The Campus Project

Why choosing the Campus de la Transition?

In order to face the contemporary challenges of our times (such as the search for sustainable energy sources, global warming and environment erosion), it is imperative to generate new ways of thinking about these realities. These new ways include a new economic model, different quality and performance indicators, new approaches to production and consumption of goods and novel ways of managing resources. It also includes a reassessment of our relationship with time (i.e. embracing a “long term” mentality) and space (i.e. from local to global). Finally, these new ways of thinking also include the development of criteria for discerning what is good for humanity and the planet (and what is not…) In other words, an eco-friendly way of thinking that includes deliberation, coordination and decision-making processes.

The Campus de la Transition is the only academic institution in France that brings together all these new ways of thinking (i.e. knowledge, ideas and concepts) that are emerging as a result of our environmental reality. Furthermore, the Campus wants to ensure that these new ways of thinking are transmitted to the new generations and businesses which are key players in the systemic transition of society.

Along with novel ways of thinking, the Campus de la Transition aims to be a unique and innovative academic milieu that brings together academics, researchers and businesses people; as well as public institutions and the general public. This intersection of peoples is gathered around our group of internationally recognized experts on ecological and social transition. All this takes in a location that is in itself transition space: the grounds of Forges in Seine-et-Marne, Ile-de-France.

Is the Campus de la Transition for me?

The Campus de la Transition responds to the aspirations of students from the Graduate Schools (i.e. Grandes Écoles) and Universities, as well as those of business leaders and policy-makers. The Campus’ formation programme offers students to become fully-equipped to face the ecological challenges of our time in a very concrete way. If you ask yourself if it is possible to reconcile an ecological transition, the plea for social justice and the need of economic development; or how to develop sustainable alternatives to the current socio-economic models; then the Campus de la Transition might be the place for you.  

What is the added value to our pedagogical offer?

The Campus de la Transition is simultaneously a place of research, advance experimentation, and postgraduate education. In this regard, the three academic dimensions of the Campus are aimed at the generation of transition processes. Through these three, a new economy is embodied: one that respects and values the ecosystem and the ecological equilibrium. In this regard, the academic work at the Campus has one objective: to enable a good life for our fellow human beings.

The Campus de la Transition is the first establishment of its kind in France. It is inspired by similar initiatives such as Schumacher College (in Totnes, England) and the Sustainability Institute (in South Africa). The Campus also part of an international network of universities, research centres and teacher-researchers specialised in ecological and social transition.

As a non-profit association, the Campus de la Transition can also to offer formation to other non-competing graduate schools and institutions. Such institutions can take courses in the form of one-off sessions, academic seminars, off-site courses and research programmes on the Campus site.                                    

The Campus de la Transition also proposes a holistic approach towards an ecological and social transition. Such a transition requires the cross-communication between (1) the human and social sciences (i.e. economics, management, philosophy, law, ethics, anthropology, epistemology, etc.) and (2) the physical and earth sciences and (3) the concrete and lived experiences of people on the grounds. The ongoing reorientation and actualization of the transition paradigm demand the relevant intellectual, technical and human resources.

In the Campus de la Transition, we offer a radically new way of teaching. With its bewildering newness, the pedagogy of the Campus demands the personal involvement of the student. By allowing the student to become immersed in the context on-site, the student undergoes an enliven learning experience. In doing so, the student is encouraged to articulate their own way of “living and thinking”. The grounds of Forges, where the Campus de la Transition is located, is indeed an idyllic location in which the students actively participate in the dynamics of transition.

Like the Campus, the grounds of Forges are undergoing an ecological transition in themselves. The transition milieu of Forges provides an excellent opportunity to experiment with concrete ecological issues.  Examples of these issues include how to make buildings and transport of the Campus energy efficient, what is our relationship to agriculture and food, the inclusion in a bio-regional economy, social inclusion, the balance between frugal and social life and issues concerning ethics and governance.

During their time at the Campus, students will have to:

  • Understand the scientific basis of economic, ecological, environmental and demographical
  • Master new concepts, ideas and methods.
  • Experiment with situations of transition in their systemic and concrete dimension.
  • Collaborate to create solutions using multi-dimensional parameters and new performance indicators.
  • Acquire the relevant intellectual and inter-personal abilities that will enable them to implement an ecological and social transition their professional and personal contexts.

Who should apply to the Campus de la Transition?

The prospective student (or staff) of the Campus of Transition should be someone that is:

  • Interested in the implementation of ecological and social transition
  • A student of a graduate school (i.e. Grandes Écoles) or master’s student (level 2) in a university.
  • A PhD student, lecturer or researcher (based in France, Europe or overseas)

As well as people in the world of academia, the Campus also welcomes:

  • Institutions (i.e. academic, regional or philanthropic) that are interested in the implementation of an ecological and social transition in their respective contexts.
  • Companies looking for knowledge, methodology and expertise to initiate and lead their employees in the implementation of an ecological and social transition.

