EAUC-S Conference 2018 - Living Labs Decade Highlight - University of Edinburgh

Tags: living labs | University of Edinburgh | EAUCS2018 | Decade Highlight

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The EAUC-Scotland 2018 Conference, A Decade of Progress, celebrated successes from the decade past, and visioned the decade ahead, to coincide with the EAUC-Scotland office’s 10 year anniversary.

Since 2008 Scotland has reached 2020 carbon reduction targets 6 years early, became one of the first nations to sign up to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and reached the stage where we can generate more than two-thirds of our electricity from renewable sources. Universities and colleges have been thriving in this landscape of sustainability progress over the past ten years.

Before the conference we asked the sector to vote for the sustainability projects that most inspired them over the last 10 years under 6 categories. Judging was undertaken to select a few of these projects to be showcased on the day. The projects highlighted are below:

Living Labs Decade Highlight

The University of Edinburgh's Case Studies in Sustainable Development module  was selected as the Decade Highlight for Living Labs. The presentation given on the day is available to download from the right of this page.

As part of an MSc-level course on sustainability, students work in groups on practical research topics, conducted collaboratively with the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. The Department provide project briefs on themes ranging from waste and recycling, to fair trade, to energy saving, to engaging researchers in sustainability. Students work over 11 weeks to research the problem and come up with solutions, liaising with the department to ensure the context has been fully understood. Participants gain research skills for future employment such as face to face meetings, interviews and online surveys. In the final week of the course, a half-day workshop is arranged where student groups present their research and recommendations to staff and students. Team members from the Social Responsibility and Sustainability department act as mentors throughout.

Examples of projects undertaken from students research include increasing use of free drinking water on campus to avoid plastic bottles, replacing plastic with glass in labs and reducing staff air travel to London.

The students receive real life project work experience and the Social Responsibility and Sustainability department receive a fresh pair of eyes to key issues they nee to tackle and new ideas that will benefit the university.

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EAUC-Scotland held their fifth conference on the 16th October 2018 at the City of Glasgow College. Find all resources from the Conference using the tag EAUCS2018, and find out more about the event on the Conference webpages.