New course on ‘Transformative Methods’ offers hands-on learning with practitioners

Transforamtive methods course - students in front of pin board

Teachers from the Erasmus School of Philosophy (ESPhil), the Design Impact Transition (DIT) Platform and the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS) joined hands for a new course on ‘Transformative Methods’ that ran from February to April 2024.

The course understands transformative methods as systematic approaches to support doing, thinking and organizing for greater social justice and sustainability. Course participants’ collaboration with partner organizations is central to the course’s pedagogy. Such partners can be practitioners from public sector organizations, private actors from for-profit and not-for-profit sectors as well as social movements.

The collaboration of one of the student groups led to a ‘future workshop’ for sustainable fruit cultivation in the Boskoop area of South Holland. The group’s partner organization ACCEZ, a transdisciplinary research organization that works as liaison between the Province of South-Holland, researchers, education and businesses to foster greater sustainability, considered the two-month collaboration a success: “It is important to include the interests of future generations in decision-making. The transition is only complete when we leave the soil, climate and planet better than we found it. Future workshops can help with this: by looking far ahead together, you come to new insights and opportunities for cooperation.”

Designed by Julia Wittmayer, DIT and Karin Astrid Siegmann, ISS, the course on ‘Transformative Methods’ emerged from discussions around transformative methodologies at ISS and on transformative research at the DIT Platform. 45 students of the new ESPhil master’s programme on Societal Transitions participated in the first round of the course.

The next round of the course will start in November 2024.

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