Ethical and local economies

“Ethical and local economies”, Masaryk University (since 2014)

  • Lecturers: Eva Fraňková and Nadia Johanisova
  • Program: elective graduate course, Masters in environmental studies; 5 ECTS
  • Duration: one semester =  13 weeks; 2 h/week, face-to-face with on-line support
  • Class size: approximately 20
  • Focus: The course:
    1. Contributes to new knowledge: insights into approaches and practices related to ecological economics and the social/solidarity economy, as well as deconstructing the mainstream economic concept of “consumers”;
    2. Develops new competencies, in relation to reading and evaluating Czech and English specialised texts, and strengthening critical thinking and the application of key principles;
    3. Influences attitudes; in the ability to analyse and practically apply community economic projects, and deliver realistic evaluations of such projects.
  • Novel approach: Guest lecturers – practitioners from Czech eco-social enterprises, including collaborative consumption projects such as community supported agriculture, are invited into the classroom; different techniques are used to stimulate discussions, group-work, and critical thinking; students are also asked to conduct a feasibility study of their own anticipated eco-social enterprise, with a focus on co-operation rather than competition.
  • Student evaluation: Students are evaluated on a system of points, including active participation in class; comments to reading materials; and a  final paper, which involves a case study on a community economic project, or a description of their own potential project.
  • Course evaluation: course is enthusiastically received by students, who appreciate the practical and interactive dimensions and the participation of guest lecturers / practitioners.
  • Challenge: fitting the literature in with the practical content of the course, and balancing the time for reading discussions and guest talks.