Introduction

The increasing globalization of economic relations, technology transfer, social and cultural interactions profoundly impacts on lives of more and more countries and individuals.  Although global economic growth has contributed to better living standards in many countries, it is failing to reduce poverty in the least developed parts of the world. For example, over the last 30 years, GNI for the Africa’s Sub-Saharan region has more than doubled, but the poverty rate remains constant at about 50% of population. At the same time, current consumption patterns in both developed and developing countries, together with shifting production and current technological developments bring about new environmental and social challenges. The development studies is therefore a crucial field to be investigated as it still lacks a shared academic understanding. How can we address the complex issue of development, so that we understand the global impact of development and ensure that even failures lead to constructive and working solutions? 

This summer school will take a multidisciplinary approach to the concept of development in a globalized world and it will give you the opportunity to get your bearing in a growing and very complex field of study. Through debates and teamwork with other international students, experts and researchers, and by looking in detail into selected real-world case studies you will gain both the theoretical knowledge necessary to understand economic, social and environmental challenges related to development, but also the ability to apply that knowledge in real world settings.

Come to a beautiful city of Prague to:

  • Contribute to the discussions on new tasks for the global developmental with prominent academics and leading professionals from NGOs and industry
  • Become a part of a team creating innovative solutions for the development of local communities in need
  • Challenge the existing truths with your own knowledge and experience and be challenged by others
  • Meet fellow students – future pioneers of socially and environmentally sustainable globalization
  • Support with 5% of your program fee the self-sustaining kindergarten in Kibera slum, Nairobi, Kenya

Objectives

The program is conceived within a broader intellectual framework. We strongly believe that the multidisciplinary approach of the summer school is indeed the key to better understanding the underlying drivers as well as impacts: it is only by addressing the full set of political, economic, technological and environmental aspects connected to development cooperation, that we can conceptualize a successful way forward.

We will look into the frictions between globalization, development and sustainability created by international trade, multilateral system of global rules, and business and NGO activities in developing countries

Through case studies, participants will understand how development and sustainability function in a real world context and how different concepts actually work in practice. This objective will be achieved by using case studies and looking into various aspects of development moving towards creating social development and businesses that are sustainable both financially and environmentally.

The summer school will also provide a unique opportunity to discuss the reality of international development and moving towards sustainable models with practitioners such as Daniel Ogola, founder of successful Matibabu Foundation which provides health and education services in rural Kenya and Kibera, one of the largest slums on the planet. CNN presented Daniel Ogola as an agent of change seeing the opportunities instead of the obstacles and making difference in physical and economic health of the community and his story and experience are of great value to anyone studying sustainable development. Visit ACADEMICS to find out more about the program.

Program History

Since 2003 Prague Summer Schools brought to Prague more than a thousand outstanding students from all over the World for an intensive academic week to learn and discuss various topics. In 2013, SCHOLA EMPIRICA launched the first Prague Summer Schools on Globalization and Development. In 2016, a new summer school on sustainability was founded. Inspired by our discussions among the students and teachers on the interrelatedness of development, sustainability and globalization, we decided to create a new program which will address the development challenges through a multidisciplinary approach.

Founders Word

ab_havrdovaDear Students and Colleagues,

While visiting Kenya, I had and exceptional opportunity to meet Daniel Ogola and visit Kibera slums – the largest informal settlement in Eastern and Central Africa.  Walking down the muddy streets of Kibera, one could observe the complete and functioning modern infrastructure hidden under shabby paper and tin constructions. There were shops, beauty salons, mobile phone providers, photocopy and PC services, internet, taxis. The globalization was visualised here by advertisements of global trade marks covered with a thick layer of dust. The next fascinating thing was  …the omnipresent rubbish.  The rubbish bins were missing, toilets and running water was missing, the electricity in shelters was missing.. Imagine the modern town with a density of 2000 residents per hectare functioning without these basics with other “luxury” goods including internet widely available. It is hard to imagine…

Facing these striking differences, one could conclude, that it should be so easy to start with the development cooperation by installing new water pumps and flash toilets. It would make the life of about 300 000 unofficial Kibera residents much better. These are the solutions many humanitarian organizations came up with, put into practice and…failed – did not make life of the poorest easier. The pump was either improperly installed or used, was dislocated or found broken soon after its installation… This is the controversy of modern approach to aid: building the playground in the middle of Kibera does not end up with the children gathering to play there instead of digging holes on the muddy streets.  These and other examples prove that simple solutions do not work in a complex world… They fail, and this is what we should start with, when thinking about help, which could work. The next natural question is how these solutions could work and why?

Seeking an answer to this and many other related questions is the reason for launching this Summer School. The Summer School is one of the great opportunities for us to meet, discuss, argue and find  a common agreement on the issues we doubt about.

There are so many things to learn from each other! So do not let this opportunity pass by!

Egle Havrdova, Ph.D., Co-Founder of Prague Summer Schools

Testimonials

I am writing this email to congratulate you for organizing a successful Prague Summer School. I thank you for providing me this opportunity to participate in a culturally diversified learning environment. As part of the program, I was impressed by the practical approach adopted by the teachers especially Lisa Trogisch. As a graduating student, the exposure at the Summer School has helped me in broadening my horizons before entering into the corporate world.“

Mohammad, Pakistan, Alumnus of the Summer School 2016

“The course has been fantastic. I have enjoyed the diversity of lectures, topics and discussion. I am really going back home thinking differently.”

Alumnus of the Summer School 2015

Practicalities

The classes will be held at the Prague Summer Schools venue (Marianeum, Machova 7, Vinohrady, Prague 2, website). Accommodation will be provided to students in double rooms at the accommodation facilities in the venue or Hotel Ametyst which is located within a walking distance from the venue. Each room is equipped with a shower, WC, satellite TV, Internet connection and telephone. Meals provided by the organizer will include breakfasts served in the hotel and dinners in restaurant located nearby the Summer School venue. As the days are demanding there will be coffee, tea and small snack available free of charge during the breaks between lectures.

Apply now! Applications are reviewed on rolling basis.