Leading Environmental Strategy & Innovation through Psychology

Designing Planet Centric Solutions with Curiosity and Creativity



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Course Level
ECTS credits
Course location(s)
Utrecht, The Netherlands


This course is designed to help you inspire clients and stakeholders in embracing sustainable innovation strategies. You'll learn to guide them through the change process, addressing emotions related to climate change and translating them into action using eco-emotions, coping, and climate change storytelling. You will also gain skills in assessing your client's climate relationships and dependencies, optimizing collective efforts to maximize the shift towards a more sustainable lifestyle according to which people genuinely desire to live.

Creating a sustainable society that people are keen to live in remains a persistent hurdle. Living modestly is ecologically essential, but people are unlikely to embrace such a lifestyle if it is framed solely as a survival necessity. The core of this dilemma is psychological. The question becomes how to rebrand and advocate for a sustainable lifestyle in a way that not only garners acceptance but also enthusiasm.

This course addresses these challenges by examining strategies for behavioural change, some of which are still in their infancy. The focus is on altering behaviours in a manner that ensures their longevity (sustainability) well beyond the duration of any initial interventions, and on broadening these changes to encompass new behaviours. Instances of such lasting and evolving behavioural changes are observed through the lens of the solutions list and put into tangible challenges that the participants choose to further design utilizing behavioural design methods and understanding the psychology behind environmental actions.

Many students have combined this course with 'The transition to a Circular Economy' (B53) and/or the course 'Applying Circular Economy in Product Innovation' (B32)'.

NB: This course is also part of the three-week track 'The full Perspective on Circular Economy'

Join us on this transformative journey to become agents of positive change for our planet.

Day to Day Documents

B31 Day to Day Leading Environmental Strategy & Innovation through Psychology.pdf


Anne-Marie Twigge MA;  Nicky Krete MA

Target audience

This course is intended for everybody who wants to know more about and/or play an active role in (helping organisations and/or clients and society) embracing sustainable innovation strategies.

A sufficient English language proficiency level is required (at least B1).

Aim of the course

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Critical Thinking: Develop deep insights into climate psychology (critically assessing emotional and behavioural aspects), enhance critical thinking by analyzing systems (critically evaluating political, economic, and social systems impacting environmental stewardship), and foster curiosity to challenge assumptions in understanding and addressing climate change.
  2. Creative Thinking: Harness a curiosity mindset to drive innovation in tackling climate challenges through unconventional ideas. The course introduces creative thinking with a focus on planet-centric design, aligning solutions with the planet's well-being.
  3. Strategic Vision: Develop a strategic vision encompassing long-term sustainability, systemic change, and client-centred strategies to drive lasting environmental solutions. Explore ways to disrupt and reshape these systems for long-term change and learn to align client concerns and desires with effective strategies, fostering a sense of purpose and opportunity.

In summary, this course is designed to enhance critical thinking by delving into the psychology and systems related to climate change, foster creative thinking through curiosity-driven problem solving, and cultivate a strategic vision for long-term sustainability and client-centred strategies. Participants will leave the course with a well-rounded skill set that equips them to address complex environmental challenges effectively.

Study load

Approximately 56 hours of lectures/field excursions + assignments (and self-study).


  • Course fee: €699.00
  • Included: Course + course materials
  • Housing fee: €200
  • Housing provider: Utrecht Summer School

The course fee presented applies to all students currently enrolled in a bachelor, master or PhD programme and to 'Fresh Alumni'.

If this applies to you and you therefore believe that you are eligible for this fee, please include this in your motivation when applying for this course.

If not, the professional fee of €875 is applicable, and will be invoiced and visible for you in your account once you are accepted to the course.

Please note: if you do not provide proof that you are currently enrolled in a bachelor, master or PhD programme or a  'Fresh Alumni', we will charge the ‘professional (higher) fee!

Additional information

The housing costs do not include a Utrecht Summer School sleeping bag. This is a separate product on the invoice. If you wish to bring your own bedding, please deselect or remove the sleeping bag from your order. In that case, do not forget to bring your own bed linen and pillow! In all cases, do bring your own towels, please.


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