Umeå University's logo

umu.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Experimenting with sustainability education: the case of a student-driven campus initiative in Finland
Department of Design, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Espoo, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9589-2472
Department of Design, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Espoo, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7417-0745
2022 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Experiments are deemed not only useful, but necessary in sustainability transformation to enhance local decision-making. This is especially apparent in Finland where national government programmes and city administrations promote sustainability experimentation and bottom-up initiatives in the interest of equitable participation. At the same time, universities are expected to respond to societal calls for major infrastructural transformations, while neoliberal principles shift responsibility from authorities to individual citizens. This paper examines the case of a student-driven sustainable campus initiative called “Test Site” in a university committed formally to sustainability education. The students questioned whether sustainability should be taught in air-conditioned classrooms, what topics were socially just and worth pursuing, and rather sought material engagement, creative exploration and autonomy. Invested faculty members were dependent on demonstrations and proof of impact, or at least convincing visuals, to sustain the initiative. The outcome of experimenting most valued by the students however was the material-based social learning on how to self-organise. The meaning of such “minor” experiments thus becomes muddled, involving local, situated power dynamics among university management, faculty and students and what is regarded as useful space and activity for learning. The case illustrates how an experimental site partly removed from university constraints rendered explorations of self-organising participants as valuable yet depended on visible proofs to justify this very exploration as worthwhile. Even within a neoliberal and highly hierarchical governance structure, some participants are able to make small gains to pursue socially just solutions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2022.
Keywords [en]
grassroots experiments, sustainable campus, social learning, self-organising
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
design; sustainability
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-194672DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2021.1891033ISI: 000621317700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85101540385OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-194672DiVA, id: diva2:1657948
Available from: 2022-05-12 Created: 2022-05-12 Last updated: 2022-05-13

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(1996 kB)65 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 1996 kBChecksum SHA-512
eec4e8bbba044d584b5aa1a3ac8bb5b1744a84f3caaadf52a59f1b4f88b206a7e1a30a8ae6732d1b7f83d1532325b57aad06f10ba109676f0490cab8ea8999dc
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Authority records

Kohtala, Cindy

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Hector, PhilipKohtala, Cindy
In the same journal
Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 65 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 162 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf