2019 Global Sustainability Summer School Kicks Off in Santa Fe

July 15, 2019

The intensive two-week program focuses on the leading role of cities as complex systems driving the global transition to sustainable human development.

Today marks the start of the 2019 Global Sustainability Summer School, an intensive two-week program on urban sustainability and technological innovations driving global, sustainable development. Hosted at the Santa Fe Institute in partnership with the University of Chicago’s Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, the program provides an immersive, solution-oriented experience for participants to explore interdisciplinary and forward-looking approaches to advance urban sustainability. 

Cities concentrate most of the world’s human population and present challenges to local and global environmental sustainability, whether it be increased resource consumption, pollution, waste and impact on biodiversity. Together, participants will explore local approaches to sustainable urban development, particularly at the intersection of economic growth and human development. 

“Santa Fe is the ideal location for students and experts from around the world to convene to discuss the future of urban sustainability. We are determined to become the cleanest, greenest city in the country, and we’re proud to be hosting an exploration of new solutions to climate change and more,” said Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber.

“The battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities. This program will enable students to learn new systemic methods and perspectives on sustainability through the lens of cities,” said Luís Bettencourt, Inaugural Director of the Mansueto Institute at the University of Chicago and External Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute. 

Luís Bettencourt will serve as the 2019 Global Sustainability Summer School Director. Participants will learn from leading international thinkers and practitioners about the state of the art in science, technology and policy-creating systemic solutions. Notable faculty and speakers include:

  • Alan Webber, Santa Fe Mayor and founder of Fast Company
  • Doug Arent, Deputy Associate Lab Director, Scientific Computing and Energy Analysis, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  • Anni Beukes, Institute Resident Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation
  • Christa Brelsford, Liane Russell Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  • Charlie Catlett, Senior Computer Scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, Founding Director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, UrbanCCD Argonne National Laboratory, University of Chicago
  • Audrey de Nazelle, Lecturer in Air Pollution Management – Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London
  • Danielle DuMerer, City of Chicago CIO and Commissioner of the Department of Innovation & Technology
  • Philip Enquist, FAIA and Consulting Partner, Urban Design and Planning, SOM Architecture
  • Ryan Keisler, Head of Applied Science, Descartes Labs
  • Christopher Kennedy, Professor of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering – University of Victoria
  • Edward Mazria, Founder and CEO, Architecture 2030
  • Dan O’Brien, Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice – Northeastern University
  • Matt Petersen, President and CEO, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)
  • Jagen Shah, Senior Infrastructure Adviser, Department for International Development, Government of UK and former Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India
  • Emily Talen, Professor of Urbanism – University of Chicago
  • Mani Vajipey, Co-Founder and CEO, Banyan Nation

First held in 2016, the Global Sustainability Summer School is open to postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, early-career scientists, policymakers and business professionals around the world and is organized around a set of cutting-edge, interdisciplinary lectures and discussions that focus on interdependent aspects of cities. These include social and economic networks in cities, its role in economic growth and human development, its demands on resource consumption, and new technologies that may shift the balance between the benefits and impacts of development.

“The Global Sustainability Summer School provides a deep and inspiring learning experience around systemic issues of cities and sustainable development, balancing fundamental science, technology and practice,” said Dave Feldman, Interim VP for Education at the Santa Fe Institute.

Topics include:

  • Civic Tech and Urban Analytics
  • Urban Sensing and Air Quality
  • Urban Architecture and Design
  • Innovation in Energy Technologies
  • Neighborhood Effects and Big Data
  • Technology and Social Dynamics
  • Ecological Networks
  • Energy Transformation in Buildings
  • Climate Change and Urban Policy
  • Water Systems
  • Reducing the Environmental Footprint of Cities

Located in the beautiful historic Santa Fe Institute campus, the school runs from July 15 – July 26, 2019. The tuition for the program is $1,700 and includes participation and course materials. Limited scholarship is available to students with exceptional need. The application period for 2019 is now closed.

Find out more on Santa Fe Institute’s website.