The ENGAGE.EU Summer School 2023 took place from 17 to 28 July 2023 at WU, Vienna University of Economics and Business, with an online kick-off session on 7 June 2023. The theme of the Summer School was “Transformation to Sustainability: challenges and solutions”.
The Summer School was an intensive academic program which addressed the transformation to sustainability in Europe from various perspectives, including business, law, economics, climate change, international relations, and demographic change. During the two weeks, 43 students from nine partner universities attended lectures on these topics, while also working in teams on solutions for specific sustainability-related challenges, such as the carbon asset bubble, or providing a legal definition of sustainability. The proposals were presented to the lecturers on the last day of the program.
In addition to that, the students participated in extra-curricular activities which helped them gain insights into transformation to sustainability from more practical perspectives. These included the two company visits (at Magenta Austria and the Spittelau waste incineration plant), as well as input and interactive sessions with a representative of Austrian Data Protection Authority and Laurence Boone, French State Secretary for Europe. The former addressed the interface between data protection and sustainability, highlighting the role of effective data management in the reduction of energy consumption and unnesessary transmission costs. Laurence Boone, who gave a talk during her two-day official visit to Vienna, emphasized the importance of common values and policies at the EU level, including solutions which can help ensure a sustainable development in the long-term.
Besides the academic components, the students had an opportunity to take part in various cultural and social activities. They attended a city tour through Vienna’s historical center, explored the Austrian Parliament building, took a Viennese waltz lesson, and visited the headquarters of the United Nations in Vienna. Moreover, various sociailizing opportunities were offered, such as an intercultural evening, where groups of students presented their countries, leisure evenings at the Danube and a traditional Austrian wine tavern, and a high-intensity interval training in the Viennese Prater.