New: the Interdisciplinary Sustainability Transitions MA specialisation15 June, 2021
That’s a first! At Erasmus University Rotterdam, you can now specialise in Interdisciplinary Sustainability Transitions as part of the master Philosophy Now.
Update note: The specialisation track Sustainability Transitions within ‘Philosophy Now’ Master is no longer offered, but has been further developed into a full Master ‘societal transitions’, find more here.
The last decade’s major societal shocks – including the corona pandemic – have crystallised the problems of unsustainability and environmental injustice as normative rather than scientific. Knowing what to do is simply not enough to solve our generation’s challenges. What society needs to confront the challenge of transitioning to sustainability along ecological and social dimensions is a change in perspective, of state. But how to achieve this, given existing incentives to maintain unsustainable status quos?
Unsustainability in all its forms, from climate crisis to biodiversity loss, industry-fueled chronic disease to subsidies for fossil fuels causing air pollution, requires a swift transition on a scale unseen in history. For such global problems we need global solutions, but often policy and norm change is a trickle-up process, rooted in local action.
This program presents students with the perspectives and methods helpful to understand the main drivers of unsustainability and equips students with the skills necessary to intervene to achieve sustainable transitions. Backcasting from the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to chart a course to achieve them, these processes already in motion, from ecosystem degradation to environmental justice, will be dissected and examined from a variety of angles.
Rather than a technocratic approach – which might overlook the relevance of social psychology – this philosophical approach to sustainability confronts case studies and real-world dilemmas to piece together the patterns of resilience, environmental justice, and just transitions to a sustainable society.
Focusing on transformative change means creatively engaging with the type of non-linear processes of which leadership and social evolution are made. Based in philosophy and working with science, Sustainable Transitions views society as a design process, and in analyzing the principals of design, encourages attentive experimentation with social organization to suit the needs of people, place, and planet.
This master track is a combined effort of Erasmus School of Philosophy, the Design, Impact and Transition (DIT) platform, the Dynamics of Inclusive Prosperity Erasmus Initiative and DRIFT.