Inhaltspezifische Aktionen

Virtual Academic Collaboration between Justus Liebig University Giessen (JLU) and The University of Sydney (USyd)

About the project


Third-party funding was initially acquired for the project from the German Academic Change Service (DAAD), which was important in the conception and design of the project. 

The collaboration in 2023 ultimately resulted in two interesting courses, which we would like to present in more detail below. These are the following Master's courses, offered in two Master’s programmes:

  • The course: “Dealing with Complexity for Sustainability Transitions”, taught within JLU’s Master’s Degree Programme on “Sustainable Transition
  • The courses: “Environmental Footprints and Input-Output Analysis” and “Life Cycle Analysis”, taught within USyd’s “Master of Sustainability”.

JLU’s course covered topics on complex systems and the SDGs (nexus & spillover effects), while the USyd’s courses dealt with value chain analyses. Both courses complemented each other thematically and intersected on the broad theme of sustainability. Through a series of activities, the project allowed for intercultural and academic exchanges between lecturers and students of Germany and Australia.

The collaborating academic staff was Dr. Ramona Teuber & Dr. Jorge Gómez-Paredes (JLU), and Dr. Arunima Malik & Dr. Amanda Irwin (USyd).


Project activities

The Project included:

The generation of a video-lecture series

as teaching material for blended and asynchronous teaching

(see a sample below)



The ideal of Sustainable Development / Sustainability       

This video introduces the notion behind the ideal of

“Sustainable Development” and “Sustainability”,

Including the different interpretations of these terms.

Principles, Goals and a brief history of Sustainable Development/Sustainability

This video provides an overview of main international meetings and influential publications

that have shaped the concepts of "Sustainable Development" and "Sustainability" and some

of their underlying principles.


*Other videos in this series are available to students only.

Introduction to complex systems

This video introduces the concept of complex

systems, including complex adaptive systems,

and social-ecological systems.

Causal loop diagrams

This video provides a basic understanding of a methodology commonly

used to draw and understand systems, including positive and negative 

feedback loops. 


*Other videos in this series are available to students only.



The development of teaching material

for learning about the complexities of

global trade and sustainability,

through gamification & role-play

A hybrid guest lecture on

“Quantifying Spillover Effects for Biodiversity”

given by Dr. Amanda Irwin (USyd) at JLU


A virtual workshop on

“SDG Nexus and Spillovers”

where students from both universities

shared their perspectives and interacted

A hybrid academic seminar on 

“The SDGs nexus across global value chains: Understanding the impact of international relations on sustainability”

A two-day event open to students and faculty from both universities, with the participation of: Professor Manfred Lenzen (USyd), Vivienne Reiner (USyd), Camille Mora (USyd), Asiyath Ibrahim (USyd), Pavlina Miteva-Bölter (JLU), Christoph Funk (JLU), Amanda Irwin (USyd), and Jorge Gómez-Paredes (JLU).


The setting of a virtual workspace for
asynchronous discussions and debates
between peers and lecturers & an open inter-university virtual community focused on discussing issues related to sustainability and the SDGs (including SDG-nexus and spillover effects), as basis for a thematic Community of Practice


To join the community, visit:


The project was generously funded by the International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) programme of the German Academic Change Service (DAAD), project ID 57681727.