Call for Paper is Now Open

Apply at the International Summer School on Sustainable Universities Campuses! 

download the call here

Human health, the environment and social wellbeing exemplify the challenges of our time. In order to play a key role in addressing these challenges, university should focus its activities on finding solutions that enhance resilience with regards to the major shifts in the environmental, economic and social matters. Thanks to the funding for the internationalisation of research provided by Compagnia di San Paolo, the Politecnico di Torino and the University of Cambridge are being able to carry out a project, namely politoward, which aims at fostering international academic collaboration on the theme of campus resilience management. Politoward Summer School provides to all interested researchers a unique opportunity to deal with sustainability-related issues in a theoretical and practical way. 

The composition of the participants is intended to be international, interdisciplinary and intercultural. Distinguished speakers from different universities will provide their expertise and examples of successes and challenges. The goal is to offer various insights into the issues of sustainable development both with classical lectures but mainly with joint, open and horizontal discussions, to provide a fertile ground for case studies’ comparisons, good practice exchange and innovative methodological approaches. We aim at boosting group debates amongst young researchers, campus users, experts and city representatives.

Recalling the "glocalization" concept, by the Japanese dochakuka, meant as global process towards new ways of local enhancement, university campuses can be identified as a meeting space between global and local urban scale, and therefore a fundamental resource for the territorial development and its study. 

However, campuses too, like city governments, are struggling to make a list of the opportunities offered by new technologies, social media, and yes, economic crises, to manage their human capital and energy/materials resources, bringing value both to campus users and the related urban context. University’s leaders are grappling with these issues, unsure of their expectations or responsibilities where there are no direct or immediate impacts on economy and visibility. Policy makers in public administration are often unable to move with the agility and dexterity needed to address them. Moreover, social expectations around the role of university in society are changing, but the power of social movements and the lack of consensus add greater uncertainty to already volatile business environments, and political contexts. 

We believe that this is an ideal time to provide a forum to talk about fundamental university-based issues along the “living lab” model in various research fields.  Key questions are: 

How should universities rediscover their business models to succeed in a world with scarcer educational motivation, energy resources scarcity and a greater keenness on producing “things” rather than knowledge?

What types of management innovation could allow universities to simultaneously improve their financial as well as environmental, social, and governance performance? 

What could be a new urban model to navigate and lead a resilient university campus in the future? 

What is the role of the human factor vs ICT in shaping up resilience in the urban environment?

Which are the actions to be set and developed to improve the user awareness on sustainability issues? 

Which are principled examples of real estate, waste, energy, land use, food, materials, transportation, water and community management within a university campus?

With these themes in mind, the proposed three sessions for papers and/or poster presentation are:

Session I: Research and knowledge transfer,

gathering topics on the University’s third mission, e.g. adding value through partnerships, fulfilling a valuable mandate, stimulating the economy with spin-offs, influencing a sustainable future, building community resilience, etc.

Session II: Society and outreach, 

exploring ways of engaging with the public, industry and society, interacting with the interested stakeholders, informing government support, enrich and connect with the urban context, etc.

Session III: Campus and environment, 

proposing the ultimate strategies for reducing campus emissions, optimising buildings and operations, conserving energy, redirecting waste, water and food management, promoting more sustainable campus lifestyles, responsible purchasing, ICT enabling social innovations, innovating a green mobility, etc.