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Equipping Young People to Become Ethical Changemakers Academy Course Programme Autumn Semester 2021:
Looking Back While Moving Forward


What about something new? Closing ceremonies can sometimes become rather self-affirming and formal acts in academic life. However, it seems that these would be propitious moments of inspiration on the learning journey and its impact in real life. Thus it may be that Academy, keen on promoting ethics, empowering people and building capacities, has to understand the closing ceremonies less as an act of acclamation for individual achievements, but more so as an invitation to transformative action. As part of this past semester's closing ceremony on 9 July 2021, Academy ventured into new avenues by proposing a panel conversation on the topic of "Transforming Lives through Ethics in Higher Education". This exchange between course participants and instructors offered enriching insights on how the various course contents stimulated both deeper reflection and commitment for action.

As Prof. Meera Baindur, instructor of Academy's brand new course on Interreligious Cooperation for Peace, from India expressed: "Knowledge is expanded when shared; and this is the particular gift from the course that it brought hope back, as a self-reflective act of ethics." The panel was a microcosmic reflection across the different course pathways with a genuine intergenerational exchange. Young professional and climate justice activist Josh Edem Dotse from Ghana underlined how his participation in the course on Responsible Leadership encouraged him to think of ways he can serve as a young changemaker in his context, by continuing to pursue the objective of ethical leadership embracing the values of integrity, professionalism and respect for diversity.

The course programme seen through the lenses of both course participants and instructors is a dual-way learning experience: the instructors aim at ‘landing in the hearts of students' with their capacity to translate complex theories and concepts into a framework of application. In the corporate world, for example, social responsibility can become an important instrument to enhance livelihoods and thus to contribute to societal change. Prof. José Antonio David from Argentina, who co-conducted with Prof. Divya Singh of South Africa, this semester's course on CSR and Sustainable Development, brought to mind that sustainability is not only about "what planet we leave for future generations, but also what kind of generation do we leave for the planet."

A transforming education is one which is not self-serving, but nurtures acquiring and sharing knowledge about the ethical core undergirding human relationships and human relations with the environment. Transforming lives through ethics is thus a true educational task for students and teachers. It requires openness, empathy and the disposition to "open yourself and make connections with people across cultures and religions," as Gyöngyi Maszu, course participant from Hungary affirmed.

Ethics offers a framework of thinking and acting that allows to imagine a better world supported by the hope that through the bridges built by the responsible and ethically conscious changemakers of today, a new tomorrow may emerge. Academy prides itself to have such a vibrant learning community providing ample examples for narratives of people's transformation. This semester's five story competition laureates have demonstrated this vividly. From advocacy for climate justice to student-centered leadership in higher education institutions, a values-driven education appears as a strong motivational basis for effecting change in one's own context.

Enriched by these narratives of transformation, Academy is looking back while moving forward with gratitude and confidence. Knowledge is indeed expanded when shared, and the invitation is extended to all to do so through the course offer for the autumn semester 2021:

Cyber Ethics – Starting 18 October 2021
Ethics in Higher Education for Teaching Professionals (officially benchmarked by ECCTIS, May 2021) – Starting 20 September 2021
Ethics in Higher Education for Administrative Professionals – Starting 20 September 2021
Interreligious Cooperation for Peace (Cultural Studies) –  Starting 18 October 2021

Do you want to become an ethical changemaker? We are looking forward to being able to celebrate your transformational story at our next academic event. Join us by registering to one of our autumn semester courses: and get 10% off the certification track with the early bird discount.   


Amélé Adamavi-Aho Ekué
Academic Dean,