The course “Economy for the Common Good in the agricultural and food industry” was accepted to participate in the specialist program 2020 “LEHREn – Das Bündnis für Hochschullehre” (alliance for university teaching).

The Toepfer Foundation selected the team of Prof. Dr. Christian Herzig, Johanna Stöhr and the coordinator of the Service Learning Center of the University of Kassel, Dr. Imke-Marie Badur, to participate in this special program with their teaching project about the Economy for the Common Good.

The students of this seminar “Service Learning about the Economy for the Common Good” will create Common Good Reports and Balance Sheets together with companies and other organizations from Kassel, Germany.

They are accompanied and supported by certified consultants and a teaching team from the university department. They conduct several company visits in small groups and are accompanied by the ECG consultant. They learn about the theoretical background of the ECG and are introduced to the respective subject areas in courses and prepared for discussions with organizational decision-makers. At the end, the results are presented in a final presentation and handed over to the company in the form of a draft report.

The project seminar has the character of a service learning module (students perform a “service to society”, with a common good orientation), and all participants act as multipliers of the common good idea and sustainability issues. The teaching methods, teaching support and increased integration of reflection are intended to support and strengthen the development of competencies in the sense of education for sustainable development.

This year’s focus of the Network of Excellence for University Teaching, which is co-financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Volkswagen Foundation, among others, is teaching and learning sustainability and social transformation.

A total of 18 lecturers from seven German universities were selected for the continuing education and experience exchange program.

The Alfred Toepfer Foundation, the Joachim Herz Foundation, the NORDMETALL Foundation, the Donors’ Association of German Foundations and the Volkswagen Foundation have already established Teaching – The Alliance for University Teaching for the time period 2012 to 2016 in order to provide further training for those involved in teaching development, to bring them into contact with each other and to support transfer. Exchange formats have been tested and further developed with accompanying scientific research. For the period 2017 to 2020, the program received substantial funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the cooperation partners and is thus jointly funded by the private and public sectors.