My teaching at JLU is predominantly in German, although many courses build on previous teaching I have done in English at universities in the UK and France or as part of international capacity building programmes (e.g. in South East Asia). The courses range from theoretically grounded and critical management courses via more practice-oriented courses with opportunities for students to gain experience outside the classroom (e.g. during company visits or in role plays) to service learning seminars in which I collaborate with civil society groups and movements such as the economy for the common good.
Sustainability management and reporting (Master)
In this course, I address the theoretical foundations of sustainability management, including the implicit assumptions underlying theoretical-conceptual perspectives and the implications of these perspectives for management practice and research. Students are also provided with the competencies necessary to understand, critically analyse and evaluate management and business practices in the agrifood sector. This includes strategic and operational approaches to sustainable business management as well as practical experience and knowledge of sustainability management concepts and tools (with a particular focus on sustainability accounting, measurement and reporting). A key objective is to understand why "conventional" performance measurement and accountability is no longer sufficient for managers and other corporate actors in the face of increasing societal demands for social accountability, transparency and responsibility. Hence, we address contemporary debates about true costs of food, reporting and management frameworks such as the the global reporting initiatives or the corporate sustainability reporting directive and concepts such as the economy for the common good.
Sustainability, transformation and organisation (Master)
This course is a learning offer for students to reflect on the complexity of sustainable food systems and the role that agricultural and food companies as well as other economic, societal and institutional actors play within them. Kristina Gruber, Martina Keller and I have designed the course so that students can gain a differentiated understanding of approaches to transforming our food system and of appropriate organisational design and ways for producing goods and services in the agri-food sector that contribute to sustainable development and help to build resilient value chains and regional production networks. Based on frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and various sustainability strategies at national and regional level, students are familiarised with the management of technical and social innovations, the design tasks of transformation processes, multi-level perspectives, and collective and community-based forms of producing healthy food. The role of companies as structural policy actors and current discourses on companies and ownership ("Purpose Ownership") are also reflected upon.
Food business in society (Master)
This course is dedicated to corporate practices and discourses on social responsibility in the agri-food industry from different theoretical perspectives. The aim of the course, which I offer together with Sophie von Redecker, is for students to be able to critically engage with current research on the sustainable food economy, to value complementary or contrasting perspectives, and to recognise how questioning normative ways of looking at the agriculture and food economy opens up new and critical perspectives and demands and encourages a different form of responsibility. The course familiarises students from different disciplinary backgrounds with social science ways of working and enables them to both work with scientific publications and acquire an intensive reading methodology as well as to reconstruct theories and concepts in their argumentative structure and relate them to new subject areas. We combine work with the texts with an in-depth examination of selected research methods useful for understanding the social role of the food industry, applied to examples and for developing research designs.
Economy for the Common Good (Master)
This learning offer is intended both to create a practical learning offer for students and to support the regional ECG (Economy for the Common Good) movement in the state of Hesse. Building on a course in which students learn about the concepts of sustainable management, reporting and accounting, the service learning seminar aims to deepen the knowledge and skills for shaping a common good-oriented economy. In close cooperation with the regional ECG groups, students work in small groups to support businesses in preparing common good balance sheets and developing common good reports. We have evaluated the first experiences from the service learning seminar in order to give recommendations for the successful design of learning processes that result from the manifold cooperation of actors involved (see "writing"). During the pandemic, I had used an adapted format for the seminar with Johanna Stöhr. In cooperation with the ECG regional group Kassel and Lahn-Eder we carried out the "DasTuWas! Semester - Gemeinwohl säen" (TheDoSomething! Semester - Sowing the Common Good).
Organic control and certification (Bachelor)
This course is composed of two comprehensive e-learning units and an intensive one-week block seminar with short lectures, field trips, (real and virtual) company visits and exercises on topics of organic control and certification. I am teaching this course together with Dr Jochen Neuendorff, the founder and head of "Gesellschaft für Ressourcenschutz" (GfRS) which is one of the organic inspection bodies in Germany. The e-learning units, developed by gfrs, are integrated within the overall design of the course and successful participation allows for joining the block course. In class, student receive input on the history of organic agriculture by Prof em Jürgen Heß, the chairman of the board of director of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Germany as well as on the role of the organic control system and related institutions such as the control authorities at federal state level. Organic inspectors, representatives of organic food associations and organic farmers then provide an experimental learning environment in which students familiarise themselves with the processes and challenges of organic inspection as well as necessary competencies and skills for organic inspectors.
Sustainable gastronomy and event management (Bachelor)
Kristina Gruber, Martina Keller and I jointly offer this course on sustainable gastronomy and event management for Bachelor students. Together with students, we reflect on the importance and potential of sustainable food approaches and trends for gastronomy and event management (esp. event catering). The aim of the course is for students to understand the connections between regional and global food systems, value chains, sustainability and health and to be able to understand sustainability issues in strategic and operational management in various catering businesses and gastronomy management and to design events sustainably. Topics include integrative and cooperative business models along the food value chain, production and organisational planning in catering businesses as well as changing corporate and network structures in the food sector and their significance for the catering business. The course also familiarises students with methods for measuring, evaluating and controlling sustainability issues in catering and event management including food waste and wastage, climate and environmental accounting, labelling, public tendering, certification, logistics, and supplier structure.