Educational and research institutions can provide necessary stimuli for societal changes. To provide students and graduates with the necessary competences to overcome the Global Grand Challenges, a paradigm shift is needed to enable new methods and ways of thinking as well as engagement and attitudes towards sustainable development.

© Kawee Wateesatogkij | Dreamstime

© Kawee Wateesatogkij | Dreamstime

Quality Education is an essential prerequisite and driver for achieving all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to the urgency in finding solid solutions to the manifold issues in the field of climate change, it is particularly important to look at the role of climate change education and the related acquisition of so called “future competences”.

Education for sustainable development and especially climate change education should be focused on the following objectives:     

- Raising awareness concerning the challenges of the 21st century;  

- Enabling people to self-determined design of the living space according to the principles of sustainable development; 

- Stimulating the readiness to act and translate ideas into real actions. 

In order to achieve all of the aforementioned goals, the research project makingAchange has set up a variety of actions and possibilities for educational institutions and their students to foster sustainable development: 

a) School and university students have the opportunity to participate in a peer-to-peer training in which they acquire technical knowledge and methodological insights to be able to engage in daily climate-change debates and discussions. University peers will additionally be trained to serve as supervisors in internal and external projects at participating schools.

b) A special training on budgeting a school's CO2-emissions is offered to a few students per school. An additional peer-to-peer training shall enable the participating students to pass on their knowledge to colleagues.

c) Schools or individual classes will benefit from professional expertise for internal interdisciplinary projects.

d) Schools or individual classes will benefit from professional expertise for their (external) project week.

IIASA's Equity and Justice (EQU) Research Group is responsible for the peer-to-peer training of students in the makingAchange project. In addition to a stock-take on existing peer-to-peer activities and material in Austria, the team will ensure the scientific quality of the material, which will be used for further training and education purposes as well as for other interdisciplinary projects and project weeks in which the university peers will participate. The training concept shall be improved throughout the duration of the project. Based on the two years of scientific support, a standardised training concept and recommendation for actions for a successful training of peers with different age and knowledge shall be developed. The graduates of the peer-to-peer training shall receive a certification for their participation. 

makingAchange is led by the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA) in cooperation with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Scienes (BOKU), the Technical University of Graz (TU Graz), the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Universität für Angewandte Kunst Wien), the University of Innsbruck (Universität Innsbruck), the University of Vienna (Universität Wien), the Karl Franzens University of Graz (Karl Franzens Universität Graz) and the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG).

Project Partners: CCCA, BOKU, die Angewandte, KFU, TU Graz,  Uni Innsbruck, Uni Wien, ZAMG, and various civil society initiatives. 

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Republic of Austria. 

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Last edited: 27 September 2021


January 2020 - July 2023

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