Educational and research institutions can provide necessary stimuli for societal changes. To provide graduates with these necessary competences to overcome the Global Grand Challenges a paradigm shift is needed, enabling new methods and ways of thinking, engagement and attitudes towards sustainable development.

Quality education is an essential prerequisite and driver for achieving all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to the urgency in finding a solid solution within the topic of climate change, it is especially important to look at the role of climate change education and the related acquisition of so called “future competences”.

Education for sustainable development and especially climate change education needs to focus on:     

- Raising awareness concerning the challenges of the 21st century;  

- Enabling people to a self-determined design of their living space according to the principles of sustainable development; 

- Stimulating the readiness to translate ideas into real actions. 

In order to achieve all the above mentioned goals, the research project makingAchange has developed a variety of actions and possibilities for educational institutions to foster sustainable development.

a) School and university students can participate in a peer-to-peer training, in which they gain technical knowledge and receive methodological training to become a contact person in daily climate-change debates and discussions. The university peers will additionally be trained to be a supervisor for internal and external projects in participating schools.

b) A special training on budgeting a school's CO2-emissions is offered for a few students per school. An additional peer-to-peer training will enable the participating students to pass on their knowledge to their colleagues.

c) Schools or individual classes will be offered professional expertise for interdisciplinary projects within their institution (internal).

d) Schools or individual classes will be offered professional expertise for their project week (external).

IIASA´s EQU team is responsible for the peer-to-peer training of university as well as school students. Also, next to a stock-take on existing peer-to-peer activities and materials in Austria, the team will ensure the scientific quality of the material that will be used for further training and education as well as for interdisciplinary projects and project weeks in which the university peers shall be included. The training concept shall be improved throughout the duration of the project. Based on the two years of scientific support, a standardised training concept and recommendation for actions for successful training of peers of different age and knowledge groups shall be developed. The graduates of the peer-to-peer training shall receive a certification for their participation.

makingAchange is led by the Climate Change Center Austria (CCCA) in cooperation with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), the Vienna University of Natural Resources and Life Scienes (BOKU), the Technical University of Graz (TU Graz), the University of Applied Arts Vienna (Universität für Angewandte Kunst Wien), the University of Innsbruck (Universität Innsbruck), the University of Vienna (Universität Wien), the Karl Franzens University of Graz (Karl Franzens Universität Graz) and Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG).

Project partners

  • CCCA
  • BOKU
  • die Angewandte
  • KFU
  • TU Graz
  • Uni Innsbruck
  • Uni Wien
  • ZAMG, and various civil society initiatives. 


  • Federal Ministry, Republic of Austria – Education, Science and Research.