Back ECOTOPIA, a genuinely innovative and visionary initiative
ECOTOPIA, a genuinely innovative and visionary initiative
ECOTOPIA is a collaborative action of seven EUTOPIA universities across Europe and its South African global partner that have come together to offer their Bachelor students an innovative and international education pathway in economics, management, finance, and business, focusing on sustainability.
At the beginning of 2023, their efforts finally paid off, and the team ECOTOPIA welcomed its first cohort of trainees. On top of their main degrees, these students will develop a set of skills going from sustainability enactment to teamwork in a European and international context. This semester, they will start with an introductory course on sustainability applied to business, management and economics by Prof. Lela Mélon (ESCI-UPF, Pompeu Fabra University-Barcelona), Prof. Dr Luciana Oranges Cezarino (University Ca'Foscari), and Ladeja Godina Kosir (Chair of European Circular Economy Stakeholder Platform, Founder and CEO of Circular Change, Slovenia), before meeting for the first time for an intensive summer school in Ljubljana in July 2023.
According to Toni Luna, vice-rector for Internationalization of the UPF, “Ecotopia is one of the first initiatives of the European University Eutopia to create shared academic certifications between six universities of the alliance and one of our international global partners. The aim is to add other universities in the future to this initiative that opens up an innovative university collaboration pathway using online and hybrid courses, intensive face-to-face summer programs, and other collaborations such as the EUTOPIA connected learning communities that foster cooperation and collaboration between professors and students from different countries."
"Opens up an innovative university collaboration pathway using online and hybrid courses, intensive face-to-face summer programs, and other collaborations such as the EUTOPIA connected learning communities that foster cooperation and collaboration between professors and students from different countries"
This ECOTOPIA certification offers students an exciting academic adventure, with the opportunity to develop a unique set of aptitudes in sustainability, teamwork, and international collaboration. The program will provide students with an unparalleled education in sustainable economics and equip them with the knowledge they need to create a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future.
Ecotopia was conceived as an intersection between economics, management, business, vision, and cooperation, with the explicit purpose of training students in an international environment. It aims to train enlightened citizens who confidently embrace their future careers and engagements in a globalised context. Ecotopia graduates will be highly skilled in economics, management, finance, or business. They will also show adaptability and an enduring taste for lifelong learning and cooperation. Fundamentally, Ecotopia graduates will be trained to embed sustainability in their projects and responses to challenges throughout their careers and lives as engaged citizens of the world.
For professor Albert Carreras, ESCI-UPF director and head of the team that has developed the program at ESCI-UPF jointly with UPF since the origins of the idea in 2019 , “Ecotopia is an exceptional opportunity both for students and the participating universities. For students, it is an accelerator in their learning process on how to manage some of the most vital challenges our societies face, and to do so from an international, cooperative perspective from the first year of their degree. For the universities, it is an unprecedented step forward to remove barriers to knowledge and to promote participation and diversity in the higher education space across Europe and beyond”.
The programme grants successful students a European certification besides their primary national or school degree, providing the participating students with the unique opportunity to work in international teams at the Bachelor level. Two summer schools, one in Ljubljana and one in Rabat (on the ESSEC Business School campus), complete the programme. The first works as an accelerator in creating the learning community; the second will focus on innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa.
For Professor Mathieu Martin, Institute of Economics and Management, CY Cergy Paris University, and one of the programme's architects, Ecotopia relies on the EUTOPIA alliance to offer students an international education pathway oriented towards sustainable development. "The economics departments and business schools involved will take advantage of the project to redesign their institutional collaboration. We want to build a European Master's degree in Economics by 2050, unique in its focus on global issues."
This dynamic is in line with the member institutions ambitions and European policies on societal transition. EUTOPIA is thus positioning itself as a serious player in the field of education for a sustainable future while empowering its students with the proficiency and dexterity essential for their careers as high-profile economics, management, finance, and business professionals.
Seven EUTOPIA partners participate today in ECOTOPIA:
- Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
- Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Department of Economics and Department of Management, Italy.
- CY Cergy Paris University, Institute of Economics and Management, France.
- ESSEC Business School, CY Initiative of Excellence, France.
- University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business, Slovenia.
- Pompeu Fabra University-Barcelona, ESCI (School of International Business), Spain.
- Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, South Africa.
SDG - Sustainable Development Goals:
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Institutional Communication and Promotion Unit