Filed under: Development

  Budapest is notoriously a nice summer holiday destination, but I am here with a purpose. For seven years in a row, UNDP in partnership with the Central European University (CEU) is running a Sustainable Human Development Summer University Course. Through this couse we not only introducestudents to the sustainable human development concept, but, equally importantly, we build a regional network of researchers and practitioners sharing a common approach to development. The road to Budapest is not easy one. It starts with an on-line module (accessible also to interested external participants) that involves reading course materials, participating in online discussions with peers and instructors, and preparing a case study. After five weeks of on-line debates comes the crunch time: the tests and the submission of the case study. The 30 students who performed best, based on their performance at the exam, their contribution to the online debates and the case study are invited to the in-campus course. At the summer course we face a very tough choice as instructors: on the one hand, for a number of practical reasons (including the desire to minimize CO2 emissions) we can accommodate only a limited number of students in the classroom. On the other, our organizational mission prompts us to make the course accessible for as many people as possible. Luckily, new technologies have come to the rescue. Through streaming, webinars and social media we can remove the walls of the classroom and allow everyone to attend the lectures virtually. This year we offer a truly rich programme with lead experts debating different aspects of sustainable development: from social (why politics matters for Sustainable Human Development?) to economic (how can we pave the way to sustainable development and green growth?) to environmental (how can we enable transition to low-emission development?). You can follow the lectures live on our TV channel as well as via webinar I am also tweeting at @mikepelah: follow the #shd2012 hashtag to get course materials, presentations, and quotes and pictures taken in classroom. And if you cannot make it for a class, no need to worry: you can find all recorded sessions on our on-line library (login as guest). You can also check out our library of video materials, some of them recorded exclusively for the course, and the archive of classroom lectures. I look forward to meeting you soon in hot Budapest to discuss some cool sustainable topics—whether virtually or in person.