The project

Why a Campus for Transition?

Addressing today’s energy, climate, environmental and societal challenges requires unprecedented novelty: new business models, new indicators of quality and performance, new ways of producing and consuming, of managing existing resources and of relating to time (integrating the long term) and space (from local to global), new criteria for discerning what is good for humanity and the planet and what is not, new processes of deliberation, coordination and decision.

There was to date no academic venue in France bringing together emerging knowledge, thoughts and concepts on these issues and ensuring their dissemination to the new generations and organizations destined to be major players in achieving a systemic transition of our societies.

Campus for Transition has set to be this unique and innovative academic place that brings together teachers, researchers and stakeholders from business, public institutions and civil society, around internationally recognized leaders on these issues and in a place that is itself in transition, the site of Forges in Seine-et-Marne, one hour away from Paris.

What immediate need is Campus for Transition Meeting?

Campus for Transition responds to aspirations from students of the “Grandes Ecoles“ and Universities, as well as business leaders and public decision-makers, to be able to address concretely questions we are facing at the beginning of the 21st century: is it possible to reconcile ecological transition, social justice and economic development? And to develop desirable alternatives to the current models and rules?

What is our value proposition?

The Campus for Transition opens up a place of experimentation, research and advanced education on the transition process towards a new economy that respects and values ​​ecosystems and natural balances, with the aim of enabling a good life for the vast majority of fellow citizens.

The Campus for Transition is the first institution of its kind in France. It is inspired by initiatives such as Schumacher College (Totness, Great Britain) and the Sustainability Institute (South Africa). It also capitalizes on an international network of universities, research centers and teachers/researchers on key topics related to transition.

As a non-profit organization, it is complementary to existing schools and institutions and not a competitor. It offers educational programs in the form of seminars, delocalized lessons and research projects on the Campus site.

The Campus builds its programs on a holistic approach towards ecological and social transition. It relies on cross functional mobilization of human and social sciences (economics, management, philosophy, law, ethics, anthropology, epistemology, …), physical sciences and sciences of the Earth, together with concrete and grass roots experiences from ground players. Guiding and acting upon this new paradigm requires intellectual, technical and human capabilities.

A radically new way of teaching. Our disruptive pedagogy calls for the personal involvement of learners to articulate their “living and thinking”, by immersion in a place that gives life to their learning: the Campus site at Forges is itself dedicated to dynamic experimentation of ecological and social transition.

Forges enables experimentation on topics from our daily life like energy performance of buildings and transport, agriculture and food, interactions with the bio-regional economy, social inclusion, frugal and social life, ethics and governance.

At the Campus students will:

  • Understand the scientific foundations of economic, ecological, climate and human diagnoses;
  • Acquire new concepts, knowledge and master new methods;
  • Experiment with situations of transition in their systemic and concrete dimension;
  • Co-build solutions to multidimensional parameters and according to new performance indicators;
  • Develop intellectual and human capabilities required to manage the transition of the places and activities that they are in charge of, both professionally and personally.

Who is Campus for Transition for?

  • All individuals concerned and challenged by issues of transition:
    • Master students from universities;
    • PhD students, teachers-researchers (France, Europe and International);
  • Academic, territorial or philanthropic institutionsin transition;
  • Companiesseeking knowledge, methodology and know-how to define and manage their transition strategy and actions.

Teaching languages: French and English

What activities does Campus for Transition offer?

Educational programs

Our educational activities started in 2018-2019 and will evolve step by step according to the expansion of our teaching and hosting accommodation capacity. Our first programs will experiment training modules from 2 days to 2 months with diverse audiences (students of engineering, business school and professionals).  Learnings from these sessions will enable enhancement to our courses according to feedback from these first participants and their sponsors. Our educational activities will ultimately cover theme specific induction and training programs, university certificates and specialized masters.

Action oriented research

Together with partners from key social and economic sectors, our research aims at co-building and supporting transition strategies and actions of institutions, territories and companies.

Experimentation at Forges

The site is dedicated to the demonstration of a holistic transition process where the environmental dimension is closely linked to that of social inclusion through four cooperative workshops: “Building and Energy”; “Bio-regional Economy and Social Inclusion”; “Finance”; and “Governance”.

Training to understand, appropriate, deepen and co-build the transition

The Campus where expertise and experimentation converge is expected to be an “in vivo” research laboratory with:

  • Pilot projects and demonstration of innovative solutions;
  • Hosted researchers putting their research into practice;
  • Meetings open to the public;
  • Access to latest information and library resources.

What makes Campus for Transition so compelling?

  • The dedication of a pool of teachers and researchers from major educational and research institutions: ESSEC, CentraleSupelec, Ecole des Mines, ENS, EM Lyon, EHESS, French and foreign universities;
  • A multidisciplinary Scientific Committee that brings together leading experts on economic, social and environmental issues related to the ecological transition
  • Actives members of the Campus for Transition including young graduates and experienced actors who, spurred by the urgency of the times, are ready to combine their energies and skills to serve the project;
  • A network of supportive entrepreneurs and decision makers from civil society and political bodies;
  • A unique venue, a former horticulture school, featuring an eighteenth century castle and outbuildings on a 12 hectares field of parkland, pastures and forest;
  • The Campus’s inclusion in a large network of citizen initiatives for transition in France: the network of Oasis initiated by the Colibris Movement; and
  • The Campus’s anchoring in the territory of Seine-et-Marne (France) benefiting from support from both the municipality and the county.

How is Campus for Transition Building a reputation?

  • Through the network of its teachers connected with institutions of higher education, professional and media communities;
  • Through lectures given by members of Campus for Transition;
  • Through direct approach of corporate executives and training managers;
  • Through targeted communications driven by our communication team, namely via press and social media;
  • By hosting week-ends of service open to volunteers willing to discover our place and familiarize with the Campus project;
  • Through ”Rencontres at Forges”, conferences and round tables open to the public, organized quarterly on major topics related to the transition.

How does the Campus for Transition ensure its funding?

  • From revenues generated by our educational activities;
  • By hosting students and foreign researchers over long periods;
  • From action oriented research, in partnerships with companies, institutions or local authorities;
  • By hosting corporate or associative seminars on topics addressed by our research and experiments;
  • Thanks to donations rewarding our civic and environmental commitment as well as the preservation and energy transition of the exceptional heritage site of Forges;
  • Through unique monitoring and documentation of economic, ecological and social transition.