Changemaking Journeys


Are you interested in building better relationships for making a positive change in this world? Do you want to learn how to build relationships of care with yourself, the communities you are part of, and your environments? And do you want to understand why better relationships will help you making a change in this world?

Then engage in developing your own Changemaking Journeys!

In a world characterized by political radicalization, societal divide, and exploitation of humans and more-than-humans, nurturing relationships of care becomes key. The way we thought, shaped, and enacted relationships with each other, with our environments, and even with ourselves has created a world in which we value competition over collaboration, exploitation over empathy, and power-over instead of power-with. This way of organizing our societies perpetuates cycles of exploitation, marginalization, and conflict, hindering our abilities to address the grand challenges ahead. 

Addressing climate change, inequalities, or injustices is impossible in isolation. This can only be done by building relationships of care that cultivate empathy, understanding, and solidarity, fostering a sense of interconnectedness with one another and the environment. Through nurturing these relationships, we prioritize collective well-being over individual gain, laying the foundation for more equitable and sustainable societies. By acknowledging our interdependence and committing to acts of kindness and stewardship, we not only enhance the quality of our interactions but also create a ripple effect of positive change that resonates across communities and ecosystems.

In this course, we will focus on building better relationships of care with ourselves, with each other and with the communities and environments around us. We do so by offering you an experimental space in which we help you identify your own competencies and level of competencies and also in which competencies you want to focus on developing further.

The course is divided in three modules, covering topics around interpersonal leadership, self-awareness, and psychological flexibility (module 1), transformational leadership, collaboration and prosocial behavior (module 2), transformative action, stakeholder engagement and community co-design (module 3).

Module 1: Interpersonal leadership, self-awareness, and psychological flexibility which deals with personal qualities, values and behaviour, self-awareness and psychological flexibility. The module focuses on the you as an individual within your own environment. In this module, you mostly engage with ‘who you are’ and how you act within you environments, i.e. contributing to you intrapersonal or self-awareness competencies as well as your values-thinking competencies. You will reflect on and take responsibility for your own development by understanding your personality traits, core values, and desired areas for enhancement. In this module, you will develop the competencies on how to enhance the desired developments.  

Module 2: Transformational leadership, collaboration and prosocial behavior. The second module builds on module 1 by focusing on working sustainably and effectively in diverse teams. In this module, you mostly engage with how you are embedded in groups, how you work in groups and how groups collaborate with other groups to improve their ability to make a positive change in this world. You will learn about taking a leading role by defining group purposes and group dynamics, building a shared vision, and enhancing fairness, intrinsic motivation and effectiveness within and beyond teams. Non-violent, culture-sensitive communication will also be part of this module.

Module 3: Transformative action, stakeholder engagement and community co-design. The third module focuses on engaging with stakeholders and in community co-design. In this module, you will learn how to navigate complex interactions with different societal groups with different knowledges, values and worldviews (interpersonal competencies). You will explicitly build their learning experiences on the insights and reflection from module 1 and 2

How? Methods, pedagogies:

In this course, we will engage in a variety of teaching methods. Throughout the whole course, you will continuously engage in discussion and (self-)reflection under the supervision of trained facilitators. In addition, this course entails a strong flipped-classroom element, that is you will read or watch course materials to build a conceptual base that you can use in applied settings of you own group. Further, you will be asked to apply the insights from the materials and coaching sessions in daily life, in-house projects (e.g. when reflecting on prosocial behaviour in study groups), as well as in field-based projects (e.g. when collaborating with societal stakeholders to engage in community co-design).

For which results? Assessments, evaluations:

For this course, we use a competencies-based assessment, following the framework of key competencies in sustainability (Brundiers et al. 2021, Wiek et al. 2011). During the course, you will continuously collect evidence for your learning in a portfolio. In this portfolio, you can e.g. create their own dynamic learning agenda or audio-visual learning history and use feedback logs. In the assessment, we will then evaluate the written/recorded products in the portfolio and engage in dialogue-based assessment. The end results of the course is a pass/fail, as we will not grade personal development.


The program is open to all master students of the Department of SD. This includes the masters Energy Science, Innovation Sciences, Sustainable Business and Innovation, Sustainable Development, and Water Science and Management. Participation is voluntary. The program is 2.5 ECTS, which equals 75 hours of work over the whole academic year

When you participate in the program, we expect you to continue throughout the courses you decided on. Space might be limited, so we are looking for students who take program seriously.

If you are interested in this unique opportunity to broaden your own skillset, please send an e-mail to Kristina Bogner.


Ashoka. (n.d.). Changemaker skills. Retrieved 15.01.2024, from

Brundiers, K., Barth, M., Cebrián, G., Cohen, M., Diaz, L., Doucette-Remington, S., … & Zint, M. (2021). Key competencies in sustainability in higher education—toward an agreed-upon reference framework. Sustainability Science16, 13-29.

van Rijnsoever, F. J., Sitzler, S., & Baggen, Y. (2023). The change agent teaching model: Educating entrepreneurial leaders to help solve grand societal challenges. The International Journal of Management Education21(3), 100893.

Vervoort, J. M., Rutting, L., Kok, K., Hermans, F. L. P., Veldkamp, T., Bregt, A. K., & van Lammeren, R. (2012). Exploring dimensions, scales, and cross-scale dynamics from the perspectives of change agents in social–ecological systems. Ecology and Society, 17(4).

Wiek A, Withycombe L, Redman CL (2011) Key competencies in sustainability: a reference framework for academic program development. Sustain Sci 6(2):203–218. 5‑011‑0132‑6