2019 Global Sustainability Summer School

The Mansueto Institute is partnering with the Santa Fe Institute to sponsor the 2019 Global Sustainability Summer School, an intensive two-week program on urban sustainability and key technological innovations driving global, sustainable development.


Applications due March 8, 2019


The Program

The Global Sustainability Summer School (GSSS) provides an intensive two-week program on urban sustainability. This school is available for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, early-career scientists, policymakers, and business professionals. The school is for participants who seek background and hands-on experience to help them prepare to conduct interdisciplinary research in areas related to urban sustainability.

Luís Bettencourt will serve as the 2019 GSSS Director. He is the Pritzker Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago and External Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute.


The Focus

Economic growth and human development are properties of urbanizing human societies. But cities also concentrate most of the world’s human population and present strong challenges to local and global sustainability, related to increased resource consumption, pollution, wastes, and many forms of impact on biodiversity, both within and beyond urban areas. Thus, it is often said that the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities.

The Global Sustainability Summer School 2019 will focus on cities, urbanization and their connection to problems of global sustainability. The school will provide an empirically-based assessment of the challenges to sustainability in light of urbanization and will ask what is necessary for emerging scientific perspectives and technologies to solve the issue of sustainable development.

The school is organized around a set of cutting-edge, interdisciplinary lectures and discussions that focus on many interdependent aspects of cities. These include the nature of social and economic networks in cities, their role in economic growth and human development, their demands on resource consumption, and characteristics of new technologies that may shift the balance between the benefits and impacts of development.


Proposed Topics
  • 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