Languages of instruction: French and English

What does the Campus de la Transition have to offer?

What is the added value to our pedagogical offer?

See the Academics Programmes section of the website.

Academic programmes

The Campus’ educational offer began in 2018-2019 and hopes to continue growing in the years to come. As a result of our first student intake, the Campus has offer academic programmes for different lengths of time: from 2 days to 2 months. Similarly, the Campus has developed modules for different towards different audiences which included: final year engineering schools’ students, final year business school students and professionals. Based on feedback, the Campus has adjusted its academic offer in order to meet the expectations of our target audiences and partners. The Campus courses are primarily of three types of academic programmes: (1) modules focused on raising awareness and specific topics, (2) modules for university degrees and (3) modules for specialised masters.

Action-oriented Research

In the Campus de la Transition, we teach through action-oriented research that enables collaboration between partners in the economic and social sectors. In doing so, our students themselves work in a collaborative manner so that they can construct and support each other in the implementation of ecological and social transition strategies and programmes in their institutions, territories and companies.

In the Campus de la Transition, the experimentation on the grounds of Forges provided an engaging milieu in which a holistic transition process takes place. In other words, the ground of Forges provides an idyllic location in the environmental dimension of the transition process is closely linked to that of social inclusion. Such transition takes place through four cooperative workshops:

  • Building and Energy
  • Bio-Regional Economy, Permaculture and Social Inclusion
  • Finances
  • Management/Governance

Campus de la Transition is a place in which technical expertise and experimentation favourably converge into an in vivo research laboratory. This convergence takes place through:

  • On-site pilot projects and the demonstration of innovative solutions.
  • Researchers projects run by our team of on-site researchers
  • Meetings open to the general public
  • Access to the latest information and library resources.

Why is the Campus de la Transition an excellent choice for you?

Despite being a new educational enterprise, the Campus de la Transition is a great place to study and learn about the ecological transition because:

  • Our lecturers and researchers work in very prestigious academic institution and research centres such as the ESSEC Business School (Université Paris-Seine); Centrale Supélec (Université Paris-Saclay), CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique), École des Mines (Paris), ENS (Paris), EM Grenoble, FMSH (Fondation Maison des Science de l’homme).
  • A Multidisciplinary Scientific Council that brings together leading specialists to economic, social and environmental issues (and its relation to the need for an ecological transition).
  • Of the members of the Campus community (which include young graduates and senior experts). These group of talented individuals, motivated by the need for an ecological transition, pour out their energy and work at the service of the Campus’ project.
  • Of the grounds of Forges which previously hosted a horticultural educational establishment. Along with an 18th-century castle, outbuildings and 12 hectares (29.7 acres) of parklands, pastures and forest, the ground of Forges make the ideal milieu for our ecological transition project.
  • Of our idyllic location in the French department of Seine-et-Marne. From the inhabitants around the commune of Forges to the Regional Council, the Campus is supported and integrated into the locality.

The Campus is part of the Oasis network of the Colibris movement. This is one of the largest citizen-led initiatives that aim at promoting the ecological transition across France.

  • The Campus has its own network of entrepreneurs and policy-makers (from both the civil and the public spheres) and that keeps us relevant to the wider community.
  • The Campus also has its own network of friends (of the Campus) that is continuously growing. Moreover, the friend of the Campus contributes to our mission through voluntary work and donations.

How does the Campus de la Transition reach out to the wider community?

  • Through our lecturers that collaborate in networks of higher education institutions, professionals and media companies.
  • Through lectures that are given by members of the Campus de la Transition.
  • By the commercial prospection of policy-makers and training officers in companies.
  • Through the media initiatives of our communications department (which includes de use of through social media).
  • By organizing regular thematic weekends open to all to discover the place and the project of the Campus.
  • Through the Recontres de Forges which are conferences and panel discussions open to the public. These events are organised four times a year and are focused on transition themes.

How is the Campus de la Transition financially supported?

  • Through the income of the accommodation fees for our residential programmes.
  • By hosting foreign students and researchers in residence for long periods of time.
  • Through action-oriented research in partnership with companies, local authorities or large institutions based on the themed workshops.
  • By hosting seminars (of companies or organisations) related to the issues addressed by the Campus de la Transition.
  • Through donations that are given to us on the basis of our social and environmental commitments. Similarly, we also receive heritage and preservation grants that assist the ecological transition of the grounds of Forges.
  • Through a unique monitoring and documentation work on multidisciplinary issues regarding the economic, ecological and social transition.
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