Despite significant efforts in the field of economic and environmental decoupling, we still have not found a way to successfully mitigate the negative environmental and social effects of our current economic systems as greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss and inequality are still increasing with increasing economic growth. At the same time the current economic crisis as a result of Covid-19 has revealed many flaws of our current socioeconomic system, although the crisis also creates opportunities for transformation towards a more sustainable economy. Given the current climate trajectories, we urgently need to find a way to enhance human well-being within the biophysical limits of our planet. Previous research has shown that the complex nature of these challenges, which all countries face, require a systemic and holistic approach to comprehend the interlinkages between the numerous Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate goals. System dynamics models allow for the investigation of synergies and trade-offs between such goals. Using these models, pathways that are most effective and cost efficient in achieving multiple goals at the same time can be identified.


The bilingual (English/French) Summer School on System Dynamics organised by ERASME and the Millenium Institute aims to provide training in qualitative and quantitative system dynamics to a group of 20-25 participants. Our target groups are graduate and postgraduate students, industry representatives, policy-makers and NGO practitioners. Please note that for applicants from the academic sector, the summer school is designed for postgraduates (PhD students and post-docs). In special circumstances, a very limited number of graduate (Master) students may be accepted at the summer school, providing they demonstrate the relevance of the course for their degree, can show sufficient knowledge and/or experience in the field and submit a strong application. During the summer school, participants will be able to apply system dynamics to sustainability-focused projects related to their own area of work. The event is part II of a system dynamics training course that ERASME and the Millenium Institute are running. The first part is a 4-week long online introductory course in systems thinking and system dynamics. In order to participate to the Summer School, participants are required to attend and pass the online course. Find out more about our online course here. The online course can also be taken independently, without attending the conference.


The Summer School on System Dynamics is structured around four main blocks:

  • Lectures and exercises on qualitative modelling and model building, which will refresh and build on the training providing during the ERASME System Dynamics Online Course;
  • Group work on conceptualising, building model structures and calibrating models. Groups of 3-4 participants will work on a sustainability-focused project related to their area of expertise/interest. The Summer School teachers will provide continuous assistance and feedback to participants throughout their work;
  • Group work on drafting a policy recommendation report, informed by the results from the quantitative model and the leverage points of intervention identified from qualitative modelling;
  • Networking activities within participants at the Summer School on System Dynamics and with participants at ERASME’s Summer School on Complexity Science for Sustainability.

When & where?

The Summer School on System Dynamics will take place between August 1st and August 14th 2021 in Laschamps, a small village in the Auvergne Volcano Area, close to Clermont Ferrand, France. This event will run in parallel to ERASME’s Summer School on Complexity Science for Sustainability, with common networking events planned by our organising teams. Both summer schools will only take place if COVID regulations allow in-person participation. A decision on whether this is possible will be taken by May 14th.

Participation fees & Scholarships

In order to be eligible to participate in the Summer School on System Dynamics, applicants are first required to attend and pass the 4-week long ERASME System Dynamics Online Course. The price for the summer school is €1200, which includes rooms shared by two or three persons at Espace Volcan in Laschamps, board and tuition. For participants who prefer a private room, the price is €2000. From the cost of the online course, €200 will be deducted from the above-mentioned prices (i.e. €1000/€1800) for accepted summer school participants. ERASME is also offering 5 scholarships, which will cover the cost of room, board, tuition and the introductory online course. The scholarship will also reimburse transport costs to/from Laschamps for successful applicants, in the limit of €400 per person. The scholarships are for students who were unsuccessful in securing funding to attend the summer school, despite demonstrating a substantial effort to obtain outside support. Women and Minorities are especially encouraged to apply.

Application deadline

Deadline for the Summer School on System Dynamics for Sustainability and the ERASME System Dynamics Online Course has been extended to April 23rd, 17:00 CEST. Please submit a motivation letter, your CV and one recommendation letter (in either English or French) to Applicants will be required to specify whether they plan to only take the online course, or they wish to participate in the Summer School on System Dynamics. The online course will take place between May 3rd and May 31st. If you apply for a scholarship, please also e-mail us a scholarship request statement (in English or French), in which you provide details on the motivation for your request and you show you have been unsuccessful in securing funding. Please note that the scholarships are highly competitive and they will be assessed based on the quality of the applications. Read the call for applications here: