Sciences Po - Harvard Summer School

  • Yann Algan, Dean of the Schools of Public Affairs of Sciences Po:

    The goal of this summer school is to create a public policy lab that will be based on social innovation combining the multidisciplinary approach of biology, social sciences, but also engineering, design, to develop a concrete application to solve the main sustainable development goals of the United Nations in education, in energy, in health, in inclusive growth.

    Eana Meng, student at Harvard University:

    It is a different way of thinking about urban development and the city.
    So we take ideas like how air travels in the lung or ideas of how proteins travel and take that and apply it to the city.

    Estelle Murail, student at Sciences Po:

    Our activities are pretty varied. We do a lot of city walks, that is, walks through the city, where we try to focus at once on its social historical, geographic and environmental dimensions.

    Robert Lue, Professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard University:

    It really started with Harvard. It was something that we wanted to do for a number of years but we wanted to find partners in a city that was incredibly rich and diverse. But also partner institutions that could work with us that were really committed to a really interdisciplinary, innovative way of thinking about education. When we discovered the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity here in Paris, as well as Sciences Po, here in Paris, we found two institutions that are both equally committed to excellence and innovation, but have very different strengths. One being very much focused on the natural sciences and one focused on the social sciences. It was like the perfect combination of the city of Paris and two fantastic French institutions to work together with us.

    Julie Hosteing, law student at the CRI and Paris II:

    We learn so much about urbanism, economics... A really diverse programme with several teachers from various backgrounds. The next few couple of weeks are going to be about really how to implement our project and we have to present it at the city hall, so it will be viewed by public officials. It is kind of a big deal actually but we are trying our best.

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The School of Public Affairs partners with Harvard University and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (CRI) to offer students from these three prestigious institutions a Summer School program which combines the hard and social sciences.

Launched in Summer 2016, this summer program explores the links between biology, engineering, design and the social sciences with the aim of developing concrete and innovative solutions to the major challenges facing the city of Paris.

Over the course of two months (June and July), students work in small groups on projects of their own design. General orientation is provided by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations – with particular attention to the 11th SDG:

  1. How to make cities inclusive, resilient, safe and sustainable?
  2. How to create innovative solutions to improve the lives of citizens?

With these SDGs in mind, participants take part in an interdisciplinary and intercultural experience focused on solving the problems of innovation. 

This selective program is open to all students at the School of Public Affairs, who can apply once a year in April.

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