The objective of the Cycle of Studies in Ecology and Environment is to train “sustainability managers“, where, the meaning of “manager” will not only be limited to the entrepreneurial field, but will also aim at adopting a broader context that clings itself to the true meaning of the word “manager”, which refers to the action of “managing”, “governing” and “planning” sustainability. Subsequent to the serious ecological crises, including the climatic ones that humanity is going through, sustainability must now be interpreted in a “proactive” key; for this reason, the term is now a more complex concept than it was in the past, and therefore requires extensive understanding in different disciplinary sectors, facing the dynamics that characterize contemporaneity both at the macro level (States, supranational institutions, intergovernmental organizations …), and at the micro level (communities, groups, associations, movements, civil society organizations, private, social and public companies …).
The Cycle of Studies takes up and develops the field of Environmental and Ecological Studies, availing itself of a continuous and structured interaction between scientific, environmental/ecological, humanistic and social science training. The scientific activity of the Cycle of Studies has, in fact, an academic structure articulated in the disciplinary sectors of the ecological-environmental, legal, economic-social and ethical-philosophical fields that interact in a way capable of generating that unity of knowledge in the distinction and respecting its multiple, correlated and converging expressions. An approach based on interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity is therefore adopted; the latter in particular is very well suited to the analysis of sustainability.
As indicated by the UNESCO, it is necessary, through interdisciplinarity to integrate awareness and methods of different disciplines using a synthesis of approaches; interdisciplinarity concerns collaborations between academic disciplines or methods of research for new applications, new analysis or the creation of entirely new disciplines. With transdisciplinarity, on the other hand, the intention is to unite interdisciplinarity with a participatory approach; research paradigms involve different actors (stakeholders) as part of the process towards a common goal.
The course of study is also characterized by an accentuated international dimension, hence the expression of a UNESCO Chair on the Future of Sustainability Education, established at the Lateran University on 7 October 2021 by the Director General of UNESCO, Mrs. Audrey Azoulay. The Chair desired by UNESCO, unique in its kind – in fact, that concerns education in sustainability – has the goal of educating and training the younger generations in integral ecological responsibility and sustainability through advanced activities and programs of inter-university and transdisciplinary research and study.
In pursuing and promoting awareness (environmental studies), competence (environmental skills) and research (environmental thinking and governance), the Cycle of Studies aims to educate and train professionals capable of “managing”, “governing” and “planning” sustainability. In particular, we intend to work for an education capable of:
The programme of study intends to give support to those who are committed to cooperation for the development and care of the environment, offering a broader and more complex meaning of ecology which, starting from the custody of the common home, is linked to progress sciences, the relationship between different cultures, the processes of building peace, cooperation and development, through which to rediscover and reread the fundamental principles of social life such as responsibility, mutual respect, solidarity, equity, sharing of common good, subsidiarity, focusing on the education, training and preparation of the younger generations.
The Cycle of Studies intends to focus attention on four professional areas:
It aims to train the following professional profiles:
Sector Managers in ecology and the environment, with reference to integral human development, justice and peace (also in ecclesiastical and religious territorial structures, as well as movements and groups of Christian inspiration and the promotion of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue), developing capacity in both research and environmental design in the natural environment, and the analysis and monitoring of environmental systems and processes managed by human beings, in the view of sustainability, resilience and prevention, for the purpose of improving the quality of the natural and cultural environment.
Sustainability experts and Project Managers in the private and public sectors, also with managerial or entrepreneurial functions, with particular expertise (with regards to graduates in the Master’s classes) in the field of productive reconversions aimed at environmental rebalancing of ecological business, the design and analysis of environmental investments, the recovery and management of the natural environment, the assessment of the impact – including new technologies – on complex organizations and on the territory and the environment, of activities related to education, naturalistic and environmental communication, the dissemination of environmental issues and naturalistic knowledge.