Open to graduate and postgraduate scientists (as well as professionals in related fields), the Alternet Summer School creates an innovative atmosphere for considering and resolving the sustainability challenges that society is currently facing. Peyresq, a picturesque village in the Haute-de-Provence Alpes, provides an unparalleled setting for dynamic discussions and transdisciplanry learning.
Last year’s programme theme was entitled: Biodiversity and societal transformation: perspectives on science and policy.
Biodiversity and societal transformation: perspectives on science and policy
Biodiversity is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with serious impacts on people around the world. The Alternet summer school focuses on the challenge of biodiversity management and conservation by exploring drivers of biodiversity loss, and the role of ecological knowledge and social science approaches.
We debate the potential of concepts such as valuation and nature’s contributions to people. We also examine how various initiatives at the science-policy interface embrace these concepts for decision-making, and with what success. Finally, we discuss the need to develop inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches, and working with stakeholders to foster the transformative change needed to bring society onto a sustainable path.
Sessions for 2022 included:
- Can the ecosystem service and nature’s contribution to people concepts help engage stakeholders and local decision-makers?
- Climate change, biodiversity and intergovernmental processes
- Nature’s contributions to people, IPBES and diverse values of nature
- Re-situating Homo sapiens: world views in science and policy
- Should we price nature to save it?
- The honest broker in practice
- The science-policy landscape: European and global perspectives
- Towards a social-ecological system thinking
- Transformational change: an environmental psychology perspective
- Transformations towards sustainability
Confirmed speakers: Brooke Wilkerson, Emilie Crouzat, Erik Gomez-Baggethun, Fabien Quetier, Francis Turkelboom, Bruno Locatelli Marie Vandewalle, Mario Torralba, Martin Sharman, Melissa Marselle, Estelle Balian, Nicolas Dendoncker, Peter Bridgewater, Hilde Eggermont, Roger Pielke Jr., Sander Jacobs, Christine Frison, Sybille van den Hove and Wolfgang Cramer
View the 2022 programme.
Activities and participation
The Alternet Summer School is held annually in Peyresq, a remote mountain village in the Alpes de Haute Provence, south-eastern France, home of the Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc Foundation. The programme of activities includes:
- Morning talks and discussion with 20 invited speakers
- Afternoon group work on a mutual learning project about the local social-ecological system and its possible futures
- Aperitif talks prior to dinner
- Field trips to the mountain pastures used by local shepherds and the Parc National du Mercantour
- Free time in the evenings for leisure and further discussion
The summer school is open to graduate students, post-graduate scientists and professionals from environmental and social science fields with an interest in sustainability science. All participants are expected to actively contribute to all aspects of the summer school.