"It's easy to say we should have more sustainability -- but how do we achieve this? This is the central problem students are forced to grapple with in their Global Challenge projects. Many students start with a strong opinion about what the end goal should be: stop deforestation in palm oil production; reduce plastic packaging in food distribution, … etc. The structure of the project forces students to take a step back from their opinions about what should be done, in order to understand why it hadn't yet been achieved. Is it because we are missing scientific solutions? Are the key political and economic players opposed to change? Is there a lack of awareness amongst citizens or consumers? Through this synthesis of perspectives, the students often come to more nuanced conclusions about pathways for meaningful incremental changes towards the end goal."

- Sarah Rosenberg, Teaching Assistant for the Global Challenge project in GEST-S-204 Economic and Social Development

"GEST-S-3002 was fascinating (…). For the course, I had to immerse myself in reports from organisations in the energy sector and get to grips with the concepts, market developments, innovations and key arguments. Beyond the intellectual exercise of structuring and synthesising a huge amount of information, I found it exciting to learn about the future of energy and the associated challenges. Sustainable development will affect many (if not all) sectors so it is crucial that we learn about it during our studies."

- Marine (student in the BA in Business Engineering)

“The Global Challenge Project allowed me to apply the tools I had learned during my classes at Solvay. Our group decided to tackle the problem of public transport in Brussels from several different perspectives, i.e. economic, social, political. This allowed us to adopt a more critical stance towards the solutions we were proposing. For instance, it was crucial to first understand the tax regime for company cars in Belgium before even evaluating the potential for a change in mindsets from private to public transport."

- Tom (student in the BA in Business Engineering)

“There is a lot of talk about sustainable development but the information that we have and the public debate about the challenges and policy options are often confusing. The SciTech course really helped me to learn more about the different energy sources and the various challenges and technological issues associated with each one. We are the decision-makers of tomorrow and so it is essential that we develop a scientifically-grounded, neutral understanding of these technologies.”

- Alessia (student in the BA in Business Engineering)

"Through the Sustainable Development @SBS-EM initiative, I was able to meet the majority of the professors teaching in the BA in Business Engineering and to explore their course content and teaching approach in depth. Under normal circumstances this kind of opportunity is really rare. Working together towards a common goal allows us to make connections between the basic concepts in chemistry and the courses that come later in the BA programme. We also used a common assignment between the chemistry and physics courses in the first year to encourage students to see the connections between these courses and to raise their awareness of sustainable development challenges."

- Laurence Rongy, Professor of Chemistry in the BA in Business Engineering

"As a social psychologist it is my job to think about the health and well-being of individuals, and thus to consider how our societal structures and organisational frameworks have an impact on people’s sense of inclusion, the meaning that they derive from their work, and the place that work has in the larger scheme of things. It is my pleasure to share with my colleagues from a variety of disciplines the questions that desperately need addressing in a world that is becoming increasingly complex. This project provides a voice for the concerns that many of us have, and allows us to educate and nurture our future (business) leaders to enable them to become more aware of the unique challenges that they will face. This project does not only have educational value for our students, but also for us as staff."

 - Pinar Celik, Professor of Psychology of work in the BA in Business Engineering

Professor Philippe Emplit shares his experience about integrating sustainable development into his applied physics course (in French):

Updated on March 22, 2021