Flagship 4

Collegio Futuro

Reaching the climate goals of the Paris Agreement (2015) requires a socio-economic transformation that fosters sustainable development. This process demands an understanding of natural, economic and social systems, raising a need for integration of perspectives from different research disciplines.

Collegio futuro attracts doctoral candidates from natural and life sciences, economic and social sciences, and arts and humanities, who i) aspire to broaden their knowledge beyond their own research field, ii) are willing to step out of their comfort zone, iii) are open for discussion in an interdisciplinary setting, and iv) aim to jointly address a burning societal challenge.

Collegio futuro aims to:

  • strengthen competencies in interdisciplinary communication and project elaboration

  • empower students to transfer their knowledge and expertise to different contexts

  • raise awareness for the challenges of socio-economic transformation

  • encourage communication of scientific findings to civil society

The training is challenge-centered, promotes a collaborative working spirit and focuses on environmental issues. Based on key challenge-introducing lectures and intense literature search, participants frame the problem, outline the chosen project and agree on the aspired outcome(s). During the training, they examine the chosen problem from different perspectives, explore links across the disciplines, and practice problem-solving in a multidisciplinary team.

Collegio futuro projects, class 2021/22:

  • Climate action science: Analysis of relationships between climate impacts, social priorities of citizens and country performance on climate action across EU nations, with the aim to support policymakers, offer legitimacy and possibly improve climate action across Europe; joint publication in preparation.

  • Ecosystem restoration: Elaboration of a communication concept for high school pupils, highlighting the importance of animals in the formation and maintenance of the ecosystems (ecosystem engineers), with the goal to raise the awareness for protection of endangered species.

  • Nature-based solutions - Greening of cities: Analysis of economic, environmental and social factors having potential to sustainably enhance food sovereignty in Île-de-France region and designing a tool which policymakers could use for estimating the sustainability of food production. The overarching goal is to support and simplify the decision-making, while considering scientific research related to climate change and biodiversity.