Summer School - Human Environments in a Changing World, 4 - 13 September 2017, Germany

Publish Date: Apr 12, 2017

Deadline: May 18, 2017

Human Environments in a Changing World

Sep 04 until Sep 13 2017, Potsdam, Germany

Modern pluralistic societies face many challenges. In 2017 we will explore the relevance of an approach to inclusive governance for sustainable futures.

The fourth Potsdam Summer School from 04th – 13th September 2017 will address the central question: „How can transdisciplinary knowledge production be integrated in inclusive governance processes towards the achievement of sustainable development as in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

The following topics will structure the discussions:

  • The role the SDGs play in measurement, management and monitoring of progress towards sustainable economic, social and environmental development of sustainable cities and communities
  • The challenges of sustainable urban planning, pollution and resilience to climate change
  • The challenges of risk factors such as population growth, climate change, pollution, energy and water supply and how they can be governed in cities and communities

Since the sharing of interdisciplinary knowledge and expertise is highly relevant for efficient inclusive governance, the following questions will also guide the ten-day programme:

  • What are the challenges of interdisciplinary knowledge exchange between science, policy makers and society?
  • How can different forms of knowledge and data from social and natural sciences, humanities and the arts be integrated?
  • How can we provide knowledge for action and thus contribute to transdiciplinary inclusive governance

The issues span a multitude of disciplines and invite stakeholders from the public and private sector to get involved. The programme will comprise lectures, various discussion formats, and interactive project activities, including hands-on demonstrations, workshops, and group projects.

In partnership with the City of Potsdam, the 2017 Potsdam Summer School will be jointly organised by the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Helmholtz-Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), and the University of Potsdam.

Experts, stakeholders, and guest lecturers from high level national and international institutes and organisations will contribute knowledge and insights to the Summer School programme.

With its overarching theme – “Human Environments in a Changing World“ – this Summer School will continue the transdisciplinary and interactive event series that has been held annually in Potsdam, Germany since 2014. The aim is to bring together talented early-career scientists and young professionals from the private sector, governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations in many different parts of the world to discuss frontier research questions on future sustainable development. In this context, the Potsdam Summer School provides a unique opportunity for all participants to foster international cooperation and an exchange of ideas.

The entire Summer School will be conducted in English.

The organisers are looking forward to receiving applications from young professionals from various backgrounds to explore with us the relevance and challenges of an evidence-based approach to inclusive governance and geo-governance for sustainable futures.

The call for applications will start on 15th February 2017. The deadline for submitting completed applications will be Thursday 18th May 2017 at 23:59 UTC.

For further information, please contact angela.borowski(at)

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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