In September 2015, world leaders committed to 17 Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs) that over the next 15 years should help end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change, amongst other things. This effort will only be successful if all stakeholders - be they governments or non-governmental organizations, public or private enterprises, civil society - have adequate information about the progress being made towards each of the goals. The ”Crowdsourcing Sustainable Development” Summer School is a weeklong school that brings together students from China, Geneva, and from across the globe, to help tackle the Goals with Crowdsourcing solutions. Geneva and its multitude of international organizations offer a unique space for understanding the different dimensions involved in this truly global effort - and provide an exceptional diversity of speakers and educators from a wide range of contexts. By combining lectures and seminars with workshops, site visits, and other fully immersive interactions, the school’s programme aims at giving students direct exposure to the key pieces of the SDGs puzzle - whilst challenging them to experiment with concrete and innovative solutions to involve citizens (“the crowd”) in monitoring and tackling some aspects of the Goals at the local, regional or global level. After a general introduction to the SDGs and their history and context, student will hear about some of the existing efforts initiated by UniGe – before being introduced to the global dimension by key actors from International Organizations. The programme will then change gear and make students the problem solver – by introducing them to Citizen Science and the different Crowdsourcing methodologies and tools (including volunteer thinking, volunteer sensing and volunteer computing). After experiencing first hand some of the existing projects, workshops, brainstorms and a final hackathon will encourage new thinking and inspire context-sensitive action and solutions.
This course asks how we should understand the various political movements that claim to act in the name of Islam. What do the Islamic State and the various affiliates of al-Qaeda in the Middle East have in common with each other, or with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, among others? What distinguishes these movements from the Taliban in Afghanistan or Boko Haram in West Africa? Why do some of these groups act or inspire others to carry out attacks in Europe and North America? To what extent can they be explained in political terms, and what exactly is the role of religion? How do they compare with non-Islamic terrorist or revolutionary movements? This course will address these and other questions by going beyond the conventional geopolitical and Western journalistic perspectives. We will examine the historical roots of political Islam, trace the origins of the movement known as Salafism and the changing uses of the term jihad. We will also look in depth at the discussions that Islamists have amongst themselves, how they see themselves and what they stand for. We will look at the jihadist poetry and the religious debates they conduct between themselves, as well as ask how people in the affected regions, especially writers and intellectuals, view the movements. Finally, there will be sessions addressing practical questions, such as how do Islamist groups acquire their weapons, and how does the global oil market affect Islamism? Interdisciplinary by its very nature, the course is taught by distinguished faculty in a variety of fields from Europe and the United States, as well as experts from the international community in Geneva. The course will treat the following topics, among others: The origins and nature of Salafism The changing uses of the term “jihad.” Arab intellectuals’ views on religion and Islamic movements The Iranian Revolution and its legacy The View from Moscow: Russia and Islam; Russia and the Middle East The poetry of the Islamic State; How do jihadists represent themselves? Arms and ammunition: How do groups get their weapons?
University of Geneva Summer School jointly with the UNCTAD-UNIGE Sustainability Research Centre The Business and Sustainability summer course provides insights on how the business sector addresses environmental, human rights or sustainable development issues through corporate social responsibility (CSR). It delves into the interactions between governments, international organizations, civil society and businesses through lectures at University of Geneva and site visits to the United Nations Office in Geneva, UN specialised agencies and companies. Programme Concepts and definitions of CSR; tools for implementation Global issues and business involvement: environment, human rights, finance, labour, global health Sustainability leadership Site visits to companies and to the United Nations What you will learn You will get exposure to the latest global challenges in sustainability and how they are addressed by the business sector and the United Nations through a mix of lectures, case studies and site visits. Evaluation Evaluation and grading will be based on class participation and students’ presentations on the last day of the course.