DECODE Sustainability aims at fostering departmental change to institutionalize SD at the academic unit levels (faculties, schools, and departments) and better contribute to its impact. This goal will be achieved by bringing together deans and others who are responsible for driving sustainable development at the management level of academic units in a dynamic and vibrant community dedicated to enhancing departmental contributions to SD. The community will take the form of a Deans Council under a “from deans, to deans” philosophy, in which peer-exchange and peer-learning are pillars, ultimately contributing to the continuity of the project. Additionally, a web-based platform will be created. The Platform will be the place where the Council’s activity and key project results (i.e. tools, online Empowerment Program) are made available to the target groups.
The “DECODE Toolkit” will consist of a collection of instruments and best practices to drive direct and indirect departmental contributions to sustainability through an entrepreneurial and engaged perspective. Both entrepreneurship and engagement comprise key skills and attitudes to foster a system change as it emerges from the individual, builds on collaborations and impacts the wider context. These innovative tools will be used to be the breeding ground to share knowledge, develop expertise and collaboration to design strategic roadmaps towards SD institutionalization in faculties, schools or departments.
The DECODE Impact Pathways and Impact Roadmaps Framework specify two major outputs: First is generic ways or “Pathways” that university departments can take when aiming to advance their contributions to sustainability. Second is a framework which outlines how department-specific Impact Roadmaps (based on Pathways) can be created, delineating the specific steps that will be taken by departments to promote positive change.
The DECODE Empowerment Program for Impact Roadmap Design will consist of a comprehensive set of training material geared at empowering deans and their representatives for sustainability to implement the DECODE toolkit in a structured way. This program will serve as a validation step of DECODE Impact Pathways and Roadmaps Framework before its adaptation to the online format.