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Vaardigheidsmodule: Designing Your Career as a Climate Change Maker


Dit vak wordt alleen in het Engels aangeboden.

Admission requirements

This course is an (extracurricular) Skills Module, open to students from all faculties. Advanced bachelor’s students (BA2 and up) can apply, as well as master’s students. Students will be selected based on their motivation.

Please note that the Skills Module, being an extracurricular course, cannot be used in the elective space of your regular programme.


Climate change, Transitions, Sustainability, Life design, Personal development, Job market preparation


Career development, Transition Management, Governance, Sustainability


Oral communication, Written communication, Societal awareness, Reflecting, Resilience

Admission requirements

This course is an extracurricular Skills Module aimed at Bachelor’s and/or Master’s students who want to make a difference in fighting climate change (or sustainability in broader terms) in their career. Admission will be based on motivation. As this is an extracurricular module, the credits cannot be used in your regular programme.


The transition towards a sustainable society is the grand challenge of our time. Anyone currently studying will therefore have the opportunity to make an important contribution in their career towards a sustainable future, as societies around the world will need millions of (climate) change makers in the coming decades. However, how do you know what would suit you, and where you can make a difference?

In this personal development class you will embark on a journey to become a climate change maker. You will learn more about
1) yourself and your talents,
2) what the ‘green job market’ looks like, and
3) how to view your role in the bigger scheme of societal transitions.
This is therefore, not a course to gain more knowledge about climate change itself. Instead, it is aimed at learning how to contribute to a more sustainable future.

The three goals are interwoven throughout the course. Through journaling, exercises in class and discussion in your peer group (guided by a peer mentor), you’ll get to know more about yourself. You’ll learn more about the green job market from a recruiter, and by engaging in conversations with people who already work in your field of interest. Finally, through reading and in-class discussions you’ll get a better understanding of how transitions work, and where you can make a contribution in the coming years or even decades. In the final portfolio you will reflect on everything that you have learned and on your role as change maker.

Disclaimer: This is a very personal course. While many students experience personal growth in life design courses, this course is not a substitute for professional mental health guidance. If you are struggling with mental health issues, please seek out professional help. You can also find additional support options on the Healthy University page of Leiden University.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • articulate your personal strengths, partially by using insights from outsiders;

  • envision three different life paths for the coming five years;

  • invite people for network conversations and conduct those in a mutually agreeable manner;

  • understand the different types of change makers, and be able to articulate what type you are yourself;

  • have an overview of what the ‘green job market’ looks like;

  • be able to analyse a chosen system in terms of transition dynamics and determine where you can make your contribution.

Programme and timetable

The sessions of this Skills Module will take place on Thursdays, from 17.15-19.00.

Session 1: 5 October (17.15-19.00)
The Start and the Journey: what is life design, getting to know your fellow students, and reflect on your work/love/health/play dashboard

Session 2: 12 October (17.15-19.00)
Odyssey Visions & Living LinkedIn: mapping out three possible futures and helping each other find interesting contacts

Session 3: 19 October (17.15-19.00)
Informational Interview training: learning how to have a fruitful interview with people who already have a green job

Session 4: 26 October (17.15-19.00)
Recruiter session: what kind of green jobs are out there and what skills do you need?

Session 5: 2 November (17.15-19.00)
Your strengths, energy patterns and problem statements: reflecting on your talents and what you might want to work on

Session 6: 9 November (17.15-19.00)
Dealing with obstacles: how to deal with eco-anxiety, perfectionism or fear of failure

Session 7: 23 November (17.15-19.00)
Transition dynamics 1: Embracing chaos and the X-curve

Session 8: 30 November (17.15 - 19.00)
Transition dynamics 2: Analysing transition dynamics in current day events

Session 9: 7 December (17.15 - 19.00)
Transition dynamics 3: Your role, change maker types and justice in transitions

Session 10: 14 December (17.15 - 19.00)
Final presentations: presenting your transition analysis and personal next steps


Lipsius building, room 2.27

Reading list

Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, Designing Your Life. How to build a well-lived, joyful life (edition doesn’t matter)

Other literature will be announced via Brightspace

Course load and teaching method

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • Class meetings: 10 x 2 hours = 20 hours

  • Preparation for class: 10 x 6 hours = 60 hours

  • Interviews: 3 x 6 hours = 18 hours

  • Personal reflection portfolio: 20 hours

  • Job market research: 4 hours

  • Transition analysis: 18 hours

Assessment methods

The assessment methods will be discussed during the first session.
Students can only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.
The class will be evaluated in a pass/fail manner.


Brightspace will be used in this course. Students will be enrolled to the Brightspace module by the organisation of the course.

Application process

Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 21 August 2023 up to and including Sunday 10 September 2023 23:59 through this link.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for this course. Your registration will be done centrally.


Dr. Bram Hoonhout (