Certificate in Sustainable Development and Social Innovation


Courses take place every Tuesday from 5.15 pm to 8.30 pm at Campus Kirchberg.

The Certificate requires 20 ECTS that can be collected by completing core courses, peer group projects and auxiliary courses (see Figure).

Participation in the two core courses (6 ECTS each) and at least one semester of a peer group project (4 ECTS) is required.
A second semester of a peer group project (4 ECTS) can be optionally replaced by completing an auxiliary course (4 ECTS).

Core Courses

Core Course 1. ‘Science and citizens meet challenges of sustainability’ (6 ECTS)

This interdisciplinary course equips participants with conceptual tools and most recent insights from academics and practitioners to actively engage in societal transformation for sustainability in a networked world.

Core  Course 2. ‘Social enterprise and Social Innovation’ (6 ECTS)

This course explores social enterprises as vehicles for social innovation to address challenges of social inequity and sustainability. Diverse legal, financial and business models, and stakeholder relations aspects are explored. One overarching theme is defining, measuring and reporting on the common good and sustainable value creation in a pluralist society.

Peer group projects

Peer groups are an experimental field for bridging the gap between academic literature and theory encountered in the course and practical problems of salience to Luxembourg (uncertain, unique, situated, and conflictual).  Peer groups also allow to practice engaging in social learning process in small and very diverse group.
The peer group projects will run over the entire year (winter and summer semester) in order to allow to gain a deeper understanding of a complex problem and possibly to produce deliverables of interest to third parties. Prior experience suggests one semester is too short to achieve these goals.  However, it is possible to engage in a peer group project only for one semester and gain 4 ECTS, provided an auxiliary course is taken instead of a second semester in a peer group project.

Overarching objectives for all peer groups are to develop recommendations as a group on a particular topic leading to concrete actions and more general strategies for transition to a more sustainable society.

Auxiliary courses

Course on ‘Global Environmental Change in the Anthropocene’ (4 ECTS)

From October to December (Thursday evening - campus Kirchberg)

Course Description

This course provides an overview on global environmental change.  The course considers humankind as an integral part of the biosphere, and the industrial metabolism and land-use changes as a main drivers of global change in the 21st century.  It provides a basic understanding on system dynamics in complex social-ecological systems, as well as focusing on more sectoral issues looking at oceans and rivers and land-use change.   Recurring themes across all sessions include challenges to making evidence-based policies and the role of science.  The course provides a platform for critical discussion of relevant overarching EU policies.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module a student should be expected to be able to:

  • Understand the relation between human activities and natural processes determining the quality of the environment (incl. the political and management dimension).
  • Apply concepts of risk, vulnerability, adaptation and mitigation in analyzing policies relating to global environmental change.
  • Understand merits and limitations, and potential of abuse  of scientific observation and assessment and representation methods and associated uncertainties
  • Make judgments on the quality of science underlying evidence-based policies.
  • Apply the concept of ecosystem services for taking environmental change into account in spatial planning policies.
  • Evaluate EU and Luxembourg spatial planning and environmental policy recommendations.
  • 10% participation,
  • 30% assignments,
  • 60% final report.

The course yields 4 ECTS for students.


Lectures will be held in English


Christelle Karleskind (christelle.karleskind@uni.lu)


Course on ‘Sustainability Reporting’ (4 ECTS)

From March to May

This course provides knowledge and skills to develop and assess Sustainability Reports for public and private sector organizations.  Since 2014 the European Directive on Non financial reporting mandates all organizations above 500 employees to be accountable for social and environmental impacts as well as for their financial performance.  The Sustainability Reporting presents an internationally accepted reporting framework to assess and evaluate such impacts.  This course provides basic insights on reporting practices and procedures in enterprises in different sectors in Luxembourg.


Themes broached include
  • Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability Reporting and the legal context
  • Development of Sustainability Reports – a procedural view
  • Frameworks for sustainability reporting
  • Stakeholders and inclusiveness
  • Data collection & monitoring
  • Verification processes & Audit
  • Evaluation

The course yields 4 ECTS for students.


Viktoria Valdimarsdottir


Lectures will be held in French and English


Christelle Karleskind