Sustainable Development and Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Program in Italy

Summer 2020
Summer 2019
Summer 2018
Alice Favero
Emanuele Massetti

This study abroad is part of the SLS Sustainable Cities Minor.

Sustainable Development and Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Program in Italy enriches the standard content of the courses with many curricular and co-curricular activities in one of the richest cultural environments in the world.  Students will be based in Venice, the prototype of all cities that struggle for sustainable economic and environmental development and the poster child of cities menaced by sea-level rise.  During the program, students will learn and understand the key ingredients of a sustainable development pathway: economic growth, environmental sustainability, social development, and technological innovation.  Experts from the Venice-based Euro-Mediterranean Centre on Climate Change - the center with the largest number of IPCC contributors in Italy - will give guest lectures on environmental economics, climate science, and sustainable development.  During these lectures, students will learn how models are used to formulate future scenarios on poverty, and food, energy, and water challenges, and how social scientists use models to test policy solutions.

Students will explore how and why climate change is going to affect people, the economy, and the environment all over the world, and experience first-hand the challenges for vulnerable cities like Venice and vulnerable mountain ecosystems in the Italian Alps.  They will travel and learn how development challenges are addressed in the real world.  They will discover the MOSE, a state-of-the-art system of mobile water barriers to protect Venice from flooding.  Meet experts on food, water, and forestry at the international Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) during a two-day trip to Rome.  Give a last glimpse to the disappearing glaciers from the top of the Italian Alps and learn at the same time how climate change affects ecosystems, tourism, and water management.

Beginning Summer 2020, this program will offer four courses, for a total of 12 credit hours.  Courses include Business Decisions for Sustainability and Shared Value (MGT 3770), Climate Policy (PUBP 3320), and Sustainability, Technology, and Policy (PUBP 3600), all of which count towards the Sustainable Cities Minor and the Scheller Certificate in Sustainable Business.  In addition, students will also take and Ethics class - Science, Technology, and Human Values (PHIL 3127).

Watch a video about the inaugural Summer 2018 program.  Click to read our SLS Global Student Ambassador Blog Post for a student's perspective on building sustainable communities abroad.

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