Applications are closed for the spring semester 2022. Subscribe instead to get notified when applications open for the next program!

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 together with a partner organization. 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.

For one thing, 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.


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


These three main topics “Challenge work”, “System Thinking” and “Personal Development” are the foundation of the Learning Journey and will attend you during the semester. They will be delivered through workshops, talks, problem-based learning and mentoring sessions during the weeklinks (see below).

Time Commitment

The time commitment is around 8 hours per week during the semester (dates see below). This includes the weeklinks (which are weekly workshops) and your individual work on the challenge within your team. In addition, there will be a kick-off weekend at the beginning of the programme at a holiday house, which will take place on the 12th and 13th of march 2022. In the middle of the program just after the easter holidays, there will be a “Reflection day” on the 24th of April.


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: 12. – 13. March 2022

  • Weeklinks (weekly meeting at the Student Project House in Zürich): every Wednesday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with food and drinks afterwards. First Weeklink on Wednesday, 16th march 2022.

  • Reflection Day: Sunday 24th of April 2022

  • Final presentation: Wednesday, 25th of May 2022


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!

Applications are closed for the spring semester 2022. Subscribe instead to get notified when applications open for the next program!