Utrecht University

Driving pan-university dialogue and action for inter- and trans-disciplinary research and education


Utrecht University





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Institutional Approach

Utrecht University's Pathways to Sustainability, one of the university’s ‘strategic themes’, acts as a driver and facilitator of inter- and transdisciplinary research and education for sustainability. Their main impetus is to spark new thought, action, solutions and pan-university dialogue by bringing together researchers across disciplines. They are structured according to several interdisciplinary thematic communities such as Future Food Utrecht, Critical Pathways, Sustainable Oceans, Energy in Transition, Sustainability Education and Engagement and Future Deltas. They also provide funding for sustainability research programs via seed funds and large-scale signature project funds, and host pan-university dialogues and events to promote the university’s culture of sustainability. Pathways publishes an evolving co-produced guide to transdisciplinary sustainability work, the Transdisciplinary Field Guide. The guide provides methods, resources, best practices and field stories to support transdisciplinary researchers at the university and beyond. Pathways also initiated this project, the Atlas of Universities for Sustainable Futures, as part of ongoing efforts to transform Utrecht University into a Sustainability University, as well as build global capacity for higher education transformation. Operationally, the university’s Sustainability Office operates a Green Office and multiple living labs on campus, and is responsible for the university’s sustainability campus management strategy, planning and execution.


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