Futuring for Sustainability Summer school 2024

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summer school participants sitting behind desks in a greenhouse
Futuring for Sustainability summer school 2023 participants at UU Botanical Gardens (Hilde Segond von Banchet)

What we do in the present is profoundly influenced by our aspirations, expectations, and our collective dreams. But what if our societal aspirations cannot be reconciled with the dream of a sustainable future? From 8 - 12 July 2024 the Urban Futures Studio adresses this question precisely during their annual Futuring for Sustainability Summer School.

Dr. Jeroen Oomen giving opening lecture at UFS summer school 2023

Join us this summer in Utrecht for an interactive course addressing the search for sustainable futures. Investigate the tensions between an accelerating energy transition and the need for just, safe, and ecologically sustainable futures. Learn how Techniques of Futuring contribute to realising these societal transformations towards sustainability. Hear from lecturers from various disciplines what they deem crucial insights and cultural tools for building a more sustainable future.

In this summer school, the Urban Futures Studio and the Pathways to Sustainability Program collaborate to connect technical and environmental questions around sustainability to social questions around equality, democracy, and popular backlash. Finding pathways to sustainable futures is a social and cultural challenge. Deeply held values connect to even the most high-tech solutions. Drawing on a wide variety of literature, this summer school offers the Urban Futures Studio approach to shaping visions for desirable sustainable futures.

Application process

The Urban Futures Studio (UFS) designed this course for graduate students from all disciplinary backgrounds, particularly advanced Masters and Doctoral students. UFS also considers Masters students, Postdoctoral students, and select practitioners who are interested in futuring and sustainability. UFS asks applicants to send their motivation letter or, alternatively, another creative approach to express their interest in this course (e.g. slides, video, storyboard) and include their C.V.

Unlike most other Utrecht Summer Schools, the Futuring for Sustainability summer school does not strictly work with a ‘first come, first serve’ system. Periodically, the UFS will select based on the received motivation letters and the curriculum vitae. You will receive confirmation as soon as your application is received. Final decisions about acceptance may, however, take up to two weeks. The UFS still encourages people interested to apply as soon as possible because they will start accepting people well before the final deadline on 15 April 2024.

About the Urban Futures Studio

The Urban Futures Studio is a transdisciplinary institute that conducts empirical research and helps to initiate experiments led by Professor Maarten Hajer. The Urban Futures Studio explores sustainable and meaningfully democratic futures, and ways to get there. We investigate what we call ‘futuring’ - the social creation of the (imagined) futures that direct collective action. Our team of researchers contains expertise spanning sociology, political science, urban planning, theology and STS. We operate in a broad network of academics, students, policymakers, artists, and practitioners all engaged in processes of social change. The Urban Futures Studio is part of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at the Faculty of Geosciences at Utrecht University.

Start date and time
End date and time
Utrecht, the Netherlands
Entrance fee
Send a motivation letter/video/or other creative approach and your C.V. with your application (course level: Master or PhD).
Some scholarships or fee waivers/reductions may be available for those doing their PhD or with limited funding.
Application deadline: 15 April 2024.
More information
Futuring for Sustainability summer school - Utrecht Summer School