UPEC Launches Its First Aurora Summer School 

10 April 2024

In June 2024, one month before the Summer 2024 Olympics in Paris, Université Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC) will be hosting students from Aurora universities’ member institutions for its first-ever Aurora Summer School on Emerging Futures: Societal Innovation Meets Futures Studies 

On the heels of its integration into Aurora and the Aurora 2030 European university initiative, UPEC will be introducing its first Aurora Summer School during the summer of 2024. Targeted to Bachelor students, this intensive two-week course aims to train the next generation of leaders intending to make a tangible and sustainable impact on the world.

Aligned with the Aurora Competence Framework, the course provides a world view of global challenges. It further gives students the opportunity to leverage their knowledge and work to respond to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and hence meets one of Aurora’s key objectives in the Aurora 2030 project.

“The future is not a place in some later-than-now timeframe, it is a tool that helps us to change the way we look at the present: knowing how the anticipation process takes place, helps us make use of different futures in the now,” says Felipe Koch, Vice-Dean of AEI International School at UPEC. “It makes us more confortable with the uncertainty and more prone to innovative ideas.”

Embracing Uncertainties in Emerging Futures 

At the heart of this summer school is the very real notion of addressing a VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) environment and its potential consequences on our future. With two focus areas in Futures Literacy and Social Foresight, this course empowers students to both understand possible future scenarios and anticipate eventual changes that can impact societies and communities in the longer term.

The ability to comprehend future possibilities and the social dimensions of change allows students to adopt a forward-looking mindset. It sets the stage for more informed decision making in the present, in order to better adapt to evolving uncertainties in the future.

During the course, students will learn about anticipation mechanisms, strategic foresight and systemic thinking. They will be taught to distinguish between concrete and abstract futures, to identify and analyse emerging trends, opportunities and risks, and to prepare key stakeholders in developing better strategies and action plans.

Transformation through Blended Learning 

This summer school takes place over two weeks, during which students will receive comprehensive instruction and practical experience through the Futures Literacy Lab at the AEI International School at UPEC. They will be exposed to the study of theoretical foundations and facilitation techniques to craft and lead change.

In addition, over 30 hours of autonomous class preparation, lectures, teamwork, online videos and podcasts, aim to challenge students’ perspectives and enable them to shape the future of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

This Aurora Summer School on Emerging Futures: Societal Innovation Meets Futures Studies goes beyond gaining knowledge; it transforms students by giving them the tools to catalyse real-world change.