Global Transformations and Experimentation - Track

Course code
Course fee (excl. housing)
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How can systemic drivers of global challenges be identified? What are transformations and how do they come about? How can different forms of experimentation - across multiple disciplines - and adaptive learning be used to achieve transformation? What does it take to design and implement an experimental adaptive learning agenda as an organization – public, private, or non-profit – and contribute toward transformation? This comprehensive, two-week Certificate Programme focuses on the development of competencies for contemporary global leaders working to tackle global challenges.

In today’s globalized world, the leader of tomorrow is someone who can navigate across boundaries and disciplines to bring about transformative solutions that address the underlying spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs): transforming our world. Today’s professionals communicate and engage with a range of individuals from different experiences and backgrounds than their own. In order to succeed and lead on addressing SDGs, professionals must acquire a fresh perspective on working towards transformative solutions, using the tools of experimentation and adaptive learning. This programme provides the very best for future global leaders tackling the most pressing issues of concern to the global community.

This two-week, comprehensive, in-depth Certificate Programme is offered by the Utrecht University’s Centre for Global Challenges (CfGC), a joint initiative of the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Law, Economics, and Governance. The Centre promotes interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation between Utrecht University researchers, its students, and societal stakeholders from across the globe. Our aim is to critically understand and confront in transformative ways those global challenges that intersect human rights, conflict & security, sustainability, and equity.

The Global Transformations and Experimentation Certificate Programme not only provides participants a broad vision that includes comparative and interdisciplinary education from global perspectives in order to achieve transformative solutions to today’s most pressing challenges, but it also focuses on cross-cultural leadership and interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation for real-world application.

The first week aims to generate a critical understanding of global challenges and the notion of transformations and systems change. It addresses questions such as: why are transformations necessary and helpful to address global challenges? How can a systems change perspective be used for transformations? It also develops an understanding of the different perspectives in which transformations are being approached, its commonalities, differences and best practices. It draws on a variety of disciplines such as global history, law, political science, sustainability transitions studies, science and technology studies and development economics. It begins by examining the notion of transformation in various discourses and connections with societal change and globalization, what do transformations imply from a systems perspective, and how transformations are understood and implemented in different organizations.

The second week aims to generate a deeper understanding of the why, the what, and the how experimentation and iterative learning toward transformation and systemic change: (1) why is this essential as we search for transformative solutions for addressing global challenges?; (2) what modes of experimentation and iterative learning can generate the insights necessary to address global challenges in transformative ways?; (3) what different evaluation methods are used to assess the impact of experiments; (4) how can we create the right enabling environments to nurture, manage, and sustain experimentation and iterative learning?

Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

Course director

Dr. Joseph Kassim

Target audience

The Global Transformations and Experimentation Certificate is designed for professionals in public-, international-, and non-profit organizations and soon-to-be graduates who would like to pursue additional studies in order to upgrade the skills and competencies to contribute to transformative solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges. These individuals are looking for flexible, cross-cultural programmes that facilitate interdisciplinary problem solving, as well as a programme that emphasises strong decision-making, strategic communication, and leadership.

Course aim

The aim of the certificate programme is to provide individuals with the skills to critically unpack systemic drivers of complex global challenges, identify the Global Transformations needed to confront these, and develop an organizational strategy based on experimentation and adaptive learning to contribute toward these transformations, and operating in a globalized setting with intercultural and transnational challenges.

Study load

Lectures, seminars, working groups and excursions; During both weeks: 6 hours teaching during 4 days. 1-2 hours reading per day.


Course fee:
Housing fee:

Housing through:

  • Utrecht Summer School


For this course you are required to upload the following documents when applying:

  • Motivation Letter
  • C.V.

More information

Dr. Joseph Kassim | E:


Application deadline: 17 June 2020