First online editions of the summer universities were a great success!

Aug 13, 2020 by

This year, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the „Green.Building.Solutions. (GBS)“ summer university and the 7th instalment of the summer school „Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems (AEMS)“ – both held in a brand-new online-format!

The first highlight was the public kick-off event taking place on July 20th at the Technical University Vienna in front of an audience of 100 people attending in-person. Additionally, over 100 interested people from all over the world used the chance to take part via the online live-stream.
Special guest of the opening was Minister Leonore Gewessler from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. She gave a keynote speech on measures for climate protection. Further speeches were held by Austrian’s leading climate expert Helga Kromp-Kolb, TU professor for sustainable building Karin Stieldorf and economist Stephan Schulmeister. These were followed by an exciting panel discussion with questions by the online and offline audiences.

Over the period of three weeks, 36 participants from 17 nations located in 5 different time zones took part in the AEMS summer school. Besides the focus on climate action this year’s AEMS had a close look at the solutions for the financial crisis triggered by Covid-19: Students not only deepened their understanding for the interconnections between the economic, ecologic and social systems but also learned about the manifold effects of climate change via distance learning tools. The recorded lectures and online live discussions provided the students with ideas for taking steps to change the economic and monetary system in order to protect our planet. Fitting in with the motto „think globally, act locally“ they worked on their own project ideas for a more sustainable future.

At the GBS summer university, 28 students and professionals from 20 nations, spread over 9 different time zones learned about alternative building materials, renewable energy and energy-efficiency as well as sustainable urban design. The program featured not only live-lectures and discussions, but also offered digital building tours through best practice-examples of low- and plus-energy building in Vienna – the capital of sustainable architecture. Apart from input-oriented sessions, participants got to put theory into practice via building simulation workshops and the interdisciplinary group project work circled around a real building renovation project in Vienna, the Otto Wagner Areal which is going to get a Campus for the Central European University (CEU) in the near future.

Even seemingly separated from each other, this year’s participants formed new connections and friendships - and together, they created an atmosphere of positive change, promising a more sustainable future. Although the project groups were working together over different time zones, the high quality outcome of the project works showed the involvement, engagement and motivation of the online participants.

We are looking forward to welcome all our GBS and AEMS students to Vienna in the next years and thank all contributors for their commitment!