International Bachelor & Master Summer School

The future is sustainable – it's in our hands!

Sustainable Development – International Bachelor and Master Summer School

Centre for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland
5 ECTS-Credits


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.

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.

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.