University of Bremen: Learning sustainability in the virtual space

In 2016, the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) came into effect as part of the 2030 Agenda. They should serve to secure sustainable development on an economic, social and ecological level worldwide. Against this background, the “SDG-Bot” research project is developing a digital learning offering in which students can research together in the field of sustainability – especially the SDGs. They are to be supported by a digital assistant (bot) based on conversation-oriented artificial intelligence ( AI ). The project is part of the Sustainable Management department of Professor Georg Müller-Christ in cooperation with the HumanRoboLab(HRL) by Dr. Denis Pijetlovic from the Department of Economics.

“With the SDG bot, we aim to develop a virtual design space for teaching that is suitable for learning and researching sustainability and by developing practical solutions and new ideas for achieving the UN’s 17 sustainability goals. We are convinced that exploration projects such as SDG-BOT make sense in order to transform the economic system more in the direction of resource-oriented sustainability, ”says Müller-Christ.

Corona as a catalyst for digital co-creativity
The relevance of the research project for teaching becomes particularly clear with a view to the current corona measures: “Due to the corona crisis, virtual events and video chats have become the norm for students. We would like to go one step further with the SDG-BOT and offer students an immersive learning experience in which they can explore sustainability in a connected and co-creative way, ”says Pijetlovic.

Combining digitization and sustainability creates synergies
The research project SDG-BOT makes a contribution to the sustainability strategy of the University of Bremen and is at the same time an extension of the digital learning and teaching offer. In this way, valuable synergies will be created within the framework of the research project in order to advance the two key topics of sustainability and digitization more strongly.
The project is accompanied by the two academic employees Frederike Bursee and Carry Luise Zimmermann, who are working on their dissertations with AI-based digital assistants and the effect of immersive virtual experiences on learning processes. Your results offer an important aspect for the design of the virtual teaching and learning environment.

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