Geneva, Switzerland

Sustainability Activism

blended course
when 7 June 2022 - 11 June 2022
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC
fee CHF 1000

"Sustainability Activism" on topics such as climate change, human rights and environmental protection have long been part of global change making processes across the world. This Summer School addresses the changing realities, conditions and practices of sustainability activism bringing together social science and activist perspectives.

It aims to introduce theories about social justice and different forms of sustainability activism alongside grounded perspectives and case-study learning together with environmental human rights defenders and Right Livelihood Laureates and International Geneva.

The Right Livelihoods Award, often named the alternative Nobel prize, occupies a critical niche in the international sphere by awarding “change makers” ( and visionaries working for a more just, peaceful and sustainable world for all. As the Right Livelihood Foundation each year brings Laureates to Geneva such a course would open up for sharing with students, while also offering Laureates a space to reflect jointly with students and faculty around challenges and opportunities faced in contemporary forms of activism.

The course seeks to combine the understanding of contemporary forms of environmentalism and human rights activism from a theoretical perspective with hands-on insights and real-time case studies and hands-on insights from Right Livelihood Laureates together with lectures by university scholars and partners in the international community. The idea is to invite students and selected grassroots activists to learn from and join Laureates in workshop-based case-study based analysis of a given socio-political and environmental problem area combined with state-of-the-art theory and analytical frameworks. Students will also be invited to reflect upon their own forms of sustainability activism in the process.

This interdisciplinary pilot Summer School course is offered on a yearly basis in either Geneva or Zurich. The first session is to be held in Geneva from 7 to 12 June 2022. The target audience includes both MA-level university students interested in sustainability activism as well as a small number of places with scholarships for grassroots activists who may not necessarily need to be enrolled in a university setting.

Course leader

Dr. Peter Bille Larsen
Geneva School of Social Sciences
University of Geneva

Dr. Aline Steinbrecher
Right Livelihoods Centre
University of Zurich

Fee info

CHF 1000: Professionals fee 1000
CHF 800: External students fee 800