A highly engaging five-day online Programme that fosters rich interaction on issues relevant to the work of the UN and its partners in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement through panel discussions, small-group breakout activities, and peer-exchange. 

There are 62 free slots sponsored by the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. To apply, please click on sign up to register and then also fill the scholarship application form below.

Introduction

The virtual UN Summer Academy aims to bring together sustainability actors from multiple different sectors and regions on a common platform to explore key challenges to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly in areas such as health and well-being, social protection, economic transformation, and climate action. The theme of the UN Summer Academy of 2022 is Sustainable Transformation Pathways. The 5-day Programme will examine different thematic areas using conceptual tools like systems thinking, design thinking and futures thinking.  

 As in previous editions, the Academy combines academic rigour with cutting-edge thinking, providing participants with unparalleled learning and networking opportunities. The very interactive Programme is designed to facilitate and foster dialogue with thought and action leaders who are currently working towards the implementation and the localization of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement. Participants will explore transformative approaches required for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and they will share concrete examples and practices from diverse country contexts and stakeholder perspectives. 

At the same time, this virtual edition capitalizes on the additional opportunities offered by its online format. Through experiential learning methodologies, participants will engage with a wide range of expert inputs, as well as in peer-to-peer learning, knowledge exchange and collaborative co-creation. 

Thanks to the generous support of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, this course is offered at a reduced price of $500.

Objectives

Upon successful completion of the UN Summer Academy, participants will: 

  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the key notions underpinning the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change; 
  • Demonstrate an improved understanding of the key challenges and opportunities for sustainable development; 
  • Have benefitted from unparalleled networking opportunities, and demonstrate an increased awareness of the role of different development partners; and 
  • Have received exposure to good practices and conceptual approaches in the area of sustainable development. 
Course methodology

Recognizing that transformative learning cannot take place through classical chalk and talk lectures, the UN Summer Academy is designed using experiential online learning methodologies that combine panel discussions featuring high-level speakers with interactive opportunities for knowledge exchange and experience sharing, and hands-on practice sessions. 

The virtual Summer Academy will be synchronous, meaning participants will be expected to be online at the same time during specified hours. (Plenary sessions with all participants will take place between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. CEST. In order to accommodate the widest possible range of international participation, UNSSC will offer small-group breakout activities in two blocks: once in the morning, CEST, and again in the evening, CEST.) 

The Summer Academy will feature a variety of moderated online learning formats, including live webinars with thought leaders; small-group breakout activities for reflection and knowledge exchange; and applied labs in which participants will apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired during the Academy. Moreover, the UN Summer Academy places a premium on fun and relationship-building. This will remain a key priority in the virtual edition, including through networking sessions in which participants showcase their work, games, and other social activities.

Course contents

The UN Summer Academy introduces conceptual approaches underpinning the notion of sustainable development, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

The 2022 Programme will explore sustainable development from a multi-sectoral perspective, focusing on critical themes such as health and well-being, social protection, economic transformation, and climate action. Participants will look at how transformative thought frameworks of systems thinking, futures thinking, and design thinking can address these issues in a complex and volatile context. Alongside these core themes and conceptual approaches, the Programme will also feature trending sustainable development topics such as innovation for sustainable development and frontier technologies. Experts will highlight the latest developments in these areas and their potential contribution to sustainable development efforts. 

Target audience

UN young professionals, national and local government representatives, civil society representatives, academics, private sector representatives, as well as a select number of doctoral and master's students. 

Applicants will be selected on the basis of their professional/academic profile and motivation statement. 

Time requirements: As detailed in the “Course Methodology” section above, this is a synchronous course. Participants will be expected to be online for four-five specified hours on all five days. Exact times will be shared with successful applicants shortly before the course begins, but UNSSC will offer two time windows: participants can select a window of  either 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. CEST  or  2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. CEST). 

Technical requirements: To participate in this online training, participants will need to access the course through a desktop PC or laptop with an internet connection, as well as a functioning webcam, microphone, and speakers. Internet speed and volume should be sufficient for four-five hours of video-conferencing each day. Due to the interactive and applied format of the Academy, it is not possible to participate using a mobile device. Further details on technical requirements will be shared with successful applicants shortly before the course begins. 

