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Moving Universities: A Case Study on the Use of Unconferencing for Facilitating Sustainability Learning in a Swiss University
Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC), Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, Kreuzplatz 5, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland
unbla.org, Hügelstrasse 40, CH-8002 Zürich, Switzerland
Natural and Social Science Interface (NSSI), Department of Environmental Sciences, ETH Zurich, Sonneggstrasse 33, ETH SOL F.7, CH-8092, Zurich, Switzerland
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 March 2011; in revised form: 30 May 2011 / Accepted: 14 June 2011 / Published: 17 June 2011
Abstract: 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 CO2 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 CO2 emissions.
Keywords: unconferencing; group processes; mutual learning; organizational learning; sustainability learning; sustainable university; CO2 emissions; CO2 reduction; sustainable development
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Wolf, P.; Troxler, P.; Hansmann, R. Moving Universities: A Case Study on the Use of Unconferencing for Facilitating Sustainability Learning in a Swiss University. Sustainability 2011, 3, 875-896.
Wolf P, Troxler P, Hansmann R. Moving Universities: A Case Study on the Use of Unconferencing for Facilitating Sustainability Learning in a Swiss University. Sustainability. 2011; 3(6):875-896.
Wolf, Patricia; Troxler, Peter; Hansmann, Ralf. 2011. "Moving Universities: A Case Study on the Use of Unconferencing for Facilitating Sustainability Learning in a Swiss University." Sustainability 3, no. 6: 875-896.