934306 Negotiating change: Simulating an international conference for sustainable development

Lecture and seminar
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Probst, Lorenz , Sinzinger, Lena Sophie , Gruber, Wolfgang
Offered in
Wintersemester 2020/21
Languages of instruction


***Focus 2020/21: COVID-2019 effects on food security and the international response. Who is affected? To what extent? Who will pay? How much?***

Negotiate with other countries towards a joint agreement. Experience digital or face-to-face diplomacy - like the real diplomats do at the moment.

>> Please note: we want to create the best possible learning experience given the current situation. For most of the sessions, this will mean hybrid arrangements, i.e. a number of you can join, others may prefer to join online. We will discuss the arrangements in the preparation session!

The course is jointly organized with the Institute of International Development, University of Vienna. Participants come from University of Vienna, BOKU, bfi, Central European University. The conference will take place at the Vienna International Centre (UN Vienna) if health regulations allow.

Each year, the course focuses on a global ‘hot topic’ in sustainable development. The final outcome of the course is a resolution, negotiated and accepted in a 2-days conference at the UN headquarters Vienna.

Doing self-organized research, you relate the topic (environmental migration) to the socio-economic and agro-ecological background of a specific region (e.g. Haiti). Representing a region (e.g. Small Island States) and its interests, you have to develop suggestions for solutions to address the challenge. You will be supported by the trainers, and external experts from ministries, the UN, the International Organization for Migration, NGOs, etc.

Negotiating with other regional representatives (e.g. Russia), you experience the complexity of communication and nego tiation in a “realistic” situation.

Based on the negotiations, all student teams have to agree on a UN-resolution for addressing the challenge (e.g. environmental migration) in a general assembly.

Previous knowledge expected

Sufficient in English

Advantage: all courses at the Institute of International Development and the Centre for Development Research

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

# Describe a challenge in sustainable development applying historical socio-economic and agro-ecological categories.
# Hypothesize interests a specific region will have facing this development challenge and possible solution strategies.
#Based on the regions’ interests, construct a negotiation strategy to achieve international action towards addressing the development challenge.
#Debate solution strategies in an “assembly” setting with peers representing other regions. Guidance by lecturers and external trainers.
#Recognise drivers and constraints of successful communication for change. #Participate in a simulation of multi-stakeholder processes to experience strategic and communicative rationality.
#Summarize the complex system that constitutes negotiations in international development.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.