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.

© Kawee Wateesatogkij | Dreamstime

© Kawee Wateesatogkij | Dreamstime

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 put focus on:     

- Raising awareness concerning the challenges of the 21st century  

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

- Stimulating the readyness to act to implement ideas to real actions. 

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

a) School and university students can participate in a peer-to-peer education, in which they build technical knowledge and get 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 at participating schools.

b) A special training on budgeting the school´s CO2-emissions is offered for a few students per school. Also here a peer-to-peer training will take place and the participating students shall be able to pass on their knowledge to their colleagues.

c) Schools or individual classes will get professional expertise for interdisciplinary projects within their (internal) tuition.

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

IIASA´s RISK Team is responsible for the Peer-to-Peer training of the university as well as school students. Also, next to a stock-take on existing Peer-to-Peer activities and material in Austria, the Team will ensure the scientific quality of the material, which will be used for further training and education or within the interdisciplinary projects or project week, 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 scientific support, a standardised training concept and recommendation for actions for a successful training of peers with different age and knowledge 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 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 (Univesität 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. 

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

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Last edited: 04 June 2020


Thomas Schinko

Acting Research Group Leader

Equity and Justice Research Group

Population and Just Societies Program

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January 2020 - August 2022



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