Faculty of Sustainability

What is sustainable development?

In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development (the so-called Brundtland Commission) defined the concept of sustainable development as follows:

  • Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

“Development” implies process. “Sustainable Development”, then, can be understood as a co-evolutionary process between human systems and the natural environment. In essence, it is the process of change in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are in harmony, and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.

By preserving the basic principles of sustainable development as defined by the Brundtland Commission, sustainability research and teaching can contribute to shaping this evolutionary process.

Mission

It is the mission of the Faculty of Sustainability at Leuphana University to inspire and promote a just and sustainable future. We aim to provide students, professors and the community the competencies and opportunities to transform society towards sustainability at all levels. To this end, we seek to conduct excellent, internationally recognized, problem-oriented inter- and transdisciplinary research and teaching within the field of sustainability science.

Research Philosophy

The distinctive character of the research at Leuphana rests in essence on its clear sustainability orientation and transdisciplinarity, as well as on its balance between the humanities and the natural sciences. Across the seven Institutes in the Faculty of Sustainability, professors, students, researchers and staff work together to combine strong disciplinary expertise with transdisciplinary, solution-oriented research.

Teaching Philosophy

At Leuphana University, sustainability education aims to teach and integrate key competencies that include problem-solving skills and the ability to collaborate with experts and stakeholders. Incorporating active learning-teaching-research settings, and the opportunity for international learning experience, students can have a positive impact on the world throughout and beyond their academic learning.

How can we shape a sustainable society?

If we wish for a secure, vibrant, healthy future for generations to come – a sustainable society – how do we achieve this? We are at a critical point in our history. Society at all levels requires nothing short of a fundamental transformation to meet the challenges of biodiversity loss, food security, energy demand, health, social cohesion, climate change, clean water and consumption. Universities in general, and sustainability education in particular, can essentially contribute to this transformation. Welcome to Leuphana University’s Faculty of Sustainability. Leuphana is a new type of university, uniquely designed to address critical social and environmental challenges, and help to move society towards sustainability.