Online International Bachelor & Master School

The next edition of CDE’s successful Online School on Sustainable Development for Bachelor’s and Master’s Students will take place in Winter 2025 from 23-31 January.

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Co-designing pathways for transformative change

Online International Winter School on Sustainable Development for Bachelor’s and Master’s Students

23 to 31 January 2025

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland


Achieving human well-being and eradicating poverty for all people on earth – while protecting our planet’s climate and biodiversity – will require transformative change. You can be a part of this change. But to help transform the world, we first need to understand the complex global challenges we face and our role in these. Join us at the 2025 International Winter School on Sustainable Development to deepen your understanding of these issues – through creative, interactive, and participatory learning.

Current global sustainability challenges are increasingly complex. Really understanding what’s at stake requires knowledge on systemic interactions and on competing claims by different actors. Science, thus, has a major role to play in informing negotiations and solutions to guide the societal transformations needed to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The purpose of this Winter School is to empower participants to act in the face of these challenges. In this nine-day online course, experienced sustainability researchers will highlight the most important development issues in their respective fields. These presentations will alternate with study time where participants can deepen their knowledge individually or in groups. Moreover, participants will form interdisciplinary teams in which they will co-design solutions to concrete sustainability challenges.

Structure of the Winter School

The course involves the following main elements:

  • Preparatory reading/activities prior to the course
  • Interactive thematic sessions with presentations by distinguished experts
  • Student projects in intercultural and interdisciplinary teams
  • Interactive Slack workspace and peer-to-peer exchange and learning
  • Presentation and discussion of student projects
  • Reflection on learnings for your bachelor/master studies

Learning outcomes and competences

The Winter School is designed to produce the following learning outcomes and competences:

Professional competences

  • You can explain the different concepts of sustainable development and are able to analyse and critically reflect on the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and the related trade-offs.
  • You understand the urgency of action and are able to explain different entry points for sustainability transformation – illustrated through different examples.
  • You understand the complex and dynamic society–nature interactions involved in sustainability transformations.
  • You have honed your methodological skills for tackling complex questions of sustainable development.
  • You are able to identify sustainability challenges in your own living environment and, together with others, you explore possible solutions and work out appropriate strategies.
  • You critically reflect on how your specific fields of study can contribute to sustainability transformation in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary contexts.

Social competences

  • You are able to communicate in an intercultural and interdisciplinary team, to argue clearly and comprehensibly, and to meet other students’ arguments and contributions with openness and curiosity.
  • You are able to perceive facts from different perspectives and deal with complex questions and problems.

Interpersonal competences

  • You are aware of global uncertainties, your perceptions, and your options for contributing to sustainability transformations, and you are empowered to initiate action.
  • You are able to develop positive visions of how your own living environment could be made more sustainable.