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Summer School on Sustainability Transition Policies and Practices
22 July - 2 August 2013
Incheon, Republic of Korea

Registration - NOW CLOSED
UNOSD invited Member States to nominate candidates to the Summer School on Sustainability Transition Policies and Practices, which was held in Incheon, Republic of Korea, 22 July to 2 August 2013.

In this regard, invitations to all Member States have been extended through their Permanent Representatives at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Candidates must comply with all requirements stipulated in the invitation letter, and be nominated by their government.

The deadline for receiving the nominations together with documents requested in the invitation letter was 10 May 2013, and the registration process is now closed. For more information, please contact Ms Shelley Choi at choi9@un.org or unosd@un.org.

List of Participants

A list of participants can be downloaded here.

Syllabus for Summer School on Sustainability Transition Policies and Practices
This is the final version of the Summer School syllabus:

Summer School Instructors
  • Dr. Imran Habib Ahmad has been actively engaged in the areas of climate change, sustainable development, environment, renewable energy, energy policy and developmental assistance in the UN, government, non-profit, development agency, academia and private sector for over twenty years. He has been a member of UNFCCC Expert Group on National Communications from Non-Annex 1 parties (CGE) and Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT) and a lead reviewer for undertaking in-depth review of national communications from Annex 1 parties. Dr. Ahmad also taught at the Australian National University in Canberra and is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University with speaking engagements at some of the leading international think-tanks. He holds a PhD from Australian National University and has published on the above topics. Dr. Ahmad is currently a Senior Programme Officer in International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
  • Brendan Barrett is an Academic Programme Officer at the United Nations University and set up the Media Studio in 2003, which subsequently merged with the Office of Communications in 2010. He has been employed with the UNU since 1997 and the currently leads a team of professionals exploring how to communicate, outreach and educate on complex social and environmental themes. An environmental planner by training, Brendan has been working with the UN since 1995, beginning with the United Nations Environment Programme. Prior to that he worked as a consultant with one of the UK's top structural and civil engineering consultancies, Ove Arup and Partners. At the UNU, he has coordinated a number of major projects including the Iwate Environment Network, the Global Virtual University (funded by the Government of Norway), the Asia Pacific Initiative and was the UNU's focal point for the World Summit on the Information Society. He is a member of the IUCN Commission on Education and Communication and a peer reviewer for the IPCC 5th Assessment Report.
  • Dr Steven Burian is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Associate Director of the Global Change and Sustainability Center, and Co-Director of Sustainability Curriculum Development at the University of Utah. His professional career spans more than 15 years during which he has worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory, and as a Professor at the University of Arkansas and the University of Utah. He also is a Chief Consultant for Harit Solutions, an engineering and sustainability consulting firm he co-founded in India. He has expertise related to the planning, engineering, and policy making to create sustainable and resilient urban water resources systems. On this topic he has published more than 100 scientific articles, reports, and book chapters and delivered several software packages and databases used throughout the world.
  • Dr Woo Hyun Chung is a Research Fellow at the Korea Environment Institute (KEI). She is actively engaged in policy research in environmental area in domestic and international settings. Her recent and current research topics include voluntary approach of environmental policy in Korea, green cities in Asian countries, diverse aspects of environmental governance in Korea, intergovernmental relations in environmental administration in Korea, biomass energy and organic waste in Guatemala, She holds a B.S. in biology and a M.C.P in environmental planning from Seoul National University in Korea, and a Ph.D in public affairs from Indiana University in the US.
  • Fran�ois Fortier is Senior Sustainable Development Expert with UNOSD. Over the past 20 years, he has worked with several UN and other development organisations on issues of sustainability, climate change, food security and information technology, often at the intersection of knowledge management and capacity building. He also taught at the University of Ottawa and the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague for several years. Fran�ois' current function is to lead the deployment of knowledge and capacity building tools for sustainability transitions, notably the UNOSD Summer School and eLearning programmes, and provide direct support to UN Member State governments. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from York University in Toronto, and is the author of several scientific articles, chapters and books on the above topics.
  • Dr Sang In Kang is economist and Senior Development Management Expert with UNOSD. For two decades, Dr Kang served with several Korean institutions including the Bank of Korea, the Global Strategy Center at the Korea Environment Institute, and the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences of Korea. He also worked for the OECD Environment Directorate as a climate change specialist. As a senior research fellow at KEI, he led several joint research and capacity-building activities for government officials and experts from many developing countries. With UNOSD, he provides expertise and support in the management of sustainable development strategy and implementation for UN member states. Dr Kang has authored several books, chapters and peer-reviewed articles on trade and environment, climate change and sustainable development accounting. He holds a doctorate in International Economics from the University of Pantheon-Sorbonne in Paris.
  • Eric Kemp-Benedict is director of SEI�s Asia Centre. Prior to assuming this role, he was a senior scientist in SEI�s U.S. Centre in Boston and leader of SEI�s Rethinking Development Research theme. His research focuses on cross-disciplinary policy analysis for sustainable development strategies, in which he actively develops and applies tools and methods for participatory and study-specific sustainability analyses. As a scenario modeler, he specializes in the development of application-specific models within a participatory framework. In addition to scenario analysis and scenario modeling in general, his areas of interest include poverty and income distribution; social dynamics; water, livestock, and land use; and rural livelihoods. Most recently he has focused on the economics of a low-carbon transition. He has a B.S. in physics from the University of Texas in Austin and a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Boston University in 1997, as well as an MAT in secondary physics education.
  • David Le Blanc is an economist. He is currently working in the Division for Sustainable Development in the United Nations Secretariat in New York. While at the UN, he has worked on water subsidies, sustainable agriculture, mining and sustainable development assessments. Prior to joining the United Nations, David worked at the World Bank as Senior Economist in the Urban and Housing Finance groups, focusing on projects and technical assistance on housing policy, housing subsidies, and housing finance. Earlier in his career, David worked at the French Statistical Institute (INSEE) as official statistician and CREST, Paris as a research fellow. David holds diplomas from Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l�Administration Economique, Paris, and a Dipl�me d�Etudes Approfondies in Stochastic Modeling Applied to Finance from Paris VII University.
  • David O'Connor, an economist by training, is chief of the Policy and Analysis Branch of the UN Division for Sustainable Development (in the Department for Economic and Social Affairs). He headed the analytical work in the preparation for the Rio+20 Conference held in June 2012, co-led with the Division Director the negotiation of the outcome document, The Future We Want, and currently leads the analytical work in the follow-up to the Conference, in particular in support of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. Before joining the UN, he worked as senior economist at the OECD Development Centre in Paris for a decade and a half, authoring a book on Managing the Environment with Rapid Industrialization: Lessons from the East Asian Experience, as well as numerous articles in peer reviewed journals, including on economic instruments for environmental policy, the co-benefits of climate policy in developing countries and REDD (reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). He has also worked on industrial and technology policy, including as technical advisor on the electronics industry for the Malaysian Industrial Master Plan. He has degrees from Yale, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University College London, where he completed his doctorate.
  • R. Alexander Roehrl is a scientist, economist and policy analyst. At present, he leads the UN Task Team for the Global Sustainable Development Report and is the focal point for science and technology at the Division for Sustainable Development of UN headquarters in New York. Previously, he worked for ESCAP, IAEA, IIASA, Eurofound and the European Commission. He has advanced degrees in both physics and economics, from the Universities of Erlangen, Munich, Oxford, and the London School of Economics. He has co-authored books and articles on a wide range of issues and also served as Lead Author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The United Nations Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD) organised its Summer School on Sustainability Transition Policies and Practices, which took place from 22 July to 2 August 2013 at the Yonsei University International campus, Republic of Korea.

