Oxford Summer School in Ecological Economics

25-29 August 2014

This course explores the cutting edge methods and policy applications in ecological economics, an interdisciplinary field emerged in response to global sustainability crisis. With a clear sustainable development focus, it draws on the expertise of a range of disciplines: economics, ecology, physics, environmental sciences, sociology, psychology, complex systems theory, etc. to address the current challenges: climate change, biodiversity loss, resource depletion, water shortages, social cohesion and achieving sustainability. Ecological economics has been critical of the dominant approaches to decision making, namely cost-benefit analysis, the use of GDP as a key economic progress measure and the limits of the economic models not taking into account resource and environmental constraints. ‘Green Economy’ and ‘Beyond GDP’ movements are inspired by the ideas proposed by ecological economists.

The course is designed for multiple points of entry and could be helpful for PhD students, MSc students, government experts, representatives of international organizations and business. The course will give participants an opportunity to explore key methodologies for ecological-economic analysis and to apply these to various case studies.

Theoretical Module

  1. The Economic System and the Environment: Themes and Methods
  2. Ecological-Economic Modelling: Input-Output Analysis for Sustainability
  3. Multi-Criteria Decision Aid for Sustainable Development: Biodiversity & Renewable Energy
  4. Assessing Progress Towards Sustainability: A Multidimensional Approach
  5. Sustainability Across the World: USA, Brazil, China, Russia, UK, Germany, France

Policy Module

  1. Sustainable Development Policy Instruments: Criteria of Success
  2. Sustainable Cities: Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Perspective
  3. Renewable Energy: Keys to Success
  4. Ecological Consciousness: Values, Attitudes and Decision Making
  5. Simulations Game

The requirements for the course are the following:

  1. After your application is accepted and you have paid your course fees, you will receive reading materials. The pool of literature you will receive will include a wide spectrum of papers from the early history of ecological economics to the current trends. It will be compulsory to read one or two papers for each lecture and be ready to present them and discuss them from the point of view of the methodology, conclusions, and significance for ecological economics and sustainability analysis.

  2. The book ‘Ecological Economics: Sustainability in Practice’ (amazon link) is going to be the core text for the course and you are welcome to acquire a copy or borrow one from your library. The book is full of useful bibliography, charts, and it would make your course experience more fruitful.

  3. Each participant will have to prepare a presentation about your background (brief) and project (in more detail) so that all the course participants could get acquainted with you and your work better. The presentation should take 15 min and will be given in the first day of the course.
  4. Each participant will be required to develop an independent or a collaborative project and present the preliminary results: methodology, data, key research questions, anticipated conclusion, including the sources of possible surprises, non-linearities and unpredictable behaviour (if any).

Registration fee £700
Accommodation fee £300
You are most welcome to apply.

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