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Public Policy and Sustainability


Barreca M.

Course director

Frey M.

Course director

Meneguzzo M.

Course director


This course aims to develop students’ knowledge about Sustainability from historical and contemporary perspectives. The students get opportunities to analyze and identify sustainability dilemmas and understand current and future dynamics for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using a comprehensive multidisciplinary perspective on trends and hot topics on the global agenda. This approach aims to inspire students to reflect critically upon complex topics related to the broader discourse on sustainable development as a concept in research, policy discourses, policy documents, and educational practice. Last, the course aims to improve the students’ specialized knowledge about Sustainability in their research field.



Sustainable development goals

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and well-being
  • Quality education
  • Gender equality
  • Clean water and sanitation
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Indusrty, innovation and infrastracture
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • Climate action
  • Life below water
  • Life on land
  • Peace and justice strong institutions
  • Partnerships for the goals

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

The course is given through 7 lessons  (1 online in asynchronous mode) of 4 hours with the participation (in presence or online) of international guest speakers from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA): Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG), UN Global Compact – Network Italia and Switzerland, and pracademics organization such as International Institute of Administrative Science (IIAS) and African Local Governments Academy (ALGA) of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG Africa) as well as Swiss federal and cantonal speakers. During the class sessions, case studies analysis and group activities will also occur regularly; students are encouraged to engage with the guest speakers to ask and present their opinions on particular issues. Class participation is essential to develop a comprehensive overview of the course’s contents.

Examination information

The final evaluation will be determined: 10% Class participation, 20% Class presentation (group activity), and 70% Final individual paper.

Course material (slides, video, and readings) is available on the e-learning platform.