Bern, Switzerland

The Future is Sustainable – It's in our Hands!

when 17 August 2020 - 28 August 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 5 EC
fee CHF 550

Worldwide demonstrations against climate change show that the demand for sustainable development is becoming louder and louder. Though some of the sustainable development goals are on track, as the Global Sustainable Development Report (GSDR) shows, there is still a long way to go.

Skills to advocate for social and ecological justice and well-being
The Summer School offers a unique opportunity to explore current knowledge on sustainable development. By examining various topics, such as consumption, food production, commons or inequality, students will learn about different aspects of sustainable development and develop skills to advocate for social and ecological justice and well-being.
Experienced scientists will enable students to broaden and deepen their basic knowledge on the subject, and will highlight the most important developments and challenges in the field. Participants will explore the interfaces between the different dimensions of sustainable development (ecology, economy and society) in its complexity and will have the opportunity to visit real-life laboratories where they will learn how specific aspects of sustainable development can be implemented (e.g. sustainable living, sustainable food production, sustainable energy use).

Sustainable development from the local to the global scale
The focus of the Summer School is on peer-to-peer learning that is experiential, interactive and transformative. Further methods include keynote lectures, learning by good-practice examples, a visit to real life laboratories and self-study. Through problem-based, interdisciplinary learning and transdisciplinary negotiation processes with different stakeholders, students will be able to use their skills as potential future change agents to help find potential solutions to some important issues around sustainable development.
The Summer School examines sustainable development from the local to the global scale, exploring critical contemporary socio-environmental issues from multiple perspectives.

Target group

The International Bachelor and master Summer School is open to bachelor and master students of all disciplines. We invite applications from candidates in the arts and humanities, natural sciences and social sciences - as well as those doing their studies in law, media or policy - who focus on the relationship between environment and society.
Participation is limited to a maximum of 35.

We aim to have a lively, international and interdisciplinary group of participants with a balanced number of students of both genders from different disciplines and different countries.

Given the interactive nature of the summer school, participants are expected to have at least B2 level English. However, we do not require a formal English language certificate. Participants will though be required to give a presentation and to actively take part in the discussions.

Course aim

The Summer School is designed to enable students to build system- and transformative knowledge, and to develop their capacity to act in the face of complex challenges through trade-offs (especially between individual sustainability goals and dimensions), allowing them to actively engage in shaping a sustainable future.

Credits info

5 EC
Participants having successfully completed the Summer School will receive a certificate of attendance and can obtain 5 ECTS points. 1 ECTS correspond to 25 – 30 hours of work, consisting of preparatory work, full participation in the course and possibly a form of examination. Acknowledgement of the ECTS points in the study programs at home institutions is the responsibility of the participants.

Fee info

CHF 550: Included in the price: Fee for course and course material, scientific excursion. The price does not include meals, accommodation or insurance.


There are scholarships available for participants, who travel to Bern by train.