Summer academy in Oxford, UK (2020)

Summer academy in Oxford, UK (2020)

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Summer academy in Oxford, UK (2020)

The seventh Global Environments Summer Academy (GESA 2020) will be held in collaboration with the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute from 20 August to 7 September 2020. GESA 2020 is designed to broaden and deepen the resilience, knowledge, networking and communication skills of emerging changemakers who are actively seeking solutions to some of the most pressing ecological and social issues of our time. As the cornerstone of the Global Environments Network, created by the Global Diversity Foundation in 2012, GESA aims to help individuals and groups thrive and innovate in their crucial work for social and ecological justice and wellbeing.

GESA 2020 spans local to global scales, exploring the most critical contemporary socioenvironmental issues from multiple perspectives including political ecology, sustainability studies, spiritual ecology and personal activism. Themes addressed during GESA include, amongst others: 

  • effective and non-violent communication and mobilisation within community engagement;
  • working with trauma, grief and tools for deep adaptation in the face of ecological crisis; 
  • overcoming oppression and addressing race, gender and difference in our lives and work; and
  • new economics, where participants will explore emerging economic models that balance between essential human needs and planetary boundaries.

Accompanied by international and multidisciplinary resource people, participants are invited to hone their practice, develop theoretical insights and transcend intellectual boundaries. At GEN we believe there are no ‘experts’; resource people and fellow participants can offer personalised support in applied research, conceptual frameworks and policy engagement.


The focus in GESA is on peer-to-peer learning that is experiential, interactive and transformative (All photos: I.Tekguc/Global Diversity Foundation)

Since 2011, GESA has welcomed 118 emerging environmental and social changemakers from 58 countries. For GESA 2020, we will once again select 18-21 activists, scholars, artists, researchers and practitioners from around the world who impact academia, civil society, the private sector and government. We invite applications from candidates in the arts and humanities, natural sciences and social sciences—as well as those working in advocacy, law, media or policy—who focus on the relationship between environment and society. Applicants should be fluent in English and have at least a master’s degree, although we make exceptions for individuals with undergraduate degrees who have significant experience in relevant fields.


Important dates

There is a two-stage application process for GESA 2020. Candidates are invited to complete the application form and upload their CV before 15 February 2020. All applicants will be notified of the results of the first stage selection by 15 March 2020. Finalists will then be invited to the second stage, during which they will be asked for additional information and encouraged to actively seek funding for their participation. We will provide advice to finalists on potential sources of support. A final selection of participants will be completed by 1 June 2020 and applicants will be informed of the award of any fee waiver by 15 June 2020. 

  • 22 October 2019 – 15 February 2020: GESA 2020 Stage 1 application period
  • 15 March 2020: All applicants informed of the results of the Stage 1 application, including finalists who will proceed to Stage 2
  • 20 May 2020: End of Stage 2 of the application process, including fee waiver requests
  • 1 June 2020: Final selection of participants
  • 15 June 2020: Participants informed of any fee waiver
  • 30 June 2020: Deadline for payment of the academy fee
  • 20 August – 7 September 2020: Global Environments Summer Academy 2020

The cost of the academy is €2500, inclusive of accommodation, tuition, field trips, insurance and materials, but excluding local and international travel, meals and other living costs. Participants are expected to independently secure funding to cover all expenses through academic scholarships, crowdsourcing, personal funds, employer support, government grants or travel allowances. Partial fee waivers may be available, based on demonstrated need.

If you have any questions regarding GESA 2020, write to us at

You can support this initiative and be informed about GEN activities and updates by liking the GEN Facebook page, contributing to our GlobalGiving fundraising campaign or donating directly to the Global Diversity Foundation. To receive the GEN Newsletter, sign up here.

Download a PDF version of this Call for Applications for the Global Environments Summer Academy 2020.

  • 141 days left

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