Theory, policy and practice perspectives from Royal Holloway

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Excellent sustainability teaching in the School of Management recognised in Teaching Awards

CRIS teaching team

Katharina Husemann, Anica Zeyen, Sigrun Wagner, Stephanos Anastasiadis & Diego Vazquez-Brust

Six members of the Centre for Research into Sustainability (CRIS) at Royal Holloway, University of London, who are responsible for much of the sustainability-related teaching in the School of Management have won all three college excellence in teaching prizes awarded to staff in the School in 2016. This confirms the commitment of CRIS to maintain high quality, innovative sustainability teaching, and mirrors the School’s long-standing commitment as a signatory to PRME, the United National Principles for Responsible Management Education.

The Committee responsible for awarding the prizes considered a “very strong field of applications” which marks these prizes as particularly significant.

The two individual excellence awards went to Dr Katharina Husemann and Dr Anica Zeyen whereas the team award went to Dr Stephanos Anastasiadis, Prof Laura Spence, Dr Diego Vázquez-Brust and Dr Sigrun M. Wagner. The prizes award teaching across all levels, postgraduate and, mostly, undergraduate teaching. The courses in which these colleagues teach cut across several pathways of the BSc management programmes – marketing, entrepreneurship and sustainability – and also include courses mandatory for all students, thus demonstrating how sustainability cuts across disciplines outside its sometimes perceived niche.

The prizes were awarded for a range of innovative practices, from Pecha Kucha to transformative learning to game-playing, all of which focus on improving student learning. Continue reading


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Learning about Sustainability through Volunteering


MSc Sustainability students 2015-16 with Dr Mike Dolton (MSc Director) and Professor Laura Spence (Director of the RHUL Centre for Research into Sustainability)

All students on the RHUL MSc in Practising Sustainable Development (including the ICT4D stream) and the MSc in Sustainability and Management have to complete a volunteer placement. While students have to do a minimum of 24 hours of volunteering over a 5-month period, many students do far more and some continue after the course has finished.

The aim of the volunteer project module is to allow students to actively engage with an issue of sustainability in practice and to reflect on that involvement. It is assessed through an individual project report reflecting on sustainability issues in the particular organisation, as well as students’ own reflections on their experience. Students also have to produce a poster and give a short presentation.

The volunteer project is one of the most important Continue reading

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Volunteer Projects Highlight the Complexities of Sustainability

All students taking the RHUL MSc in Sustainability and Management conduct a volunteer project which requires at least 20 hours of volunteering in a community or civil society organisation. This provides students with an opportunity to consider how sustainability is understood and practised in a particular organisation, as well as recognising the challenges and limitations which organisations may face in implementing policies which promote sustainability.


MSc Sustainability & Management Staff & Students

Students present their key findings and reflections on their volunteering experience through posters and presentations. This year’s event demonstrated very explicitly the diversity of sustainability as a concept and how significant the obstacles to achieving sustainability often are.

While much is said about the three pillars of sustainability – environment, society and economy – it is frequently the environmental element which is prioritised. Some of the students worked for organisations which focused specifically on environmental issues at both a local and a global scale. These included TCV (The Conservation Volunteers), Thames 21, Forum for the Future, Continue reading

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Communicating Sustainability: social media uses and abuses

“We need a Facebook page.”

This is a statement no doubt heard in many social media strategy meetings up and down the country. Be it a Facebook page, a Twitter handle or a Pinterest site, we have an inherent tendency to jump to thinking about the tools of social media when planning our communications approaches, rather than the purposes for communication in these ‘new’ media contexts. Continue reading