Master’s students get practical training to accelerate sustainable development
In 2021, the Sustainable Future Hub at the School of Economics and Management started the Change Maker Future Track, which offers Master’s students practical experience of driving sustainable development. The aim of the track is to prepare students for working life via an opportunity-oriented mindset by taking the University’s vision to “understand, explain and improve” to the next level. The four equally important parts that permeate the track are: students, challenges, coaches and inspiration.
A new type of expertise is needed
The project manager of the School of Economics and Management’s Sustainable Future Hub, Martina Oxling, noticed that the companies she had been in contact with knew what they needed to do and had strategies for their sustainability-related work, but to really push through the transition required a new type of expertise.
“Practical experience of driving sustainable development is something the students will benefit from greatly”, says Martina and continues:
“Many of the School of Economics and Management’s students end up in senior management positions and the purpose of this track is to learn to see the opportunities that accompany the sustainability transition and gain an insight that it is action that counts. There is a need to train to act and lead despite uncertainty, and if this also combines the power of sustainable change with digitalisation and new technology, it can contribute to accelerating the sustainability transition further.”
An understanding of complexity
This first round of the Change Maker Future Track started in September 2021 and continues until March 2022. The 18 handpicked participants come from six different Master’s programmes and many different countries. They are all entrepreneurial-oriented individuals who want to take on responsibility for the sustainability transition. The students are working on challenges from Sony, ChildFund Sweden and the City of Lund with the support of the challenge owners, senior lecturer Stein Kleppestø at the School of Economics and Management and coaches working in organisations other than those the students are working with. All coaches and challenge owners have experience of driving change processes relating to sustainable development. This provides an opportunity to access the widest possible range of knowledge and experience.
“To drive change for a sustainable future requires the ability to understand complexity and act amid uncertainty. The Change Maker Future Track develops our students’ maturity och change-creating skills by working on very challenging real needs for sustainable development”, says Stein Kleppestø, the lecturer in charge of the track.
Outlook and inspiration are an important part of change management, which is why exciting external guests are invited to the open event series How to be a Change Maker. There were three events in the autumn and a further two are planned for the spring of 2022. The guests talk about how they are driving sustainable development and this is followed by comments from the perspective of a selected researcher at Lund University and questions from the audience.
The Change Maker Future Track is at an early stage, but the response from students and the sector has been very promising. There is a need for, and an interest in, practical sustainability.
“Driving change from a sustainable angle will become more and more crucial for future leaders. The Change Maker Future Track will give our students a unique opportunity to work on real challenges. We are very grateful for the commitment from companies, organisations, coaches and, of course, for the grant from Sparbanken Skåne/Sparbanksstiftelsen Finn that has made it all possible,” says Kristina Eneroth, the pro vice-chancellor for external engagement at Lund University.
Martina Oxling, project manager at Sustainable Future Hub and Change Maker Future Track at School of Economics and Management.
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