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Sustainability Immersive Experience (In Progress)


A sustainability immersive experience is an educational program that concentrates on sustainability and its three dimensions: social, economic, and environment. The University of Illinois offers several opportunities for students to explore indepth solutions to major sustainability challenges.  Some examples include Study Abroad, Learning in Community courses, or internships that focus on sustainability.  Below is an example of an immersive program offered in the College of Business. We would be delighted to include additional opportunities.  Let us know about your program!

Students from the Sustainable Product and Market Development for Susistence Marketplaces class travel for immersion in the context and to conduct market research during part of the winter break.  The field trip has been conducted in Chennai and Bangalore, India.  Students observe households in urban and rural subsistence contexts, as well as retail and wholesale outlets.  Students interview low-literate, low-income individuals in urban and rural settings regarding product ideas for group projects.  Students also visit educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations engaged in the development of innovative programs and technologies for subsistence contexts.  The field trip geared to visiting the environment of the urban and rural poor requires considerable planning and rehearsal, and has been a transformative learning experience for the students.  Spring semester is spent converting concepts to workable prototypes, and developing manufacturing, marketing and business plans.



The 2015 iCAP suggested creating a summer program, with this concept: "5 to 10 students will be selected each year for a 10-week summer program to conduct full-time research under the supervision of a faculty member to develop the scientific skills most important to success in a professional career (designing a research problem/experiments, problem-solving, interpreting results, communicating one’s science to various audiences, working in a team). Students will conduct research on real-world problems related to sustainability at the campus level, in their communities or the national/global level. They will learn to apply various tools, such as life-cycle analysis, cost-benefit methods and impact analysis, to assess, evaluate and design sustainable approaches to meeting societal demands. Through this project and experiment-based learning approach, student teams will be able to address real problems facing the campus and work together to propose solution."

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Project Team

  • Primary Contact:

    Stephanie Lage


Project Location(s)

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