The ninth and final STEPS Summer School on Pathways to Sustainability took place as a virtual course in May 2021. The Summer School is not open to new applications, but free materials are available for self-study – see below to explore them.
About the Summer School
The Summer School is a two-week immersive course on theories and practical approaches to sustainability, through creative, interactive and participatory learning.
It includes the STEPS Annual Lecture, an event open to the public.
Participants explore the theme of pathways to sustainability through a mixture of workshops, lectures, outdoor events and focused interaction with STEPS Centre members. The Summer School takes place on the University of Sussex campus, near Brighton, UK, where STEPS is co-hosted by the Institute of Development Studies and the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU).
The Summer School has run since 2012 with the generous support of the ESRC, International Science Council (ISC) and others. There is also an Open Access online course which draws on lectures and readings from past Summer Schools, which will remain online for the coming years.
Free online course: Pathways to Sustainability
“A great experience to open up your ways of thinking, grow as a researcher and have fantastic conversations about research, life and everything in between.” 2018 participant
“A great way to expand your network as a PhD student and find like-minded people who I hope to keep in touch with and work with the future.” 2017 participant
“I can honestly say it has been the best 2 weeks of the PhD so far. To be in such an amazing, supportive and inspiring group has been fantastic” 2016 participant
For a participant’s view of the Summer School, read Winifredo Dagli’s blog post about the course in 2018.
How it works
For common questions on the Summer School, view the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is the main venue. IDS is on the edge of the Sussex University campus, set in the middle of rolling countryside but with good transport links to Brighton.
The programme includes lectures and discussions, ‘walkshops’ – longer discussions held on walks through the surrounding area – and social events. The Summer School also includes some time in smaller groups, where participants get to reflect and discuss their own work, led and mentored by members of the STEPS Centre.
All participants are expected to agree with the statement on harassment and discrimination. The Institute of Development Studies Code of Conduct also applies.
Materials from past summer schools
Each year, the Summer School includes a public lecture open to a wider audience.
- Video: Derek Wall: What would Elinor do (about climate change)? (2019)
- Video: Kate Raworth: Economics as if we wanted to survive the 21st Century (2018)
- Video/slides: Achim Steiner: Doomed to fail or bound to succeed? Sustainable Development and the Green Economy Agenda – Revisited (2017)
- Video: Prof Harriet Bulkeley: Can we govern the climate? (2016)
- Video: Prof Mike Hulme on climate change arguments and culture (2015)
- Video/audio/slides: Prof Mariana Mazzucato: The Green Entrepreneurial State (2014)
- Video: Prof Michael Jacobs: capitalism, carbon and climate change | Slides (2013)
- Video: Public debate on fuel poverty, climate change and social justice (2013)
- Video: Prof Tim Jackson: the future of the green economy (2012)
- Audio: Public debate on Rio+20 & collective action (2012)
Summer school 2018
SUMMER SCHOOL 2017
Summer School 2016
Summer School 2015
- Video: Feedback from IDRC-funded participants
- Video: Feedback from participants
- 2015 Summer School Storify.
- Photo gallery (Flickr)