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Study information

Local-Global Innovation (Cornwall Research Seminar Series)

Module titleLocal-Global Innovation (Cornwall Research Seminar Series)
Module codeBEP3040
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Onna Van Den Broek ()

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Module description

We are facing critical sustainability challenges rooted in complex interrelations between social, economic, and ecological systems. As a result of globalization, these challenges often have a transnational aspect and require global coordination. In 2015, the United Nations (UN) adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a global agenda that is meant to provide a blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet called. Nevertheless, achieving sustainable development and finding solutions to these global challenges, calls for local action. This module will explore when and how local communities can be drivers for transformational change and tangibly impact global development goals


Module aims - intentions of the module

The objective of this module is two-fold. First, you will delve into real-life local innovation projects that aim to contribute to sustainable development. You will hear from experts active in academia, non-profit organisations, companies, and politics about how they deal with regional socio-ecological sustainability issues through their work. Based on these conversations, you will develop a digital impact story, such as a podcast, in groups. Second, you will analyse the different theoretical angles that conceptualize the local context of sustainability and sustainable development and how change can be achieved through bottom-up approaches. You will ask questions ranging from “How are global ideas implemented locally? How are innovation projects embedded in their local context?” to “How do workers mobilize their local identity and what does this mean for companies’ social license to operate? What is the role of imagination and creativity in creating local realities?”. You will connect these ideas by producing a written text.


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. describe the breadth of Cornish innovation projects (and partnership) aiming to contribute to sustainable development and understand the barriers they face in doing so ;
  • 2. synthesise interdisciplinary research and non-academic resources on how local innovation projects can reimagine the status quo and create the world we want;
  • 3. evaluate the impact of local innovation projects by a wide range of stakeholders on achieving global sustainability goals targeting different issues (e.g., wellbeing, climate change, poverty).

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. devise and sustain a logical and reasoned argument with sound, convincing conclusions;
  • 5. critically analyse resources and case studies by interpreting, relating, and evaluating their relevance and importance;
  • 6. analyse and evaluate the interests (and power) of different stakeholders in sustainable development and connect this to outcomes and impacts as well as the inclusion (and exclusion) of specific groups of people, topics, and policy types.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. craft an interesting and novel human impact story that brings information to life;
  • 8. communicate this story for an intended audience through digital technology, for example by producing a podcast episode;
  • 9. successfully navigate working in groups, where everyone has their own role responsibilities, and engage in groups with an external actor.

Syllabus plan

Seminar based structure with guest lectures. Topics range from wellbeing and poverty to climate change, food security, circular production and consumption, and environmental policymaking. We take different lenses in approaching these topics, for example stakeholder salience, cross-sector partnerships, local embeddedness, localization, and social identity. Guest speakers come from  innovative projects that aim to overcome sustainability challenges. The convenor provides a full programme of each academic year's topics/speakers prior to the start of the module.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 21Face-to-face seminars, workshops, and guest speakers.
Guided Independent Study129Additional research, reading and preparation for module assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion and Q&As during face-to-face seminars and workshopsOngoing throughout the module1-9Oral feedback
Essay outline200 words1-6Oral feedback
Proposal for podcastN/A1-3, 6-9Written feedback
Discussion and Q&As during face-to-face seminars and workshopsOngoing throughout the module1-9Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay502000 words1-6Written and Verbal feedback from tutor
Podcast3030 minutes podcast episode – in groups of 4-5.1-3, 6-9Written and Verbal feedback from tutor
Reflective writing201200 words (150 words per week)1-3, 5-6, 7Written and Verbal feedback from tutor

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay (50%)Essay (1500 words) (50%)1-6July/August Reassessment Period
Podcast (30%)Podcast (30%), Individual podcast (10 minutes)1-3, 6-9July/August Reassessment Period
Reflective writing (20%)Reflective writing (20%), Reflective writing (2000 words)1-3, 5-6, 7July/August Reassessment Period

Re-assessment notes

A student if deferred via a single component will be reassessed in that component only.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core resources:

(1) Sustainable Development
UN Development Programme. 2016 “Local Action for the Global Goal”. Available via:
UN. 2022. “Bringing data to life”. Available via:
Films for Cornwall Climate Care. Available via:

(2) Local Innovation Projects for Sustainable Development
Hopkins, R. (2019). From What Is to What If: Unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want. Chelsea Green Publishing.
Ledwith, M. (2020). Community development: A critical approach. Policy Press.
Rasche, A., Morsing, M., Moon, J., & Kourula, A. (Eds.). (2023). Corporate Sustainability: Managing Responsible Business in a Globalised World (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781009118644

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

As provided and recommended during classes and via ELE

Key words search

Sustainability, Innovation, Community-action, Stakeholders, Cornwall

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date