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National Sustainability Outreach Assessment Based on Human and Social Capital: The Case of Environmental Sciences in Switzerland

Author(s): Harald A. Mieg | Ralph Hansmann | Peter M. Frischknecht

Journal: Sustainability
ISSN 2071-1050

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 17;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: sustainability outreach | environmental sciences | human capital | social capital

This paper reports on a sustainability outreach study based on an assessment of human and social capital. The aim was to capture the national sustainability outreach of twenty years of Environmental Sciences education, centered at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. The study contained two lines of research, one being a human capital assessment with a survey among graduates from the years 1992 to 2005 (n = 542) and the other being a social capital analysis based on interviews with institutions that represent the Swiss social systems of economy, politics/public administration and civil society (20 institutions). Our analyses reveal several functional forms of both human capital (specialists, pioneers, leaders) and social capital (qualification profile, internalization, networks, standardization, professionalization) that trigger and channel sustainability outreach.
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