University of Technology Sydney

94670 Project: Global Grand Challenges

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2021 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Transdisciplinary Innovation
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade and marks

Requisite(s): 94669 Project: Data-driven Design Challenges AND 94677c Technology Lab 3: Exchange and Influence AND 94679c Complexity and Sustainable Futures
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


In this subject students work on a project with global dimensions that is beyond the scope of individuals or single disciplines to address. Students work closely with stakeholders from a local business, non-profit, charity or community organisation, and use research principles to gain insights from a variety of perspectives on a complex scenario. Students work in teams to design methods and practices and incorporate technologies and data to model scenarios and create responses that can be prototyped. In doing so, the subject explores how global challenges can be tackled at a local level, and how to scale projects beyond local contexts to have wider impact.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

1. Bring together stakeholders with various needs and perspectives to inform the generation of ideas and technological solutions
2. Use persuasive techniques to communicate creative opportunities for addressing global challenges to stakeholders
3. Engage empathetically with stakeholders using a range of techniques to enable productive collaboration for the purpose of developing a response to challenges beyond the scope of individuals or single disciplines
4. Develop creative technological solutions to address conflicting interests and goals identified in complex systems
5. Explore technological options for local incremental contributions that provide opportunities for global impact

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject contributes specifically to the development of the following course intended learning outcomes:

  • Recognise problems, challenges and opportunities that require transdisciplinary practices and identify or assemble relevant teams to tackle those problems, challenges and opportunities (3.5)
  • Communicate confidently and with diplomacy to influence essential stakeholders or decision makers and to achieve impact (3.6)
  • Create environments to support inspiration and reflexivity so that inter- and transdisciplinary practices can develop and thrive (3.7)
  • Select, apply and evaluate various techniques and technologies for investigating and interpreting complex systems (4.2)
  • Exercise good judgment in knowing when to take a leadership role, and when to enable leadership by others to address community, organisational or cultural issues, challenges and opportunities through technological innovation (5.5)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject provides opportunities for you as a student to draw on diverse industry and community perspectives to solve a complex problem through self-directed and collaborative enquiry. You will identify and evaluate the role of different stakeholders in a global complex problem, and utilise your knowledge of technology and futuring approaches and methods to design and test the implementation of a technological solution into this system. As part of this, you will articulate your own agency in identifying and working with stakeholders of your choice. Finally, the subject challenges you to experiment with expressing and communicating different ways of examining the impact of a technological intervention on the global system and as a means of creating a desirable future for this global challenge.

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • Graduate Attribute 3 - Inter- and transdisciplinary practices (Course Intended Learning Outcomes 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7)
  • Graduate Attribute 4 - Resilient practices within complex systems (Course Intended Learning Outcome 4.2)
  • Graduate Attribute 5 - Imaginative and ethical citizenship (Course Intended Learning Outcome 5.5)

Teaching and learning strategies

Learning in this subject will be experiential and take place in active, collaborative, immersive and experiential environments, using inquiry-oriented learning strategies. Students will work with academics and industry/community mentors across a wide range of disciplines, undertaking a project as individuals and teams. Taking a creative and critical approach, students will generate and explore possibilities surrounding a complex global opportunity space. Students will be required to prepare for each class by completing pre-work, and this will then be practically applied in class in interactive seminars, tutorials and/or workshops. Students will be given formative feedback on their progress in the subject, both in class face-to-face (weekly) and on all assessment tasks (via Review).

Content (topics)

  • Leading change
  • Intra and trans-disciplinary dialogue
  • (Social) impact and scale – identifying patterns of interaction
  • Designing and evaluating responses to challenges
  • Reflexivity


Assessment task 1: Stakeholder Engagement


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1, 2 and 3

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

3.5, 3.6 and 3.7

Type: Presentation
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 15%

Assessment task 2: Grand Challenge


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

3, 4 and 5

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

3.7, 4.2 and 5.5

Type: Project
Groupwork: Group, group and individually assessed
Weight: 60%

Assessment task 3: Building a Foundation for Change


This task addresses the following subject learning objectives:

1 and 4

This assessment task contributes to the development of course intended learning outcome(s):

3.6 and 3.7

Type: Report
Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%

Minimum requirements

Students must attempt each assessment task and achieve an overall pass mark in order to pass this subject.

Late penalties apply to all assessment tasks as outlined in the FTDiFYI student booklet. Please consult this booklet for other useful information including Special Consideration, Plagiarism, Extension, and Student Support Services.

A minimum of 80% of attendance of classes (as outlined in the timetable) is required.

Recommended texts

No required texts. Readings and other resources will be provied online.