This is a discussion-based course dealing with the effects of technology on individuals, society and nature. It focuses on what could be done to create a more responsible technology process that addresses the needs of all stakeholders and at the same time minimizes the risks and harms of its implementation.
The course promotes a deep understanding of social and ecological responsibility by using a variety of alternative teaching methods. Participants will challenge the conundrum of sustainability, as a discipline, being either ignored or solely focused on technological solutions.
Interactive learning through group discussions and decision making will to establish a co-responsibility of the direction and learning outcomes. Students will be able to deal with complex social, political and economic interdependencies by considering different values and interests within a global perspective and their own culture.
Through several communication techniques, the class exercises encourage students to identify and map key aspects of the problems rather than just trying to solve them. This method responds to specific user needs in order to cooperatively discuss the role of technologies which are socially useful, locally adapted, durable and reparable.
This course acknowledges current Green Economy trends, and the UN Rio+20 debate, which show how there is a strong demand for technological innovations as a remedy for ecological destruction and as a pathway to poverty eradication.
Learning Goals and Syllabus
The participants will together analyze and evaluate the relations of technology, individuals, nature and society in order to:
- Understand different perspectives
- Work out a collective understanding based on values
- Develop own opinions
- Evaluate interdependencies and reach agreement on how to balance them
- Act accordingly
Reading week: August 9th - August 13th, 2021. Flexible, 5 hours preparatory work to be done on-demand.
Online course: August 16th – August 27th, 2021. Estimated session times are Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 2 pm CET for live lectures and group sessions, etc.
Please note that exact session times will be confirmed once registrations have closed (sessions will be scheduled according to the time zones of the registered course participants).
Should you have any questions regarding the course timetable, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org 
Please note this is a full-time, intensive course. Weeks 1 and 2 will involve approximately 30 hours of workload.
A detailed syllabus with information on the schedule will be made available to registered participants.
You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home university whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.
The course will consist of:
- Regular lectures (including guest-speakers)
- Building blocks organized by the lectures and the participants. Participants will individually create, conduct and finally document their own building blocks for further use
- Learning journals (to be kept by each participant)
Building blocks are study-elements developed by lecturers and students, which provide instructions for facilitating a 60 to 90 minutes course session. Building blocks will showcase multiple perspectives on complex topics, e.g., ethical codes, recycling, pre-implementation diagnostics, social businesses and cooperatives. Every building block uses a set of widespread teaching formats such as case studies, story-telling and station learning, as well as adaptations and combinations of known methods, such as learning cascades, advocatus diaboli, the triangular method, evaluation sculpture, educational games, challenges and more.
The idea behind this great variety of teaching methods is to create an environment that is participant-, group- and discourse-focused. It encourages participants to exchange ideas and opinions, learn from each other and be an active part in the co-creation of the course itself. Each participant will be responsible for their own learning experience, and that of the others.
This course is designed for current university students, working professionals and any individuals interesting in sustainability and learning about blue engineering.
The course also requires an interest in the reciprocal relations of technology, individuals, nature, society and democracy.
Participants from all fields and disciplines are welcome.
Prerequisites and Technical Requirements
We will ask participants to fulfill the following technical requirements:
- Fully functional device (laptop, tablet, PC)
- Stable internet connection
- Software: Zoom (App installed on desktop or over browser. Participants are requested to use their real name as zoom account name)
- Recommended: external headset for better sound quality
André Baier received a master degree in philosophy of norms from Universíté Rennes, France. He completed his studies at Technische Universität Berlin receiving a MA in philosophy. He actively participates in the development and implementation of Blue Engineering – Engineers with Social and Ecological Responsibility - since its beginning in 2009. As of 2012 he is lecturer for this course at Technische Universität Berlin.
Course fees for Blue Engineering are as follows:
Student: 720 Euro
Working professional/Non-student: 1120 Euro
The early bird discount is available for all participants until April 1st 2021.
Please note that students will be required to upload proof of their student status (student card/ enrollment information) during the registration process.