Course Dates: 25 July - 4 August, 2011

Location: Karlskrona, Sweden

Course Language: The course will be given in English (and therefore requires proficiency in English. See "Application Details" below for further details).

Target Audience:

Anyone with an interest in global socio-ecological sustainability and strategic sustainable development is welcome to apply. There are a total of 40 seats available in the course. 25 of these seats will be sponsored by the Swedish Institute (SI). See below under "How to Apply" for information about eligibility requirements for SI-sponsorship, and instructions on how to apply for the course.



The challenges and opportunities of sustainable development... BTH campus

The results of unsustainable human development are evident worldwide - climate change, species extinction, pollution, poverty, and inequality are deteriorating our capacity to sustain our ways of life. People want to do good things and act to positively impact their surroundings, but often do not have an effective way to plan, or feel disempowered to make changes. Human society needs more effective ways of using our skills and resources to create positive change in our communities and the world.

This summer school course will take a systems perspective to help students identify the areas where we need to be strategic in our planning and actions for sustainability. The course curriculum will provide participants with a common language to facilitate the sharing and exchanging of ideas. The course will not focus on the details of any particular discipline, but instead will build on the knowledge that participants from a variety of disciplines and countries bring to the course from their particular area of study.  Each participant will be asked to share their perspective with other participants. The learning opportunities during this summer school will come as much from course participants' peers as from the curriculum and instructors.


PurposeBright flower

The purpose of this course is to help participants consider current sustainability challenges using a whole-systems view.  The course focuses on a transdisciplinary approach to deal with the sustainability challenge of meeting our society's needs, both today and into the future.  The course will also help students connect to others who are working in similar fields, or who have similar goals but come from different fields of studies. Students will be encouraged to work together, both during the course as well as after the course to support and assist one another in their respective work.



By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and discuss the relevance and power of whole-systems thinking related to current sustainability challenges;
  • Understand and apply a framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD), a method for planning and decision-making for sustainable development;
  • Understand and identify how their background and expertise can be strategically used to help move societies in a more sustainable direction;
  • Integrate a tool for carrying out a sustainability analysis into curriculum for his/her area of expertise;
  • Make a compelling case for sustainable development in their respective fields and current positions (job/career/studies); and
  • Share ideas and discuss common aspects related to leadership for sustainability.



Host Location Information

The first week (Mundekulla mail house25-29 July) of the course will be hosted at Mundekulla Course and Retreat Center, which is located in southeastern Sweden, 60 kilometers from Karlskrona, just 10 southwest of the city of Emmaboda. The facility is built on ecological principles. The main building is a carefully restored house from the 1820s. The property includes 8 hectares of meadows in a varied and beautiful landscape, with open fields, natural ponds and foot paths, surrounded by old cultured forests.

The second week (29 July - 4 August) of the course will be hosted at BTH's Campus Gräsvik, in the city of Karlskrona, the capital of Region Blekinge in the south of Sweden. The city is situated on an archipelago and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique naval heritage.

Karlskrona abounds with cultural buildings and its beautiful natural setting makes it a tourist destination in summer, with regular ferries through the archipelago. The island setting means there is good access to beaches and bathing areas, and water sports such as sailing, kayaking, and canoeing are popular.

With its 60,000 inhabitants, Karlskrona is large enough to give you necessary conveniences and small enough to provide an intimate and idyllic setting for learning.



Course Costs

  • For seats sponsored by Swedish Institute (25 seats available):
    0 Euro.  All participant costs for attending the course are covered, including course instruction, learning materials, food, and lodging in shared rooms with 2-4 beds.  See below for information on transportation costs.
  • For seats not sponsored by the Swedish Institute (15 seats available):
    1300 Euro.  This amount includes course instruction, learning materials, food, and lodging in shared rooms with 2-4 beds. Participants are also responsible for the cost of their travel to and from the course location.

Travel Costs for participants sponsored by the Swedish Institute:

  • Participants from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland will be reimbursed for travel costs up to a maximum of 1 500 SEK.
  • Participants from  Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine will be reimbursed for travel costs up to a maximum of 3 000 SEK.



As noted above, there are a total of 40 seats available seats in the course. 25 of these seats will be sponsored by the Swedish Institute (SI).

To be eligible for a seat sponsored by the Swedish Institute applicants must be:

1) A graduate student (PhD-level) or young university teacher, and

2) Under 35 years old, and

3) From Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, or Ukraine.


The remaining 15 seats are open to applicants of any age, and from any occupation or country.


Before applying, please read all of the information and instructions below.

Step 1:

Fill out the online application form here .The application includes the following information: your full name, permanent contact address, e-mail address, telephone number, passport number, current position.

Please Note: The application also includes a brief essay to describe background and why you are interested in the program (Maximum 350 words). It may be helpful to write the essay prior to filling out the online application so you can copy and paste your essay into the box.

Step 2:

E-mail the required documents listed below together in one e-mail to by the deadline listed below. Please include "Summer University Application" and your full name in the Subject Line. (Example: "Summer University Application – Jenny Lind")

Please Note: If the required documents are submitted in more than one e-mail the application will not be considered.  Please be sure that you have all required documents ready before submitting them.


Required Documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (Maximum 2 pages, 12 point font)
  • Identification A scanned copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and photograph
  • A scanned copy of your graduation certificate and transcripts from your most recent degree (for example: if you are working on a PhD, submit your graduation certificate for your Master's degree) and an English translation of the document (the translation does not need to be certified).


IMPORTANT NOTE ON the necessary English language skills: The course will be given in English (and therefore requires proficiency in English).  Applicants are not required to submit official scoring reports.  However, all applicants must be able to work in English to be successful in this training. The required level of English is typically gained from having previous education or career work in which English is the primary language spoken. If you have already taken an English test, you will likely be successful in this course if you received the following scores: a minimum TOEFL score of 550 (or a minimum score of 213 for a computer-based test; or a minimum score of 79 for an internet-based test); OR a minimum IELTS scores of 6.0 and at least 5.0 in each of the four modules.



Application Deadlines

To be eligible for SI-sponsorship (see requirements above) you must meet the requirements above AND submit your application by: Friday, April 15, 2011

All other applications must be submitted by: Friday, April 29, 2011


Notification of Application Status

All successful applicants will be notified by Monday, May 16, 2011.



For further questions please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.  If the answer to your question is not included there, send an e-mail .

We will be adding more information about the course to this website over the upcoming weeks.

Share Share