Cross-cutting issues

CDE conducts interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research on sustainable transformation processes and offers corresponding courses at the bachelor, master, doctoral, and postgraduate levels.

The University of Bern has tasked CDE with anchoring sustainability in research and teaching across the entire university. One of its aims is to promote the integration of sustainable development in all disciplines of the University of Bern, and to make corresponding material accessible to university members and the general public.

CDE has an advisory role in the Commission for Sustainable Development of the University of Bern. It is also responsible for new acquisitions for the Sustainable Development Library. And it represents the University of Bern in project management for the Sustainability Day of Bern’s institutions of higher education. Finally, CDE is responsible for organizing the Bernese Award for Environmental Research.

Operationally, CDE is guided by the University of Bern’s Strategy 2030. It strives to handle its financial resources, staff, and the environment with care. Among other things, CDE maintains travel guidelines to reduce CO2 emissions.

Education for Sustainable Development 
Sustainability Day 
Bernese Award for Environmental Research

CDE is committed to equal opportunities for all its staff and students, regardless of their social or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or other personal characteristics. We provide researchers with working conditions that make it possible to combine scientific work with family commitments. In addition, we make active use of funding instruments and initiatives to support young scientists in their career development and women in particular in their publication activities. We also emphasize the exchange and transfer of experience and knowledge between older and younger staff.

Equal opportunities at the University of Bern
Work-life balance

As part of the University of Bern’s Digitalization Strategy 2030, CDE contributes to the digital transformation in research and teaching as well as in its operations.

In teaching and continuing education, we emphasize the targeted expansion of digital forms of teaching, development of blended learning formats, and imparting digital skills. This includes being aware of the opportunities and challenges of using artificial intelligence (AI).

AI plays an increasingly crucial role in CDE’s research projects, especially in meta-analyses including processing of large volumes of literature, scenario modelling in the context of participatory processes, programming of apps, and analysis of spatial data (machine learning). Additionally, in the field of geographic information systems, digital spatial tools are used to promote land governance. Finally, we also depend on digital tools to promote methodological and didactic innovation in research, teaching, and science communication.

Building on the experience of the COPERNICUS Alliance 2020 online conference, the leadership team of the conference and CDE researchers have developed guidelines for preparing, implementing, and assessing virtual conferences. CDE has also produced the guide “Digital Tools for Transdisciplinary and Transformative Research and Teaching”, addressing issues of online participation and inclusion, as well as the impact of the digital environment on communication.

Digitalization Strategy 2030 of the University of Bern (in German) 

CDE promotes quality assurance and development (QAD) systematically and in diverse ways, in line with the guidelines of the University of Bern. Its internal teams regularly address and further develop the quality requirements for research, teaching, continuing education, and operations. Implementation of the university’s performance mandates is periodically reviewed together with the Executive Board of the University of Bern and assessed at the end of each four-year period. CDE is also a member of the QAD commission of the Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences.

Quality strategy of the University of Bern
Quality assurance of the Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences (in German)