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Harnessing the power of individuals and collectives against climate change is covered in a series of five two-hour interactive sessions in November that aim to help people answer the question ‘What can I do?’ Becoming active against human-induced climate change – like the dangerous heatwaves, wildfires and intense weather events that appear in the headlines every week – has captured the world’s attention. Now, the Positive Change Initiative at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) with the support of the Design Impact Transition platform has devised a pilot series, Climate & Ecological Literacy to Action workshop, to show how individuals and teams can be effective in their actions for reducing carbon emissions.

The series will happen every Thursday in November, and it offers tools, resources and steps for high-impact actions to reduce carbon emissions. Previous knowledge of climate change education or ecology is not needed – the workshops start with the basics:

  • Understanding greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon cycle
  • How to mitigate carbon emissions
  • The benefit of carbon sinks
  • Why biodiversity and harmonious ecosystems matter

These basics develop into a step-by-step coaching session to strengthen the power of individuals – alone and collectively – to activate the transitions to net zero. They provide positive choices and spark action.

The series is endorsed by the Erasmus Sustainability Liaison Network and is facilitated by five instructors from different EUR schools. Each instructor offers their wealth of understanding based on their research and teaching of these topics, to guide participants through self-discovery. Each session contains core elements designed by the United Nations PRME Working Group: Climate Change and the Environment.

Why climate and ecological literacy is important

Recent scientific news states that six out of nine planetary boundaries have been breached. Dr Steve Kennedy of RSM’s department of Business-Society Management tells, “Earth system science continually provides updates on how our activity is pushing us beyond a safe space for humanity, like this article explains. It punctuates a need for dialogue and action. This literacy workshop properly presents focus and emphasis. Our grand societal challenges are heavily interlinked and require solutions understanding of these interrelations. This is no greater exemplified than by the need to address climate change and biodiversity loss hand-in-hand. These two issues have a clear stand-out importance for action as they each have their own individual potential to drive transformations to how the Earth System functions if not brought back to a safe operating space.”

Joey Johannsen, project lead, says, “Erasmus University Rotterdam has declared a climate and environmental urgency. We are in a race against time and need to take steps towards further action alongside our daily commitments. Many people feel helpless and therefore turn a blind eye to the emerging catastrophe instead of taking action. Every member of our community has an area of passion – may it be travel, food, fashion, energy, health, entertainment, digitization, construction or finance. We know what sparks us to do something when it is important. This workshop provides insight and high-impact approaches to carbon emission reductions, biodiversity support and ecosystem harmonisation. At the completion of the workshop, you design a realistic and actionable plan with a team in your area of expertise. It’s both learning and doing.”

Registration opens on 28 September and is free of charge for the first 300 EUR employees and students in this pilot workshop. Registration closes 27 October at 17:30.

Certification is available for a nominal processing fee to participants who desire to demonstrate their understanding of a high-impact personal change and group action by submitting a proposal. This application process will be explained and assisted during the workshop.

The EUR Sustainability Program is a supporter of this workshop series. For more information contact Joey Johannsen, Climate & Ecological Literacy to Action Project Lead at

More information

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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