The course is conceived as a broad introduction to the subject of sustainable development. The interdisciplinary character of the Instituut voor Milieukunde en Duurzame Ontwikkeling (IMDO) ensures that the ecological, economic and social pillars of sustainable development will be treated on an equal footing. At the same time, attention will also be paid to the international and local policy context and to the institutional aspects of sustainable development, often designated as the ‘fourth pillar’. In this framework, time and space are essential characteristics; they refer to intra- and intergenerational solidarity and ethics. By means of representative and relevant chapters of the ‘State of the World’ reports the basic concepts of each pillar will be introduced. The relevance of intentional transitions for sustainable development is highlighted.
These will then serve as a basis for the interpretation of some practical cases. The difficulties of implementing sustainable development will be extensively illustrated by examining indicators of sustainable development and by analyzing cases with regard to for instance water, mining, energy, sustainable food and sustainable entrepreneurship. A large part of the lectures will be given by guest speakers.