How Cultural Perceptions Influence the Course of Sustainable Development

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Heidelberg University has invited outstanding doctoral students from Brazil, China, Germany, Greece, Great Britain, India, Austria, Sweden and Spain to explore the national and global aspects of sustainable development. At the core of the discussion with renowned international researchers from Latin America, Asia and Europe is the way in which different cultural identities influence how the earth’s resources are treated and how sustainability is understood. Twenty-two doctoral students will gather at the Santander International Summer School entitled "Arising Awareness - Sustainable Development of Human Society within the Frame of Planet Earth", which Ruperto Carola has organized with the support of Santander Universidades. The Estadual Paulista University in São Paulo (Brazil) is the cooperation partner. The interdisciplinary summer school focused on the earth sciences will take place from 26 September to 4 October 2015 in the International Science Forum in Heidelberg.

"Starting with geoscientific issues such as climate, biodiversity, water and energy, we also want to raise awareness, through international exchange, to the fact that different sociocultural impressions give rise to very different ideas of the sustainable development of human societies", says Ulrich A. Glasmacher from the Institute of Earth Sciences at Heidelberg University. The impact these differences have on the economy, law, politics and social structures is one main aspect. "We will relate our insights to current challenges, such as new forms of agriculture and forestry or cohabitation in so-called megacities", explains Prof. Glasmacher, who is scientific of the summer school along with Peter C. Hackspacher of the Estadual Paulista University. Lectures, presentations and discussions are on the summer school agenda. In addition to scientists from Brazil and Germany, researchers from Chile, China, Greece, India and Paraguay as well as experts from the Philippines will participate. An excursion devoted to the technical issues of oenological sustainability is also scheduled.

The current summer school at Heidelberg University is funded by Santander through the Santander Universidades Global Division, which has already supported five international summer and winter schools at Ruperto Carola within the framework of this cooperation. The schools have taken place alternatively in Santiago de Chile, Heidelberg, and Kyoto, Japan. Since November 2013, the schools have been organised with the aim of promoting the mobility of young researchers from Latin America, Asia and Europe and supporting the expansion of new networks of excellence in research. The "Arising Awareness - Sustainable Development of Human Society Within the Frame of Planet Earth" will be followed from October 4th through 10th by the 7th German-Brazilian Symposium, also under the direction of Prof. Glasmacher and likewise devoted to the topic of sustainable development.

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