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GEST-S2002

Sustainable Development and Organisations

academic year
2020-2021
The health crisis linked to the spread of Covid-19 constitutes grounds of force majeure constraining the University to adapt the assessment methods for some of the course units; Information on the new terms of these assessments will be provided to students through the usual information channels by December 4, 2020.

Course teacher(s)

Bruno VAN POTTELSBERGHE (Coordinator) and Estelle CANTILLON

ECTS credits

5

Language(s) of instruction

english

Course content

This course is part of the Sustainable Development initiative of the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management. GESTS2002 “Sustainable Development and Organisations” provides an introduction to the concept of sustainable development, with an emphasis on the central role of governance and organisations in the slowing or facilitation of action and innovation. The course is divided into three parts:
  1. A set of lectures provides an introduction to the key concepts and references on the subject and shows how policy and managerial thinking about sustainable development co-evolved with our scientific understanding of the interaction between Earth System and human society.
  2. Guest speakers provide insights into how different kinds of organisations respond to sustainable development challenges, their drivers and constraints.
  3. Group projects provide an opportunity for students to critically examine the way an organisation approaches a specific sustainable development issue.

Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes)

Sustainable development issues are typically complex and multifaceted, and so are their solutions. At the same time, sustainability has become such a buzzword that firms and politicians are tempted to leverage it for marketing purposes, rather than to describe solutions that genuinely contribute to more sustainable operations and practices. Critical thinking is therefore paramount. Upon completion of the course, you should be able to:
  • Describe the intellectual and scientific underpinnings of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility;
  • Contextualize a sustainable development issue, and describe the stakeholders and the relevant links between this issue and other social, economic and environmental dimensions;
  • Analyze a mechanism of governance and assess its impact on stakeholders’ incentives;
  • Draw on relevant scientific and grey literature sources to critically assess a proposed solution (policy, strategy, product, …) from a sustainable development perspective.

Teaching methods and learning activities

The course combines standard lectures, pre-class readings and assignments, in-class interactive activities, guest speakers and a group project.

Contribution to the teaching profile

The course is part of the Sustainable Development initiative and provides an introduction to some of the issues that are developed in more depth in courses from the Energy, Circular Economy, Work & People and Human Development pathways of the BA Ingénieur de Gestion. We also expect students to leverage their learning from other pathway courses into their group projects.

References, bibliography, and recommended reading

The course relies on a set of readings (reader available at the PUB) and other pedagogical material available to registered students on the uv. 

Course notes

  • Université virtuelle
  • Syllabus

Other information

Contacts

Estelle Cantillon (Estelle.Cantillon@ulb.be) and Bruno van Pottelsberghe (bruno.vanpottelsberghe@ulb.be)

Campus

Solbosch

Evaluation

Method(s) of evaluation

  • Oral examination
  • Oral presentation
  • Group work
  • Personal work

The final grade is based on pre-class assignments and participation, a written group project and, possibly, performance on an oral exam. The oral exam is compulsory for those students getting strictly less than the median grade for the written group project. It is optional for the others.

Mark calculation method (including weighting of intermediary marks)

The final grade is based on participation to pre-class assignments, a written group project and, possibly, performance on an oral exam. The oral exam is compulsory for those students getting strictly less than the median grade for the written group project. It is optional for the others.

  • For those taking the oral exam, the final grade is made of the pre-class assignments and participation (20%), the group project (20%) and the oral exam (60%).
  • For those students not taking the oral exam, the final grade is made of the pre-class assignments and participation (20%) and the group project (80%).

Students failing in the first session (June), get a second chance to pass the course in August by taking a somewhat longer oral exam that will count for 80% of the final grade, The remaining 20% will come from their grades on their pre-class assignments and in-class participation and cannot be changed in the second session. The grade on the group project will not be taken into account in the second session. 

Language(s) of evaluation

  • english

Programmes