Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Resource facts

  • Less than 5 students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • Internet connection necessary
  • English, German

Resource Description

Technological Progress(Resource ID: 80)

This building block discusses reducing the amount of effort (input, human work) and/or the amount of natural resources needed to achieve the same productive output, i.e. “technological progress.” The limited supply of natural resources has to be taken into consideration when discussing technological progress.

This building block is part of a six-block series from the SUSTAINICUM collection:

This building block presents alternatives to “technological progress.” “Technological progress” has long been understood only as the increase in labor productivity, in other words the increase in yield of applied human work- the limits of natural resources were not considered in this definition. The alternatives to this understanding of technological progress are based on the increase in resource productivity, in other words the increase in yields from a limited amount of a resource. Increasing labor productivity can be considered a technological advance as long as resource productivity grows enough to take into account the finite availability of natural resources.

Throughout the building block, the conditions under which progress in technological developments can be brought into harmony with natural limits are sought.

Suggested methods for applying this building block, one of the six-part series, in the classroom can be found in the overview building block: From logistic growth to resource turning point - Overview.

Building block materials:

Learning Outcomes
Students should understand and learn to work with the model presented and be capable of relating it to natural, social, and technological realities.
Relevance for Sustainability
The topics dealt with are directly relevant to understanding the relationship between quantities of resources used and gain (prosperity) in a limited ecosystem.
Sustainability criteria
  • Related to global challenges / needs
Preparation Efforts
Funded by
Funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research within the framework of the call "Projekt MINT-Massenfächer" (2011/12)

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Hans Peter Aubauer


Helga Kromp-Kolb
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
BOKU - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna
Center for Global Change and Sustainability


Creative Commons

Pillars of Sustainability

  • environment

Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Written material
  • Simulation program
  • Simulation