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Universiteit Leiden

Climate LeadershipEmpower, Engage, Exceed

Emily Watson
Jonas Trumpa
Quinty Frankvoort


We created this redesign – in the form of a new honours course – because we saw both a gap in existing honours programmes on sustainability and climate change, highlighted by a stakeholder – Ivar Maas – as well as a problem and lack of analysis in leaders and their ways of tackling the problem of climate change. With the guidance of our primary stakeholder and ideas taken from seminars and lectures given by experts in education, we designed a new course manual for the relevant teachers and lecturers to interpret and teach as a course in the next semester. Through working collaboratively, we collated this information and these ideas into a final most viable product (MVP). This includes the relevance of the course, an ideal module structure, a justification of the dual focus of the course, an idea of the experts wished to be included, and an interesting and un-standard assessment method, including a self-reflective assignment for the course. Overall, this course manual is a dynamic and interpretable manifesto for an innovative course, and we hope to highlight and educate both how to repair the climate, and teach students how to analyse, interpret, and exceed existing leadership methods to become the true climate leaders for the future.


The challenge posed within education lies in the monotony and ‘un-innovation’ of standardardized educational systems, assessments and didactics. Below you will find the minimum viable product, in the form of a new honours course manual, which will contain all the relevant features required for the redesign.


Please click here to access the course manual.


Throughout the course manual, we have reasoning behind all decisions made, as seen with the references. In addition to this, it is important to acknowledge once again the contributions and help from our main stakeholder – Ivar Maas – who has been instrumental throughout the process. We must include his part to play in the justification for this honours course, as he also helped us define the problem in society, and directed us throughout the creation of the manual and with more ideas. 

To finally highlight the perspectives we used from the rebuilding education course, we list three ideas that we found extremely interesting and useful, and additionally repurposed with regard to our minimum viable project. These were: 

  • The fact of standardised testing as a key cause of the increased pandemic of ADHD in the United States and as a reflection of the factory-based economy of the Industrial Revolution (Wayne, 2011). We implemented a new and creative assessment method to rethink this process, and create further motivation and collaborativeness in the students taking this course. This also relates to another aspect of the Rebuilding Education course, given by Professor Dr Nienke van Atteveldt, on behalf of the ISSE group of UNESCO, talking about the need for a new style of assessment (unesco 2022). 
  • Reflection methods are useful in many forms of education (Follow Your Sun), which we repurposed in our honours course manual to record the interests and ideas of students, with the aim of increasing their self-awareness. 
  • The influence of student to peer relationships in teaching, and the idea that a positive and motivational learning environment is manifested through positive relationships between both students and other students, as well as teachers and students (Furrer, Skinner and Pitzer 2014). We hope to have included this when discussing the idea of mentor sessions between the lecturers and the students in the class, and with the open discussion format of the seminars.


Densten, I., & Gray, J. H. (2001). Leadership Development and Reflection: What Is the Connection? International Journal of Educational Management.

Furrer, S. P. (2014). The Influence of Teacher and Peer Relationships on Engagement. National Society for The Study of Education, 113-114.

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem-Based Learning: What and How Do Students Learn. Educational Psychology Review.