How does Ecotopia work

The Portfolio Approach
Ecotopia students are involved in a portfolio approach throughout the three years they will need to complete the certification. This will involve giving an account of their experiences in the various phases of the program, as well as their personal analysis of what they have learned and the skills they have developed.

The portfolio will draw from their experience in their courses essays or research papers they have produced
This is not an exclusive list! Time is devoted to guiding students through this process of portfolio making, and they are guided to achieve a portfolio that helps them make sense of their experience, helps them define future goals and that they can be proud of!
  • the projects they have completed
  • their experience in working in international teams
  • their expertise in Europe and sustainability
  • their experience as an exchange student for a year
  • and any extra-curricular activity that they think is meaningful to include in their analysis of their Ecotopia journey
  • how their participation in Ecotopia impacts their vision for their academic, professional and general future 
Course 1
Course 1 focuses on the role of business in sustainability transition, allowing for an understanding of core challenges and solutions in the field of business sustainability, diving further into the most critical business sectors and focusing on a regenerative approach to the environmental sustainability of business in diverse social settings, framing the notions of sustainable consumption and production.

Aside from the course content, the concepts will be introduced through problem-based learning and analyzed through the prism of policy considerations, legal aspects, plus economic and practical implications.
At the end of the course, the students will be able to understand in great detail the concept of sustainable business conduct and advanced sustainable practices in a general and sector-specific context, its broader implications and legal and policy requirements for enacting changes to the existing linear practices for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Summer School 1
During the first week of July, all Ecotopia students will meet up in Ljubljana for a crash summer school hosted by the School of Economics and Business at the University of Ljubljana. 

This will be the occasion for students to meet in person for the first time, work on a common project linked with Course 1, give each other tips and tricks for their one-year-long mobility the following year and discover Slovenia!

The programme features masterclasses, workshops, visits and much more!

Course 2
The second course, European Challenges, focuses on some of the most pressing current challenges, including security, smart businesses, migration, trade tensions, agriculture and sustainability in the European context. The course enables an understanding of the underlying challenges and solutions to these challenges, taking into consideration intelligent solutions in the era of globalization.
The course is dedicated to providing knowledge about the relevant challenges faced by the European Union and which are real problems that directly affect society and the economy. In addition to course content, concepts will be introduced through problem-based learning and analyzed through policy considerations, legal aspects, plus economic and practical implications.
At the end of the course, students will be able to understand in detail the concept of European security, the phenomenon of migration and its implications for Europe, the opportunities of Europe in the context of trade tensions and agricultural sustainability objectives, and also what it means to gather information as part of the development of the business environment in the context of economic security of the European Union.
Project 1 "Exploring the Landscape of Sustainability: A Look at Actors and Their Impact"
Project 1 consists of a field research study in teams, exploring concrete responses to global and local challenges to sustainability. 
Project 1 is an opportunity for teams of students from diverse backgrounds to analyze the various actors working in the field of sustainability and their impact on environmental, social, and economic issues, drawing from the contents of courses 1 and 2. 
It is a way for students to do undergraduate research and develop transferable skills, including critical thinking, data collection, interviewing, communication, collaboration, planning, scheduling, report writing and findings presentation.
Course 3 (one of two options)
The "Glocal Challenges: Experiencing Various Viewpoints on Sustainability" course covers various topics related to the interplay between global and local perspectives on sustainability.

It includes units on cross-cultural differences in values and beliefs about sustainability, the relationship between sustainability and development, environmental sustainability, social sustainability, economic sustainability, global and local perspectives on sustainability, and integrating different perspectives on sustainability.

The course is designed to provide students with an interdisciplinary and integrated perspective on sustainability and to encourage them to engage in community-based and participatory approaches to sustainability.

Summer School 2 (one of two options)

The ESSEC Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Africa program is a 3-week intensive course for undergraduate students interested in African cultures and business perspectives.

The program is designed to give students key skills to understand the challenges of doing business in Africa and to provide them with opportunities to meet and interact with local experts, professionals, and entrepreneurs.

The programme will cover topics such as entrepreneurship and startups in Africa, African geopolitics, doing business in Africa, and artificial intelligence. It kicks off with an integration trek, which serves as an introduction to the country and culture and is a great exercise in team-building . The course will be taught in English, consist of 90 contact hours, and award 9 ECTS credits.

The teaching methods will include case studies, lectures and group work, and the course will be held at the ESSEC Africa Campus in Rabat, Morocco. Optional Arabic language classes are also available.

More information here: Summer School in Rabat, Morocco

Mobility: The exchange year (possible places, courses…)
Students will spend the second academic year of the program in a partner institution, where they will need to earn 60 ECTS.

This year is a conventional Erasmus+ exchange. The one-year exchange generates a full transcript of grades for all courses taken with grades.  Ecotopia partners mutually recognize the 60 ECTS earned in a partner institution. 
  • Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy
  • CY Cergy Paris University, Institute of Economics and Management, France
  • ESSEC Business School, CY Initiative of Excellence, France
  • Pompeu Fabra University, ESCI-UPF School of International Studies, Barcelona, Spain
  • University of Ljubljana, School of Economics and Business, Slovenia
  • Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania
  • Stellenbosch University, South Africa