UNOSD was established in 2011 by the U.N. and the Republic of Korea, with a mandate to support countries in implementing international agreements on sustainable development, including Agenda 21, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and the outcome of Rio+20, among others. The Office is dedicated to implementing this mandate through 1) sharing of knowledge, 2) undertaking research and policy analysis, 3) organizing capacity development events and 4) building partnerships. UNOSD is therefore uniquely positioned to offer a SD learning programme to national and local policy makers, drawing from its knowledge brokering activities and expert networks, and building on the long experience of UNDESA's Division for Sustainable Development, with which the Office is affiliated.

Rationale and Objectives

This course was designed on the backdrop of 25 years of impressive global efforts for transitions towards sustainable development. Such efforts have included the building of sustainable development (SD) knowledge and capacity for policy-makers in governments, notably by the United Nations, bilateral agencies and civil society. Yet, transitions are still happening much too slowly to address overstretched planetary boundaries and multifaceted social crises. Beyond the technical knowledge and skills of economic, social and environmental sustainability, there remains a debilitating gap in understanding how technical knowledge gets, or not, deployed and scaled-up into national strategies, and implemented through concrete policies.

From this perspective, studying and overcoming the reasons for policy inertia has become a pressing agenda of its own. The UNOSD Summer School therefore endeavoured to confront this gap by providing the evidence and skills for a more effective and accelerated implementation of sustainability policies through best practices. Sustainability experts from the Stockholm Environment Institute, the University of Utah, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations University, the Korean Environment Institute, the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements, as well as from UN-DESA and UNOSD taught the four modules of the course. Those modules covered SD governance, converging crises and development pathways, policy formulation, and policy implementation. Civil servants of 41 developing countries from all continents participated, and obtained certificates upon completion of the course.

Eligibility of Participants

The UNOSD has invited all Governments through their Permanent Missions to the United Nations in New York to nominate one early- or mid-level policy expert involved in sustainable development policy research, formulation or implementation, to participate in this course. Such experts typically work in planning and development ministries where work with regard to preparation of national development plans or national sustainable development strategies are coordinated. The nominees were requested to:
  • be fluent in English (both orally and in writing) given that the course will be conducted, and related material distributed, in this language only;
  • hold a Masters' degree (or equivalent) in discipline relevant to sustainable development from a recognized tertiary education institution; and
  • have minimum of 5 years' experience in working with sustainable development related policy formulation and/or implementation institutions at national/local levels.

Nomination and Registration Procedure

The nomination and registration period closed in April 2013, and a final list of participants is available on the Participants tab of this page.

All relevant information and documentation concerning this course is kept up-to-date through this website.

Presentation Overheads

To view and download pictures, please visit this event's album on the UNOSD Facebook page.

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