Cost of participation

The course fee of $500 USD covers the following: 

  • Five days of online training, including a technical orientation* on how to use all online platforms and tools used for the course. 
  • Exclusive access to a UNSSC online social learning environment with training and supporting background materials, and the opportunity to stay connected with colleagues. 
  • All course materials, resources and contacts. 

Participants are expected to cover all costs related to their participation in the Summer Academy. 

*NB: Technical support to address issues related to local clients’ software or hardware settings, internet access, and in general all issues requiring access to local clients and infrastructure are outside the scope of UNSSC services. 

Certificates from the United Nations System Staff College will be awarded to participants who attend the Summer Academy. 

Scholarships 

In order to offer highly–qualified candidates the possibility to participate in the online UN Summer Academy, the state of North-Rhine Westphalia is funding 62 full scholarships, covering fees for the five-day online learning event.  

The scholarship application process is highly competitive and we encourage you to finance your application through other means if possible. 

To qualify for a scholarship, you must meet the following criteria:  

  • Have professional or academic experience in sustainable development;  
  • Be able to act as a multiplier, applying and passing on acquired knowledge; and  
  • Be available to actively participate. The virtual Summer Academy is synchronous, meaning participants are expected to be online at the same time during specified hours (either 10:00 am to 4:00 pm CEST or 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm CEST) every day, 27 June 2022 till 01 July 2022. 

Applicants from NRW and its partner countries and regions are strongly encouraged to apply. 

The deadline for scholarship applications is Friday, 13 May 2022

How to Apply for a Scholarship? 

Please read the instructions carefully before you begin. 

Step 1: Please right-click on this link to open the Scholarship Application Form in a new tab: https://bit.ly/UNSA2022-SCHOLARSHIP . Please read Step 2 and Step 3 before filling out the Scholarship Application Form. 

Step 2: Remaining on the current tab, please first register for the UN Summer Academy by clicking on the “Sign up” button above. 

Step 3: Once your course registration is accepted and pending approval, please go to the Scholarship Application Form open in the other tab and fill and submit the form by 13 May 2022

Your scholarship application will not be taken into consideration if you have not registered on this page first. 

Download the event agenda
Testimonials
Henry McGhie
Consultant

Following the UN Summer Academy. I was inspired to put together a guide for museums on the SDGs that is distributed globally. I have more confidence in all my speaking engagements at conferences and webinars when I talk about sustainable development.

Nadine Burbar
Deputy Chief Resilience Officer at the City of Ramallah

Since the program was convened online, it made me realize the importance of leveraging technological solutions and building momentum over social media for sustainable actions and for a better world for youth, women, and all those marginalized.

Randall Waechter
PhD Assistant Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Associate Director of Research, St. George’s University

The UN Summer Academy significantly impacted my perspective of the 2030 Agenda and how much transformation in our global “business-as-usual” model is needed to move us toward the SDGs.

Yewande Seriki
Senior Scientific Officer, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources

The UN Summer Academy gave me a unique experience. It helped me design a future by using different learning approaches, understanding current megatrends from a new perspective, and influencing different types of solutions. From fast-paced working groups to plenaries, role plays, and virtual learning spaces through Share Fairs, UNSA helped form a “tribe” equipped to deliver the 2030 Agenda.

Corree Johnson
Communications Specialist, Region Nine Development Commission

The UN Summer Academy changed my perception of today’s complex problems and how we can solve them through Systems Thinking, Futures Thinking, and Design Thinking. I also had the opportunity to hear from experts on the latest developments in sustainable development and from participants about their projects. One of the most critical takeaways from the UN Summer Academy was meeting people and hearing their stories.

Michael Schmidt
Professional Energy Partnership Chile-Alemania, German International Cooperation (GIZ) Chile

I keep telling people around me about my UN Summer Academy experience, what we learned, and HOW we learned together. I also feel more empowered to talk about the sustainable development goals (SDG) and work with future scenarios in my daily work in the transformation of energy systems.

Ilona Ballreich
Program Manager, Pennsylvania State University Sustainable Communities Collaborative

I have not stopped talking to my colleagues about the UN Summer Academy and its positive approach to daunting challenges! I will apply what I have learned and use the same engagement method with my colleagues and peers. I hope to model a similar workshop after your approach.