deadline: 30.06.2024

Description

This summer course will prepare you to be ready to update traditional business models by exploring innovative approaches within the circular economy, emphasizing value creation throughout the product life cycle. Through engaging discussions, collaborative projects, and real-world case studies, you gain insights into sustainable business practices. Connect with like-minded individuals to have meaningful discussions and explore collaborations that contribute to the larger movement towards circularity. Stay ahead in the circular revolution by staying informed about the latest trends, technologies, and strategies in sustainable innovation, equipping yourself to navigate the evolving landscape of environmental responsibility. Embrace a culture of sustainability and be a driving force for positive environmental and economic impacts by visualizing your sustainable personality.

This course is not aimed at one-way transfer of knowledge, but rather aimed at creating a learning space in which you can develop yourself with the continuous support of a coach/lecturer.

As part of the course students will be creating a Sustainability plan for the Prague brewery Staropramen. Its a whole 2 week project - from collecting data, excursion to Staropramen, working on the project with the Staropramen representatives to presenting the project results at the end of the course.

Schedule

  • Day 1Setting the stage: After introducing ourselves (Who am I? Why am I here? What is my carbon footprint?), you will be introduced into the history of sustainability. We will discuss some of the current sustainability challenges (e.g. CO2 reduction, energy transition, biodiversity, circular economy and human wellbeing).
  • Day 2Planning - From theory to practice: company visit: we will visit the business challenge case company in Prague and study how the company operates. The company will provide you the information you need for your final (group) assignment
  • Day 3Analysis - Exploring the doughnut. The concept of “doughnut economics” is based on the idea that humanity needs to operate within social and ecological boundaries. The inner circle of the donut represents the minimum social standards that everyone on the planet should have access to, such as clean water, food, and health care. The outer circle represents the ecological limits of the planet, beyond which we are damaging the natural systems that support life on Earth.
  • Day 4Analysis - It’s time to work on your project and take a deeper dive into the business challenge case company. What is their value chain? What sustainable practices do they already embrace? How do they do that? You will be in charge of the programme for today.
  • Day 5Reflection - After four intensive days of working on your business challenge, we will board a (fictive) helicopter and review everything we have done so far. What are the preliminary conclusions we can take? How can we help the company to become more sustainable? You are also going to reflect on your personal journey and can take some time to work on identifying your own identity.
  • Day 6Innovation - Sustainable business transformation. We are going to explore different methods to innovate businesses to become more sustainable. How can circularity play a role in this? Based on your analysis, you will be able to apply this knowledge into the business challenge project. Starting with solutions for the local company. Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). A brief overview of the Drawdown Project: 100 solutions to reverse global warming. What kind of implications does it have for the selected company?
  • Day 7Innovation - Validation is key when it comes to changing business processes. Let’s see how the business challenge case company reacts to your ideas. Perhaps they can give you some additional and valuable insights?
  • Day 8Creation - Today, all information should come together in one final product. Innovation, especially when making business processes more sustainable and circular, requires you to be creative and think outside of the box. Let’s see what comes out of your brain’s right hemisphere.
  • Day 9Implementation - Decision-makers in companies are often too hesitant when it comes to embracing new, and innovative improvements for their business process. To make sure that your ideas are ready to be embraced by the business challenge case company, we are going to make sure that the implementation can be done as smoothly as possible by visualizing the steps.
  • Day 10Presentations Wrap up: save the best for last. You are going to present your ideas to the business challenge case company! Hopefully, your ideas will be used to make the case company more sustainable. Wouldn’t that be absolutely awesome!?

Course is running: Monday - Friday, 9:00 - 14:00

Lecturer

Bart Minten

CV

Saxion | University of Applied Sciences

Lecturer

Bio

Bart is an enthusiastic coach and lecturer at Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Deventer, The Netherlands where he educates students within the School of Finance & International Business on different topics such as Identity Development and Professional Communication. In addition to that, he coaches students in different business challenges and he coordinates one entire, interdisciplinary, semester within the International Business programme. He is also in charge of two learning communities within this semester: 1. Application of AI / process optimization in business, and 2. Organising multiple value creation in circular economy. ‘’I love sharing my passion for topics such as sustainability with everyone around me as we need to drive change together. If we all inspire one person to think about this topic, we can already make a huge difference. Facilitating growth and development for students is my reason to wake up every day and I am very keen on creating this space during the ESS in Prague as well!’’

