Reflecting on the Workshop “Understanding Sustainability as a Means to Empowering Learners”

by Arhea Marshall, Tubingen University

At the second Global Citizenship Forum at Durham University, the University of Tübingen designed and facilitated a workshop on the role of sustainable development practices in empowering learners. In our workshop, 16 participants from across the partner institutions and the visiting audience from Durham University heard about the context of Tübingen and two initiatives addressing empowering learners through sustainability. One initiative was the Refugee Program, where Arhea Marshall worked as a student research assistant from 2016 -2019 developing the Buddy Program, emphasizing the social education components of sustainable development. The other initiative, Week of Links, a sustainability orientation week for first-year students was introduced by Antonia Tertelmann. The participants where asked to respond to five prompts:

  1. What are synonyms for sustainability?
  2. What do you think of when you hear the word “sustainability”?
  3. In which ways is sustainability visible at your university (city)? And in your wider student experiences?
  4. Can the Week of Links and Refugee Program be replicated at your university? Or not? Do similar projects already existing at your university?
  5. What are ways in which “global citizenship” aims to be sustainable? How can it remain and/or become sustainable?

Their responses can be viewed in the images below. We hope that the participants will carry on what they discussed and learned with them back to their home university and engage in further discussions and implementations of sustainable practices that empower learners on all levels and of national/citizenship* backgrounds.

More information about the Week of Links initiative (in German) can be accessed here and here. Information on Refugee Buddy Program (in English and German), can be accessed here or on the Facebook page: Refugee Programm Tübingen

*perhaps and interesting way of addressing the citizenship aspect of learners and the ways in which it open doors or shuts them.

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