Climate change, depleting natural resources, pollution and urbanization pose some of the greatest challenges in the history of humankind. Good solutions are needed now! These so-called wicked problems are so complex that they need actors from all levels of our society working together. Wicked problems are turned into wicked solutions only by strong collaboration between companies, universities, cities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). This means that future problem-solvers need to know how to work in the middle ground between the business, research and decision-making sectors. On course it is time to put the knowledge learned from books into practice by solving real life challenges related to sustainability issues. The challenges on the course are given by real companies, who want to make a positive impact with their business.

Much of today’s work consists of working in and leading multidisciplinary projects. However, practical project management courses and company collaborations are non-existent in many university studies. course combines problem- and project-based learning methods with sustainability issues, to let students learn the most critical project management skills while gaining valuable working-life experience. At the same time students learn valuable future skills such as tolerating uncertainties and conflicts and balancing with the knowledge learned from the literature and the frame given by the company.

This course is ideally taken after other sustainability courses so that the students already have some basic knowledge of the complexity of sustainability issues. This course offers a practical way to use that knowledge in real life as well as learn new skills in planning and executing sustainability projects. Students work in multi-disciplinary teams, each team dedicated to one sustainability project. They get to experience how it feels like to use their knowledge to make a positive impact on the world.
Study time
14.03.2022 - 06.05.2022
The scope of education
Main instructor language
Form of study
Online studies

LAB University of Applied Sciences, online Campus



75€ (vat 0%)

Course schedule will be published by 31.12.2021 LAB onlineschedule, course LA00BU68-3005

Overarching learning goal is being able to mitigate and solve sustainability problems. It comprises of five key competencies to be developed and assessed during the course:

1. Systems thinking competence:
- Having completed the course, the student is able to understand structure and dynamics of complex systems related to solving sustainability challenges in a real-life project.
-He/she can describe given sustainability challenges from multiple perspectives.

2. Anticipatory competence:
-After the course, the student is able to anticipate possible and/or sustainable futures related to solving practical sustainability challenges.
- He/she can apply his/her knowledge in order to predict possible outcomes of sustainability projects and compare those with alternative scenarios.
- He/she is able to manage expectations and anticipated results of projects.

3. Normative competence:
- Having completed the course the student is able to differentiate, justify, and apply values and goals for sustainability.
- He/she can approach sustainability challenges from a normative perspective and recognize the different values guiding the project at hand.

4. Strategic competence:
- Having completed the course, the student is able to create transition and intervention strategies to enact change.
- He/she understands the basic principles of project management and can plan and lead a project from beginning to end.
- He/she feels comfortable using different project management tools and understands the basics of working with companies and other stakeholders.
- He/she is able to reflect on, and deal with, possible risks.

5. Interpersonal competence:
- After the course, the student has developed his/her communicative and collaborative skills.
- He/she is able to organize and manage working in a multi-disciplinary team of individuals.
- He/she understands the basics of projects’ internal and external communications.
- He/she can apply collaborative working methods in his/her work.
More about implementation
The course is in collaboration with Turku UAS, Helsinki University, Metropolia UAS and LAB UAS. The course has teachers and students from all of am. universities and from Bachelor and Master level. The course is fully virtual project course, where the project assignments are from the working life. The students will solve sustainability challenges from the working life commissioners.
A student has one or more of the following:

Courses from Environmental Engineering B.Sc. programme
Degree student position in Master in Sustainability programme
Exchange student in Environmental Engineering
Studies in Kiertotalousväylä
Studies on climate issues, sustainability, corporate responsibility
Open LAB University student with interest of sustainability implementation
Group size
Study materials
All material needed for the course can be found on the course online platform.
Anne-Marie Tuomala
Evaluation scale
Further information

Virtual course platform in platform. Project work in virtually in student teams. Live remote and recorded lecturers. Tutoring sessions conducted by tutor teachers in virtual meeting channels.

The course is available in BACHELOR'S level and MASTER'S level.


The places for Open UAS studies are allocated first registered, first served. Registration is always binding.

Registration link will be published here in January 2022.

Registration period
Terms of cancellation
If the registration is cancelled before the registration ends, there are no cancellation charges. If the registration is cancelled before the stated start date, a 50% cancellation charge applies. If the registration is cancelled after the course has started (or not cancelled at all), the full price will be charged. Cancellations must be made in writing,

Open UAS
avoinamkatlab [dot] fi