Amidst the disruption and global uncertainty facing the world, global dialogue and action are more critical than ever. In this context, the UN Summer Academy was launched in 2012, as a forum to address key challenges facing the UN system and the global community as a whole. After four editions in Turin and New York, in 2016, coinciding with the opening of the Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development, the UN Summer Academy was revamped to focus on the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including through immersive elements, exploring sustainable development challenges in Germany. In 2020, in light of the pandemic, the UN Summer Academy transitioned to a virtual format, exploring ways to build back better.
With nearly 1,000 alumni to date, the UN Summer Academy is an annual five-day programme that offers executive education, learning and knowledge exchange to those working to advance sustainable development approaches. Combining academic rigour with cutting-edge thinking, it provides a platform for participants to engage in discussions on issues of relevance for the work of the UN and its partners in the context of the 2030 Agenda.
Started in 2012, the UN Summer Academy takes pride in the strength of its faculty which includes former Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, current Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, former Chef de Cabinet Susana Malcorra, former Under Secretary-General Sigrid Kaag, former Assistant Secretary-General Sir Richard Jolly and various heads of UN Bonn agencies, including UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa as well as German Development Institute Deputy Director Imme Scholz to name but a few.
The programme continues to foster interactive learning where speakers and participants examine relevant thematic areas and discuss a wide range of topics, such as the work of the United Nations and its relevance in an evolving global context. Participants also explore the core dimensions of sustainable development and implications for a diversity of actors. The previous UN Summer Academies have taken place in different UN cities such as New York, Turin, and Bonn. The 2020 and 2021 editions of the UN Summer Academy were redesigned as immersive virtual events.