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Environmental Crisis and Societal Change

  • Enseignant(s):  
  • Titre en français: Crise de l'environnement et changement sociétal
  • Cours donné en: anglais
  • Crédits ECTS:
  • Horaire: Semestre de printemps 2019-2020, 2.0h. de cours (moyenne hebdomadaire)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours site web du cours
  • Formations concernées:
    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation marketing

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation business analytics

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation stratégie, organisation et leadership

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation comportement, économie et évolution

    Maîtrise universitaire en Droit et économie




This is a transdisciplinary course taught by professors from the universities of Lausanne and Lancaster. It aims at making disciplines and institutional practices meet and dialogue, as it is the organizers’ belief that the current economic and ecological crises and all its human dimensions can only be apprehended by a refounding of our sense of community. The aim of the course is to introduce students to transdisciplinary studies; it requires from them to get out of their disciplinary comfort zone to confront new forms of discourse, understand the effects of their own discipline on the world and on others, and reflect together with others on new solutions to our impending problems.Master students from 4 different faculties can take the course (HEC, Géoscience, SSP, lettres)


Session 1 20.2.

1. Introduction to the course

Christian Arnsperger (FSGE), Guido Palazzo (HEC), Boris Vedjovsky (Lettres)

Session 2 27.2.

Romanticism and the Invention of Nature

Boris Vejdovsky (Lettres/UNIL) & Simon Bainbridge (Arts/University of Lancaster)

Session 3 5.3.

Global changes from the perspectives of Earth System sciences: quantifying human influences on Earth

Marie-Elodie Perga (FGSE)

Session 4 12.3.

Growth obsession, neoliberal ideology and the environmental crisis

Christian Arnsperger (FSGE) & Ulrich Hoffrage (HEC)

Session 5 19.3.

Accounting for societal change

Gaia Melloni (HEC) & Kenza Benhima (HEC)

Session 6 26.3.

The edible crisis: Thinking about food and food for thought

Boris Vedjovsky (Lettres)

Session 7 2.4.

Business as a force to address climate change

Heidi Strebel (HEC) & Suren Erkman (FSGE)

Session 8 9.4.

The concept of degrowth and consumer behavior

Sascha Nick (EPFL)

Session 9 23.4.

Extinction rebellion - protest movements and societal change

Sara Gnoni (extinction rebel) & Miriam Tola (FSGE)

Session 10 7.5.

Imagining Ecotopia - Native American roots and futuristic scenarios

Agnieszka Soltysik Monnet (Lettres) & Christian Arnsperger (FSGE)

Session 11 14.5.

Gaia, forests and the rise of a new story

Guido Palazzo (HEC) & Jean Rosset (Forest Engineer)

Session 12 28.5.

Debriefing, final discussion

Christian Arnsperger (FSGE), Guido Palazzo (HEC), Boris Vedjovsky (Lettres)




1ère tentative

Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

The 2-hour course is worth 3 credits ECTS. To validate the course students are required to 1) attend the classes, 2) prepare each session with a short written essay.

For each session (except session 1 and 14) participants have to write a short essay/reflection paper of 300 (+/-10%) words on the readings proposed by the professors in charge of the session.

Overall, there are 11 reflection papers to be written. Each of these reflections will be graded. Please upload your assignment on the moodle before the deadlines specified for each session. The reference point for the essays will be the required readings for the respective sessions and the guiding questions of the professors.


Sans examen (cf. modalités)  

“In case of failure with the final grade below 4.0, the parts of the validation that have been graded below 4.0 (be it one or more of the short essays or the final essay) have to be repeated.”

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