New title created to promote sustainability action lines
The renowned British economist Kate Raworth praised the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences community and Amsterdammers who attended her inauguration on Thursday. "In no other city do I see so many good initiatives emerging." Raworth, who gained international prominence with her doughtnut model for the economy, also said she was looking forward to 'transforming' the curriculum at the AUAS, starting at the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE).
Freek Rebel, Interim Dean of FBE, presented Raworth with a medallion that officially confirmed her appointment to Professor of Practice.
He described her as a 'rebellious economist, focused on exploring the economic mindset needed to face the social and environmental challenges of the 21st century'. He pledged to teach the 'doughnut way of thinking' and to make it the common foundation for education, research and culture in 2023.
In her new role at the AUAS, Raworth will serve as a strategic advisor to the Doughnut Hub. This is a place where students, lecturers and researchers, in collaboration with stakeholders in the Amsterdam area, will develop knowledge based on the principles of her work. In short, once economies flourish, they must find their limits between an ecological ceiling and a social foundation.
AUAS professor Lori Divito will chair the Doughnut Hub. She expects Raworth to be able to help the AUAS to find concrete ways to renew its education in the field of circular economics and shared value. The fundamental aim of this is to better prepare students to face the ecological and social problems of the 21st century.
"We want to offer them new principles, but that doesn't mean that traditional economic and management models no longer have a place in education," says Divito, who emphasises that she strives for a balanced perspective.
"So that our graduates who will soon enter the professional field - or start a business - not only know about sound financial management, but are also aware of the social and environmental context in which they operate and of their own influence on it".
The AUAS is aligning itself with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs provide concrete sustainability aims and a clear action-based approach for degree programmes, students and lecturers.
To concretise the SDGs within the AUAS, the university of applied sciences will focus on three lines of action: Sustainability, Digitisation and Diversity. These will guide the further development of research and education in the years ahead. The AUAS will appoint a Professor of Practice for each line of action. Although it’s common in international higher education, the Professor of Practice position is new to the Netherlands.
This communication was first published by AUAS on 23 January 2020.