Utrecht, Netherlands

Global Transformations

when 6 July 2021 - 10 July 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 750

Due to the covid-19 outbreak, this program has been cancelled for 2020.

How can systemic drivers of global challenges be identified? What are transformations and how do they come about? How can different forms of experimentation - across multiple disciplines - and adaptive learning be used to achieve transformation? This one-week course focuses on the development of competencies for contemporary global leaders working to tackle global challenges. It is designed for programme coordinators, project leaders, strategists, and others seeking to facilitate transformative solutions in their work. It uses interdisciplinary theories and insights from practice to equip participants with the skills to critically understand complex global challenges and confront them in practice.

The world is confronting a complex set of global challenges, from climate change to inequality, that, in order to be addressed, require of profound transformations in the way we live. While these challenges are universal, they are experienced across the globe in many and different local contexts. Hence, solutions need to be rooted in local contexts, but also draw on and contribute to emerging global and more universal standards. Global challenges require of systemic change, for which a series of systems thinking tools and frameworks have been developed. Transformations and systems change have become the new language of various initiatives working on global challenges, from IPCC, UN SDGs, to philanthropic and development organizations. This has generated a thick and dense web of transnational communities of people and organizations navigating and contesting the nature of and solutions for global challenges.

This one-week module is offered by Utrecht University’s Centre for Global Challenges (CfGC), a joint initiative of the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Governance. The Centre promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation between Utrecht University researchers, its students, and societal stakeholders from across the globe. Our aim is to critically understand and confront in transformative ways those global challenges that intersect human rights, conflict & security, sustainability, and equity.

It aims to generate a critical understanding of global challenges and the notion of transformations and systems change. It addresses questions such as: why are transformations necessary and helpful to address global challenges? How can a systems change perspective be used for transformations? It also develops an understanding of the different perspectives in which transformations are being approached, its commonalities, differences and best practices. It draws on a variety of disciplines such as global history, law, political science, sustainability transitions studies, science and technology studies and development economics. It begins by examining the notion of transformation in various discourses and connections with societal change and globalization, what do transformations imply from a systems perspective, and how transformations are understood and implemented in different organizations.

Course leader

Dr. Carla Alvial Palavicino

Target group

The Global Transformations Certificate Programme is designed for professionals in public-, international-, and non-profit organizations and soon-to-be graduates who would like to pursue additional studies in order to upgrade the skills and competencies to contribute to transformative solutions for the world's most pressing challenges. These individuals are looking for flexible, cross-cultural programmes that facilitate interdisciplinary problem solving, as well as a programme that emphasises strong decision-making, strategic communication, and leadership.

Course aim

After completion of this module, participants:

gain knowledge about the (historical) background, the perspectives and the limitations of the notion of transformation (s) in the context of a globalising world;
have the ability to explain how a transformations lenses can help address global challenges of human rights violation, security and peace-making, sustainability and equity; understand obstacles and opportunities for various organisations working on transformations in a globalising world; can understand and create a human rights-based approach to specific global challenges;
learn to apply transformation and systems change theories and discourse to global s challenges.

Fee info

EUR 750: Course + course materials + lunch
EUR 200: Housing fee (optional)

Register for this course
on course website