GOVERNING SUSTAINABILITY | Università degli studi di Bergamo - Didattica e Rubrica


Modulo Generico
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Scheda dell'insegnamento

Per studenti immatricolati al 1° anno a.a.: 
Insegnamento (nome in italiano): 
Insegnamento (nome in inglese): 
Governing Sustainability
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Attività formativa Caratterizzante
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Altri docenti: 
  • Corso di studi in ECONOMICS AND DATA ANALYSIS - Percorso formativo in PERCORSO COMUNE

Altre informazioni sull'insegnamento

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Didattica Convenzionale
Annualità Singola
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Ore di studio individuale: 

It is strongly recommended to successfully pass the exams of Business Ethics before attending this course.

Educational goals

Sustainability is most commonly defined as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (Brundtland Report, 1987). It is characterized by three overarching concerns: maintaining ecological and environmental health; creating economic welfare; and ensuring social justice.
This module (Governing Sustainability) is part of a 12 CFU course on Sustainability Accounting and Governing Sustainability. The full course (12 CFU) introduces students to the theory, principles, practices and accounting/control techniques of sustainability. Long-term, effective management and control requires an understanding of human-nature relationships, and social relationships and institutions. The course thus focuses not just on the material requirements for sustainability, but on the social, political, cultural and economic dynamics shaping it.
It will be proposed a holistic approach to sustainable development, which encompasses societal (macro-level), organisational (meso), and individual (micro) levels and in which the human being is the start in and the ending point. The role of accounting and control mechanisms and techniques will be also studied and investigated with regard to the embedding of sustainability-related issues in several social domains.
Specifically, module 2 – Governing Sustainability offers a contribution to our understanding of the interconnectedness of the personal, organizational and societal level for the achievement of sustainability in economic activities. This interconnectedness is visualised in the Three Levels of Sustainability (TLS) framework developed by Cavagnaro and Curiel (2012). The TLS framework conveys that:
1. Sustainability plays a role in three distinct and interrelated levels, i.e. society; organisations and individuals;
2. Sustainability starts from the individual level and is an inside-out process;
3. Sustainability is not an end in itself but a middle to achieve a better quality of life for this and future generations.
Skills acquired after completion of module:
Upon successful module completion, students will acquire the following skills:
Intellectual Skills:
- Think critically
- Ability to evaluate complex challenges from different perspectives
- Sensitivity to diversity in people and different situations and the ability to continue to learn through reflection on practice and experience
Knowledge and Understanding:
- Understand sustainability as a multidimensional and multilevel concept and be able to evaluate the role of the companies and single individuals in achieving a more sustainable society
Transferable Skills:
- Ability to apply tools such as a stakeholders’ analysis to address sustainability challenges

Course content

The following themes and concepts will be introduced and discussed throughout the module 2-Governing Sustainability:
- Reconstruction of the historic and cultural context in which, and in answer to which, the concept of sustainability was born;
- Understanding the concepts of governance, governing and governmentality with specific reference to the sustainability context;
- Understanding sustainability as a multi-layer concept involving a personal; organisational and societal level and different dimensions;
- Creating the ability to critically reflect upon the major challenges in each of the three levels and nine dimensions of sustainability in themselves and in their relationship with the others;
- Strategies proposed to cope with some of the major challenges brought about by sustainability;
- Explanation and critical evaluation of the role that organisations and individual can play in bringing about sustainability;
- Understanding the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Connection Responsibility
- In-depth analysis of selected sustainability challenges like: fashion, investments, food, etc.

Teaching methods

The module draws upon traditional teaching and learning strategies in terms of lectures and seminars, coupled with self-directed study. During the lectures it will be required to students to engage in dialogue and exchanges of views on different topics. The directed study component is designed to enhance the taught and post taught input. Students could be required to engage with directed study reading before the module begins to support the lectures’ and seminars’ content. Students will be asked to prepare and discuss on specific case studies.

Assessment and Evaluation

The course is assessed by means of a written exam, which will focus on the theoretical and practical aspects. In particular, the exam consists of open ended and/or essay-type questions.
Each answer will be graded with a score from 0 to 30 and the final grade will be the average of the grades.
Each student needs to achieve a mark of 18/30 or above. Any mark below 18 will be considered as a ‘fail’ and students will be required to retake the exam.

Clearness, synthesis, consistency and critical judgment will be given particular merit.
During the course case study analysis and/or specific assignments could be given to students. Students can choose to be evaluated on these assignments as a part of the final grade. In this case, they will be asked to answer only part of the exam. More information will be provided during the course.

Further information

Students with the exam of 12 CFU need to achieve a mark of 18/30 or above in every module to obtain a ‘pass’ grade in the assessment
Midterm exams are scheduled after completions of Module 1 - Sustainability Accountability.

Course handouts and teaching materials will be available on the elearning platform (Moodle space).
We strongly suggest you to subscribe to receive all and updated information about the course.

Changes with respect to what stated in the syllabus could be introduced if the course will be taught online or partly online