Dean's Master Class: 'Sustainability'

September 28 (Thursday) 2017

Event information

ECTS: PhD candidates will receive 2.5 ECTS credits if they have participated in four editions (please indicate your previous sessions in the comment section of the enrolment form)
Number of session: 1
Hours per session: 4


  • This master class is exclusively for PhD candidates of the Graduate School.
  • Consult our enrolment policy for more information.

Telephone: +31 (0)10 40 82607

September 28 (Thursday) 2017
12.15-17.00 (lunch included)
EUR Woudestein campus Rotterdam (directions) Van der Goot building, room M3-03 (Aberdeen)

The Dean’s Award for Multidisciplinary Excellence was awarded to Gijs Custers (Sociology), Meg Perry-Duxbury (Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management) and Satya Maia Patchineelam (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies).

The upcoming edition of the Dean's Master Class will focus on the research theme 'Sustainability'. Graduate School Dean Professor Liesbet van Zoonen has again chosen a theme which cuts across disciplines and asked three distinguished scholars, from three academic fields, to present their research on the theme. The speakers and their respective disciplines are:

  • Assistant Professor Mariangela Lavanga (Arts and Culture Studies)
  • Professor Derk Loorbach (Dutch Research Institute For Transitions, DRIFT)
  • Assistant Professor Peter Scholten (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, IHS)

The master class is a highly interactive event, consisting of a combination of presentations, discussions and assignments. During the afternoon, PhD candidates will work in groups towards presenting a draft research proposal on 'Sustainability'. The best proposal will be awarded 'The Dame'; the Dean’s Award for Multidisciplinary Excellence.


  • 12.15 – 12.45 walk-in lunch
  • 12.45 – 13.00 opening
  • 13.00 – 14.00 presentations
  • 14.00 – 15.00 speed dating with the speakers
    Q&A session in groups
  • 15.00 – 16.30 ideas factory
    Participants, (first individually, then in groups) work on ideas for a research proposal
  • 16.30 – 17.00 presentations research proposals
    Two members of each group presents the proposal to be reviewed by the speakers. The best proposals will be awarded the 'Dean's Award for Multidisciplinary Excellence' (DAME).
  • > 17.00 drinks


Dean's Master Class: 'Sustainability'

Assistant Professor Mariangela Lavanga

Department of Arts and Culture Studies

Mariangela Lavanga is assistant professor in Cultural Economics at the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies. Her expertise lies in the analysis of the interrelations between cultural/creative industries and cities. Mariangela focuses on fashion and design-oriented firms, their business and growth models, and internationalisation strategies; fashion and design fairs/events as intermediaries and temporary clusters.

Title presentation: 
Cultural and creative industries and sustainable development: insights from the fashion industry

The fashion industry has grown considerably into one of the world’s most important, but also the second most polluting industry in the world. The negative implications for the environment and human health are enormously high and cannot be ignored anymore. The Netherlands seems at the forefront of sustainable development and circular economy. Numerous Dutch-based civil-society organizations and consultancies have been very active in the last decade in helping companies and designers to go green while at the same time increasing consumer awareness about sustainability in the fashion industry. Drawing on our own research in the creative industries and urban regeneration, and more recently in the fashion industry, we aim to understand how culture can be regarded as a fundamental issue, even a precondition to be met on the path towards sustainable development.

Required reading: 

  • Throsby, D. (2017). Culturally sustainable development: theoretical concept or practical policy instrument?. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 23(2), 133-147.
    Available online
  • Brydges, T., M. Lavanga and L. von Gunten (2014) Entrepreneurship in the fashion industry: a case study of slow fashion businesses. In: A. Schramme, G. Hagoort and R. Kooyman (eds.) Beyond Frames. Dynamics between the creative industries, knowledge institutions and the urban context. Delft: Eburon Academic Press/University of Chicago Press. (pp. 93-79).
    Available online

Professor Derk Loorbach

Dutch Research Institute For Transitions (DRIFT)

Derk Loorbach is director of DRIFT and professor of Socio-economic Transitions at the Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB). Derk is one of the founders of the transition management approach as new form of governance for sustainable development. He has over one hundred publications in this area and has been involved as an action researcher in numerous transition processes with government, business, civil society and science. He is a frequently invited keynote speaker in and outside Europe.

Title presentation: 
Economic sustainability transitions and their governance

The research on sustainability transitions has developed deep insights into the mechanisms of fundamental, systemic change in society. It has shown that accelerated and large-scale change is possible, but also that there are many and diverse forms of resistance against such accelerated change. Taking the perspective of sustainability, transition research is concerned with both the question of how to overcome such resistance to change, what desired directions for such transitions are and how to influence these transitions to accelerate and guide them The presentation will highlight the insights in sustainability transitions illustrating this with empirical and action research on emerging alternative economies such as sharing, circular and social economy.

Required reading:
Loorbach, D., Frantzeskaki, N. & Avelino, F. (2017). Sustainability Transitions Research: Transforming Science and Practice for Societal Change. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 42:4.1–4.28.
Available online

    Assistant Professor Peter Scholten

    Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS)

    Peter Scholten is a governance and sustainability specialist with a background in Social and Political Sciences of the Environment. He holds a PhD in water governance and specialises in governance, integrated planning and leadership strategies in complex decision-making environments, specifically concerning water-related issues. He coordinates and lectures courses at IHS/Erasmus University and Radboud University Nijmegen and currently engages in the developing of international training modules on Sustainable Urban Water management.

    Title presentation: "Sustainability, a leadership perspective"
    The need for integrative approaches in the context of sustainability has been discussed by many scholars. In this presentation I would like to further investigate this issue from a governance perspective. Firstly we will have a look at a conceptualization of leadership and leadership functions, leading to a proposed research agenda for investigating the role of leadership and the specific functions related to that, in bringing about a more holistic and integrated approach to governance of urban resources and as such instigating a sustainable urban development.

    Required reading: 
    Scholten, P., Keskitalo, E.C.H. & Meijerink, S. (2015). Bottom-up initiatives toward climate change adaptation in cases in the Netherlands and the UK: a complexity leadership perspective. Environment and Planning, 47: 1-15.
    Available online