Basel, Switzerland

Conceptions of Sustainability – and How They Shape Research

when 18 July 2016 - 22 July 2016
language English
duration 1 week
credits 3 EC

In science we encounter overwhelming diversity of sustainability conceptions. The international PhD Summer School ‘Research on Sustainable Development’ helps to find way through this thicket: How do researchers in my discipline conceive sustainability? How do these conceptions frame my own thinking and research? What understandings are predominant in other disciplines? How can I harness these conceptions to rationalise my research and to spot research gaps? What pitfalls should be avoided when thinking and talking about conceptions of sustainability?

The PhD Summer School provides a platform to discuss such questions in a highly interdisciplinary and inspiring atmosphere. The participants will learn how to deal with the diversity of sustainability conceptions and will acquire a profound and differentiated basis for substantiated contributions in sustainability sciences. Distinguished guest speakers will give inputs and comment on the participants’ presentations.

Course leader

Prof. Dr. Patricia Holm, Dep. of Environmental Sciences, Program Man-Society-Environment
Prof. Dr. Frank Krysiak, Dep. of Economics, Environmental and Energy Economics
Prof. Dr. Paul Burger, Dep. of Social Sciences, Sustainability Research Group
Dr. Ma

Target group

Advanced PhD students from any discipline who research in the field of sustainability and who are passionate about furthering the interdisciplinary discourse.

Course aim

Participants will:
- get to know the relevant scientific understandings of sustainability;
- discuss and elaborate approaches to deal with the manifold understandings;
- clarify conceptual assumptions regarding sustainability in order to make original research contributions;
- experience the rich interdisciplinary discourse in sustainability sciences among PhD students and learn how to locate their own research in this wide context;
- get to know finely selected international PhD students who research in the context of sustainability.

Fee info

EUR 0: There will be no attendance fee. Travel expenses and board and lodging are up to the participants.


For participants with low income there will be support for local lodging possibilities.