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Moving Universities: A Case Study on the Use of Unconferencing for Facilitating Sustainability Learning in a Swiss University

Listed author(s):
  • Patricia Wolf


    (Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC), Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, Kreuzplatz 5, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland)

  • Peter Troxler


    (, Hügelstrasse 40, CH-8002 Zürich, Switzerland)

  • Ralf Hansmann


    (Natural and Social Science Interface (NSSI), Department of Environmental Sciences, ETH Zurich, Sonneggstrasse 33, ETH SOL F.7, CH-8092, Zurich, Switzerland)

Unconferencing is a method for organizing social learning which could be suitable to trigger sustainability learning processes. An unconference is defined as participant-driven meeting that tries to avoid one or more aspects of a conventional conference, such as top-down organization, one-way communication and power-relationships based on titles, formal hierarchies and status. This paper presents a case study on the application of unconferencing in a large Swiss university (ETH Zurich) where an unconference was conducted to engage students, academics, staff and external experts in a mutual learning process aimed at the development of project ideas for reducing its CO 2 emissions. The study analyzes how the unconferencing format initiated and promoted sustainability oriented group processes during the unconference, and in how far the projects which were developed contributed to a reduction of the university’s CO 2 emissions.

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Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

Volume (Year): 3 (2011)
Issue (Month): 6 (June)
Pages: 1-22

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Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:6:p:875-896:d:12819
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