Faculty of Economics & Business - Zagreb as a partner on the Erasmus+ project „Integrating Nature-Based Solutions into Higher Education against exploiting the transformative potential of Social Economy for a green and inclusive future" (SEgoesGreen)

The Agency for Mobility and EU Programs, based on the Decision on the allocation of financial support for project proposals within the Call for Project Proposals for 2022 for the Erasmus+ program (Key Activity 2 for the field of higher education), accepted the financing of the strategic partnership project in higher education under the name "Integrating Nature-Based Solutions into Higher Education against exploiting the transformative potential of Social Economy for a green and inclusive future" (acronym: SEgoesGreen). The Faculty of Economics of the University of Zagreb is a partner in the project, and the project leader is associate professor Ph.D. Zoran Wittine. A total of 6 partners from Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Poland and Portugal will participate in the project activities. Three partners are higher education institutions: Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb (HR), University of Macedonia (GR), Pedagogical University of Krakow (PL), while the remaining partners are organizations in the sector of small and medium enterprises and non-governmental organizations/associations focused on social, academic and entrepreneurial development.
The role of Social Economy (SE) in addressing climate change is increasingly recognized. According to the European Union SE Action Plan, Social Economy Entities (SEEs) have the proven capacity to reshape our future and lead to a green and more inclusive transformation. Yet, while the SE has indisputable assets to accelerate the Green Transition, this potential still remains under-exploited. SEEs report a great need for training and knowledge on how to identify and adopt greener practices and on the other hand, meaningful education for addressing climate change is still far from being a core curriculum component in SE university curricula. Existing education programs mainly focus on the theoretical concepts of environmental sustainability and climate change and follow a narrow educational approach that does not incorporate practical and experiential learning opportunities and thus fail to fully familiarize students with the environmental potential that SEEs carry. To address these challenges, SEgoesGreen Erasmus+ project will utilize the power of Nature- Based Solutions and employ eco-citizenship as an action-oriented pedagogy that will unlock students’ creativity, innovation and initiative to take action for driving solutions to climate change.
SEgoesGreen Erasmus+ project aims at designing an innovative and holistic educational programme that will offer university educators in Social Economy (SE) related fields all the necessary skills, methodologies and knowledge on how to successfully use Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) as educational tools to better exploit the environmental potential of the SE. Moreover, the Green SE curriculum that will be an integral part of this programme, aims to foster innovative educational methodologies moving from ‘learning about’ green transition to ‘learning for addressing green transition” through an action-oriented pedagogy that will empower the future generation of social entrepreneurs to take environmental actions within their communities. Ultimately, SEgoesGreen Erasmus+ project aspires to mainstream environmental education in SE university curricula through promoting NBS as a standard component in SE courses.

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