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phd Basel10 – 14 July 2017, University of Basel, Switzerland

4th PhD Summer School 2017

Sustainability and Risks – How to deal with risk issues in sustainability research?


Nothing is as risky as the future. As future-oriented concept that considers all aspects of development, sustainability serves as comprehensive approach to deal with risks. And reversely, to promote sustainable development we need to analyse and manage all sorts of risks, be it economic, social or natural risks – or a complex conglomerate of them. However, there is a whole bunch of different (disciplinary and interdisciplinary) approaches to link sustainability and risks. So, what are sound conceptualisations of sustainability with regard to risks and vice versa? And how can we empirically assess, manage and govern risks within the framework of sustainable development? The 4th international PhD Summer School ‘Research on Sustainable Development’ considers questions of conceptual and empirical linkages between sustainability and risks. It provides a platform to discuss the topic in a highly interdisciplinary and very inspiring atmosphere. The participants will learn how to thoroughly deal with risk issues in their sustainability research and acquire a profound and differentiated basis for substantiated contributions on risks and sustainable development. Distinguished guest speakers from natural and social sciences as well as economics and with expertise in sustainability sciences and risks will give inputs and comment on the participants’ presentations.
The PhD Summer School will be highly interactive. Participants will receive a certificate of participation and 3 ECTS. The course will be held in English.



Participants will:

  • get to know relevant scientific understandings of sustainability and risks;
  • acquire an approach to systematically link sustainability and risk issues;
  • clarify conceptual assumptions and empirical approaches in their research, in order to make original and innovative research contributions;
  • experience the rich interdisciplinary discourse in sustainability sciences among PhD students and learn how to locate their own research in this diverse context;
  • get to know finely selected international PhD students who research in the context of sustainability and risks


Target group

Advanced PhD students from any discipline, who research in the field of sustainability and risks and who have interests in furthering the vivid interdisciplinary discourse on sustainability sciences.

Contributions of participants

The PhD Summer School is highly interactive and requires active attendance from the
participants, including:

  • preliminary reading of central texts;
  • preliminary writing of a short text (200 words max.) how you link sustainability and risk in your research;
  • presentation of a poster on the general outline of your PhD;
  • oral presentation, commented by senior researchers and peers;
  • participation in workshops and discussions.

Guest speakers

Our guest speakers are recognized experts in sustainability sciences with a specific focus on risks. They are well known for their ability to think outside the disciplinary boxes.


Organizers and Contributors from the University of Basel

  • Prof. Dr. Patricia Holm, Dep. of Environmental Sciences, Program Man-Society- Environment
  • Prof. Dr. Frank Krysiak, Dep. of Economics, Environmental and Energy Economics
  • Prof. Dr. Paul Burger, Dep. of Social Sciences, Sustainability Research Group
  • Dr. Marius Christen, Coordinator PhD Schools, Dep. of Social Sciences, Sustainability Research Group



For further information please visit our Website.