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Workshop Report

POLAND: AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow

Organizer: Adrian Strzałkowski

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The following is a report summary written by Adrian: 

“Sustainable development at AGH – sharing ideas” – that was the name of the workshop organized within the global  happening Pyramid 2012, which gathered a group of 12 students and lecturers from AGH University of Science and Technology in Cracow on March 8th.

Based on the assumption that every modern university should implement principles of sustainable development into its own organizational structures, participants attempted to analyze the current state and propose positive changes to their Alma Mater. The event was patronized by the Rector of AGH and supported by the Sendzimir Foundation.

The workshop began with a short speech of prof. Jan W. Dobrowolski, who presented a Polish input into sustainable development theory with a reference to the pioneering concepts of Walery Goetel, a former AGH’s Rector between 1945 to 1951.

The working part of the workshop was a friendly exchange of thoughts carried out according to ISIS methodology. Both the situation at the University and at the Student’s Campus were taken into account.

Although the overall status quo was found to be good,  following areas that need improvement the most were identified:

  • uneconomical and unsustainable energy consumption and municipal waste disposal at the students’ campus
  • inefficient way of exchanging information and operating the administrative issues at the University

The range of discussed factors was very broad. Even the biodiversity in academic areas was not passed over. What’s interesting,  it turned out that the at the AGH you can find many species of birds.

Generated ideas and innovations will be presented to the authorities of the University. They include:

  1. Campaign “Benefit from being sustainable” – competition between dormitories and between faculties or departments based on:
    • electricity and energy savings
    • quantities of wastes collected selectively

    The winners could get discounts for accommodation in dormitories, free sport activities tickets, additional grants.

    Expected results: Increasing the amount of waste collected selectively, reducing energy consumption, improving the image of the University and its campus to be more modern, greater environmental awareness

  2.  

  3. To create a unit within the University responsible for offering the students to companies (and vice versa) to conduct researches and finance them (mainly for the purpose of diploma thesis)
    Expected results: increasing cooperation with industry, making graduates more attractive to employers.
  4.  

  5. Students ID cards could be used as passes for a gym and swimming pool – every student has a monthly free assets to use (proportional to grades)
    Expected results: increasing physical activity of students
  6.  

  7. Implement finally the virtual dean’s office – a portal which will save much time for both students and University’s workers – used for efficient information sharing (announcement, results in studies, getting a promotion, registration etc.)
    Expected results: obtaining an efficient and modern way of exchanging information, saving time

There were much more practical ideas, not included here. Participants jointly agreed with the statement that it is worth attempting to improve the surrounding reality under the far-reaching postulates of sustainable development.

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