This project (2020-1-SE01-KA203-077872) has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


University of Limerick/LIT
Web Site
Syllabus, Course material
Thematic Area
Multi-disciplinary , Social Sciences and Humanities
Factual description
Please provide a description of around 300 words.

This project is aimed at 1st year students in University of Limerick largely studying courses in Humanities. The teaching project develops over one semester and requires participants to work together in groups. The project is based on using the methodology of Problem Based Learning (PBL) and is facilitated by Dr. Chris Mc Inerney and colleagues.

Up to 2021 this project was a cross-institutional project between LIT and Ul and was conducted in person in the form of a marketplace of ideas. This year the project has moved completely on-line.

Phases of the project:

Phase I: Students are introduced to the fictitious LULITMI which has a profile created for it based on a developing country with variable resources and access to the outside world. The scenario painted for the students relates to the challenge of creating a sustainable country in terms of its social/environmental and economic decisions. In addressing these issues it is underpinned by a focus on democracy and the creation of administrative systems and institutions which support a democratic system.

Phase 2: Students are asked to research a specific scenario and the associated SDG’s and to identify a solution to the problem of sustainability for LULITMI. They must present their solution in the form of a Website that they will create and also present their solution to a team of ‘elders’ who will debate their proposed solution with them. The ‘elders’ are provided by an external civil society organization and this brings a real world reality to the exercise.
Relevance in complex systems
Students are expected to work together to create a solution for a complex scenario.

They are required to research solutions and at the same time learn about the SDG’s and the challenges of implementation.

Students also have to address the democratic and administrative context within which their solutions are located

It is a framework that is sustained over a semester allowing for development of ideas and understanding over a period of time.

It is an ideal introduction for 1st years to the language of Sustainability and the SDG’s as they launch into their course.

Strong points
The scenario created allows for further development

The introduction of the SDG’s and their complexity at the commencement of the students’ career.

It has harnessed the capacity of the tools of online teaching: Blogs, websites, breakout teams to facilitate group work and learning in a virtual teaching environment.
Transferability potential
This framework and tools can be used for different scenarios, it is a tool that can accommodate increasing levels of complexity if being used for students e.g. at Masters level.