Course outline

Literature (suggested)

  • Epstein, Marc J., Making sustainability work (San Francisco 2008)
  • Tepper, Jonathan, and Hearn, Denise, The myth of capitalism (New Jersey 2019)
  • Raworth, K., Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist (Vermont, USA, 2017)
  • Simons, L., Nijhof, A. Changing the game. (2020)
  • Saxion Business Model Lab: https://businessmodellab.nl/en/
  • Project Drawdown: https://drawdown.org/
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: https://sdgs.un.org/goals
  • You will receive additional articles prior to the start of the summer course by e-mail.

References

1) "I liked the depth we went through with the reflections. More specifically, I appreciate the fact that you really went through the documents and gave feedback also from your own experience. It made me felt I could relate more and thus I was able or at least I wanted to go even deeper in my own reflections. The different kinds of assignments were a lot of fun and very educational as well. It was a good way to be creative and be active with my brains by doing other things rather than just reading and discussing. I especially liked that you joined us with the assignments as well! The discussions about theories and then trying to implement or seek for our own examples accordingly was very nice. It gave a good practical sense of understanding and how we can then also could implement in future events. Thank you for sharing your own experience!"

2) "Videos were very inspiring and easy to relate to - I liked the personal point of view and that we had to go really deep into our own heads - You very good teacher and I liked your transparency and that your also shared with us. You made it relevant to our own backgrounds. The wide range of different methodologies we used. The reflections. (Even though it was very demanding sometimes because there was a lot to do all the time, not much rest in general. Nevertheless, I very much appreciate this way of learning and reminding myself about what I have actually learned today and how can I implement this in my own background)"

3) "Use of videos Very good explanations Activities in the course."

Professional development - Business challenge

Effective learning involves visualizing information and understanding its practical application (Oakley & Sejnowski, 2018). In this summer course, participants will engage in a real-world case study involving a company in Prague seeking assistance in enhancing sustainability through proposed circular solutions within its existing business model. Working collaboratively within (sub)groups, participants will develop and execute a plan, addressing key considerations such as analysing the business model, identifying improvement opportunities, and creating tailored circular solutions. Decisions on visualization methods for the proposed solutions rest with the groups, emphasizing the role of creativity in sustainability and circular economy initiatives.

Personal development – Identifying your identity

The course also prioritizes personal development, specifically in identity identification. While maintaining a fast-paced approach, the course recognizes the value of reflection, providing support through various models and group sessions with the coach. Taking time for reflection and evaluating one's current position are integral to making substantial progress, even in the pursuit of continuous advancement.

Credits

You will receive an official Certificate of Attendance upon completion of your course. Please inform the organizing staff if you require any extra supplements, such as Transcript of Records. The student is eligible to receive up to 5 ECTS credits, however please follow the instructions here and consult the acknowledgment process with your university in advance.

Assessments

  • attendance in class 15%
  • team assignment 40%
  • individual assignment 35%
  • exam 10% (optional, if required by home University)

Course time total 125 hours

  1. Course runs 2 weeks Monday to Friday 9:00-14:00
  2. Total time of in-class work = 50hours
  3. Preliminary assignment = 10hours
  4. Preparation = 65hours

Price

Course fee includes the course itself, application fee, study materials, afternoon/evening social activities and events, welcome and goodbye drink as part of the graduation party. Other expenses, such as meals, accommodation, insurance, personal expenses, public transportation ticket, extra activities (such as trips outside of town over the weekend and entrance fees), and required equipment (i.e. pencils, paper for illustrations) are not included in the price.

Please note, after the 30th of April 2024 there will be a late enrollment fee charged in the amount of 50EUR on top of the course fee.

Terms and Conditions - Cancellation fees

Costs of living in Prague

Accommodation

For accommodation options, please visit the dedicated page

*Program/Course Outline is subject to change.

Prerequisites

  • English level B1-B2.