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Become a changemaker for sustainability

kick-off weekend

What to expect?

The semester-long rootlinks programme will equip you with valuable skills and experiences to become a changemaker for sustainability.

​As a rootlinker, you will engage in the rootlinks Learning Journey - a unique program teaching methods including Systemic Design and skills like Non-Violent Communication whilst supporting your personal growth and resilience as a changemaker. In an interdisciplinary team you will apply your learnings by working on a real-world sustainability challenge. During your time at rootlinks, you will also get the opportunity to grow your network and discover possible career paths in sustainability. Of course, all while having a fun semester and making new friends!

Why should you apply?

Skills & Experience

rootlinks is a unique opportunity to acquire skills and hands-on experience outside the standard university curriculum.


You will have the chance to exchange with inspiring people and build a network in sustainability.


By developing solutions to the sustainability challenge posed by the partner organisation, you will have real impact.


Next to all the learning and hard work, we will make sure that your time at rootlinks is fun and enjoyable.

The rootlinks Learning Journey

The rootlinks Learning Journey is a hands-on training programme that equips you with the skills and experiences to become a changemaker for sustainability. We've designed it together with our partners, such as the Transdisciplinarity Lab and the Student Project House at ETH Zurich.

The Learning Journey consists of two parallel tracks that complement the real-world sustainability challenge you will be working on in your team of 4-6 students.

In the first track, you will learn about Systemic Design, a method combining Systems Thinking and Human-Centered Design to understand and tackle complex sustainability problems. You will learn how to think in systems, thoroughly understand stakeholder needs and pain-points, assess the impact of proposed interventions, and prototype ideas.

The second track addresses your personal development and growth as an individual and as part of the rootlinks team. Here, you will engage in topics such as communication, personal values and resilience, or non-hierarchical teamwork.

The two tracks of the Learning Journey will be delivered through workshops, talks, problem-based learning and mentoring sessions during the weeklinks (see below).

Time Commitment


The time commitment is 8 hours per week from 5th October to 22nd December 2021. This includes the weeklinks and your individual work on the Challenge within your team. In addition, there will be a kick-off weekend at a holiday house in Schönenberg ZH and a Glühwein evening to conclude our time together.

Throughout the 12 weeks of the programme, we will meet every Wednesday at 6 p.m. for the weeklinks. After an input, workshop or talk, you will have time to apply the learnings in your team, ask the speakers questions, or discuss with your coach until around 8:30 p.m. After that, we’ll enjoy the rest of the evening together with some food and drinks provided by us.

​How you spend the remaining 5 hours to work on the challenge during the rest of the week is up to you and your team.


Here is an overview of the important dates again:

  • Kick-off weekend in Schönenberg ZH: 2nd October, 9 a.m., to 3rd October, 5 p.m.

  • Weeklinks (weekly meeting at Student Project House in Zürich): every Wednesday from 5th October to 22nd December 2021, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with food and drinks afterwards

  • Final presentation and Glühwein night: Wednesday, 22nd of December evening from 6 p.m.


To make sure that you and your team can take the most out of the rootlinks Learning Journey, we ask you to keep all these dates free in your calendar!

Anquor: Students Q&A
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