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Changing requisites to universities in the 21st century: organizing for transformative sustainability science for systemic change

König, Ariane
Current opinion in environmental sustainability 2015 v.16 pp. 105-111
carrying capacity, learning, metabolism, society, sustainability science and engineering, universities
Sustainability science aims to enhance our understanding and increase our repertoire of action on urgent complex problems of how to reconcile our societal metabolism with the bio-physical carrying capacity of the earth. Sustainability science thus requires new forms of interaction between the natural and social sciences and between science and society. Universities across the globe are re-thinking their mission accordingly. This paper summarizes changing conceptions of science, knowledge and practice and on this basis it identifies a set of requisites to learning, teaching and research in universities that aim to foster systemic change. This set structures the overview on the fourteen contributions to this special issue on how leading universities across five continents stage transformative learning opportunities. These contributions are developed from a wide range of perspectives from diverse academic disciplines and practice.