PINS9300 Sustainable Innovation: Interdisciplinary Research in Practice


Innovation is an essential part of developing sustainability. Society needs new thinking, new technology and alternative perspectives on value. This course provides candidates with a solid theoretical basis and the ability to design and implement research projects within sustainability (corporate sustainability, sustainable development, environmental management, transformation management and social entrepreneurship) and innovation (social innovation, technological innovation, innovative business models). The syllabus may be abbreviated and adapted to fit the interest participants of the course in cooperation with the supervisors.

The course will address the following, non-exclusive list of themes in Sustainability and innovation

  • Sustainability and innovation
  • Definitions and concepts
  • Professions, participation, and management of sustainable innovation

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the course, the candidates are expected to have gained the following learning outcomes (knowledge, skills, and general competence).


The candidate:

  • has deep understanding of theories, documents, concepts, and definitions within the area of sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship
  • has advanced knowledge of the nature of cultural, organizational, institutional, economic, and business based innovation for sustainability.
  • has a nuanced understanding of the multiple challenges in the development of innovative sustainable solutions for a fair society
  • has knowledge of professions and the role of professions in sustainable innovation.


The candidate:

  • has developed an ability to critically examine and challenge established thinking and solutions to ‘wicked’ and complex problems
  • can work and contribute efficiently in cross- and multidisciplinary teams concerning sustainable innovation
  • can apply a sustainable and policy relevant approach to scientific problem identification and development work.

General competence

The candidate:

  • can identify new, relevant research problems and challenge established knowledge and practice within sustainable innovation
  • can contribute to new, advanced knowledge and insight within the area of sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship based on scientific judgement and integrity
  • can communicate research and development work to society as well as through recognized academic channels such as scientific workshops, conferences and journals in the field of sustainable innovation

Teaching and learning methods

Seminars will be given in the format of discussions, lectures, and candidate presentations and reviews. Concrete examples, preferably from the candidates’ own PhD projects, will be used as a basis for discussing different perspectives and aspects of the course content.

Course requirements

Active participation in the seminars is necessary to adequately understand the course material and themes. Preparation and participation are therefore mandatory, and candidates are expected to attend all days of teaching and required to attend at least 80 percent of teaching days. In special cases of documented illness, the course leader may accept exceptions to this requirement. In these cases, lack of participation can be substituted with alternative arrangements such as active reading of the relevant syllabus literature.

Course requirements are assessed as confirmed or not confirmed. The course requirement must be completed and confirmed within the given deadline in order to have the right to submit a final essay.

The course requirements are:

  • A plenary presentation on a subject decided in collaboration with the course lecturer.
  • A prepared opposition to at least one other presentation.
  • 80 % attendance is required.


Confirmed participation in the course and accepted final essay.

  • Individual essay (4000-5000 words). The essay will discuss the most important theoretical aspects from the syllabus, with relevance for the candidate’s PhD project. Cover page, illustrations, and list of references come in addition.

Permitted exam materials and equipment

All examination support material is allowed as long as source reference and quotation technique requirements are applied.

Grading scale

Assessment is pass/ fail. If an essay is graded fail, the candidate has one opportunity to resubmit a revised essay within a given time-period.


The final essay is assessed by the course lecturer and one other examinator. External examinators will be used regularly. The assessment of the essay is based on the learning outcomes for the course.

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Date & Location

Date to be announced
Location: Oslo