SDG Summer School: Planetary Health



Bachelor and Master's students interested in sustainable development and global health issues related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


The theme of the 2024 edition of the SDG Summer School is “Planetary Health” with a focus on the impact of climate change on human health. The school lasts four weeks, from Monday 1 to Friday 26 July. The format is hybrid, with teams working locally in the SDG Solution Space, an innovation space for students in the heart of International Geneva, while collaborating online with other SDG Summer Schools that are part of a global SDG Olympiad. 

The 4-week program of the SDG Summer School focuses on team-based problem-solving. The agile development of practical prototypes, including weekly pitching sessions to a diverse jury, is inspired by concrete challenges formulated by experts from the International Organizations in Geneva. 

Examples of projects from the 2023 edition include: 

  • Smartphone-based self-monitoring to help tuberculosis patients ensure that they take their medication regularly. (challenge mentored by the Global Fund for the Fight Against AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis).
  • Using Machine Learning to adapt physical education curricula in African schools to available resources, teacher competencies and student interests and abilities (challenge mentored by UNESCO and supported by the International Olympic Committee)  


Students will be provided with a Certificate of Completion from the Geneva Summer Schools at University of Geneva, stating the course is worth 6 ECTS. It is the student’s responsibility to validate this course for credit at their home university prior to the summer school.



Prepare a public link (eg. GoogleDrive, Dropbox, etc.) with your Motivation Letter and CV in one PDF document. Applicants should provide a certificate of registration confirming they are currently studying at their home institution.

Application deadline - 30 April 2024

For all inquiries about the 2024 SDG Summer School:  


External students & junior professionales: CHF 2,100

UNIGE students: CHF 400



US & CAN students

2 travel grants with an amount of CHF 1000 CHF + 20 CHF * 25 days each for students who are enrolled at a US or Canadian University. Before applying, please thoroughly read the eligibility criteria on the official ThinkSwiss website.

4EU+ members only.

4 Full scholarships covering course fees, accommodation, meals, and transportation.

*Charles University in Prague, Heidelberg University, Paris-Panthéon-Assas University, Sorbonne University in Paris, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Geneva, the University of Milan, and the University of Warsaw

University of Zurich

3 stipends are available for UZH bachelor or master students covering tuition fees, travel costs, and accommodation in Geneva.
2 stipends are available for UZH Ph.D. students to coach student teams (contact:

Course Directors

Professor François Grey
Director of the SDG Solution Space
Research Institute on Statistics and Information Science
Geneva School of Economics and Management
& Centre Universitaire d’Informatique
Professor Christina Hertel
Geneva Responsible Entrepreneurship Center
Geneva School of Economics and Management
University of Geneva
Professor Nicolas Ray
Director of the doctoral program in Global Health
Institute of Global Health
Faculty of Medicine
University of Geneva
Professor Katarzyna Wac
Director of Quality of Life Lab
Geneva School of Economics and Management
& Centre Universitaire d’Informatique
University of Geneva

Course Management

Jemy Jacob & Ivonne Arica
IHDS Master Program
University of Geneva

Course Administration

Giulia Brocco
Project Manager
University of Geneva



Valarie Wasna, Kenya, Participant in the SDG Summer School 2023

My experience during the SDG Summer School in one word would be "fantabulous!", but that may not be enough to explain how enriching, eye-opening, inspiring, and fun-filled the SDG Summer School was. I got to interact with fellows from all corners of the globe, and it exposed me to multicultural and multilingual experiences which made the experience worthwhile. I also enjoyed the Brown Bag Lunch concept, where I gained a lot of insights from the expert speakers who shared more about Innovation, Problem Solving, and Creativity. I made lifelong friends and mentors and even got a Volunteer opportunity from the connections I made during the SDG Summer School. It was indeed a life-transforming opportunity that opened my eyes to another way of living, tackling global challenges, and interacting with diverse people.

Furkan Usta, Turkey, Participant in the SDG Summer School 2023

The SDG Summer School brings together numerous expert instructors in the field, offering an insightful perspective on open-source solutions and the Sustainable Development Goals. Through the tours organized during the program, we had the opportunity to witness their action and commitment. This platform brings together international students from diverse backgrounds, fostering collaborative problem-solving for the challenges presented. In addition to its strong technical structure, I must emphasize that I have also gained valuable social experiences. I have formed many wonderful friendships during this course. My heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in organizing the course for their efforts.

Gokul Rajendran, Kerala University of Health Sciences

“Completely out of my world!! Because it showed me what I have not seen before! I learned about entrepreneurship, Gained confidence to pitch & to speak, Gained friendships around the world. The List goes on....! It also showed me what was near me! They connected me to Organisations near me to help my idea turn into a reality. I Still Remember the Virtual Trip we took to GENEVA to the UN Headquarters, The CERN Lab & WMO etc.. Leadership & Team work! which was the most important thing I would like to say! My team was of 4 People living in 4 Parts of the world (Indonesia, Mexico, India & Paris), still we developed our prototype & pitched as one the best. The Mentors they provided were Highly Experienced People from WHO, CERN etc loved them all. The Experience was once absolutely amazing! I would say! go for it! I'm the Guarantee that you will love this!!”

Valentina Rossi, University of Geneva

“This one-month opportunity allowed me to speak up, learn how to pitch a project idea and engage with different stakeholders from the International Geneva and beyond, all this in a stimulating learning environment! During the SDG Summer School in 2019, I developed a prototype of an application with fellow students from different academic backgrounds and continents. Working with them has been a unique experience that made me understand the importance of learning by doing first hand.”

Qike Huang, Erasmus University Rotterdam

" The SDG geneva summer school was definitely one of the highlights in my 2021. It was such an unforgettable and amazing experience in the one-month stay in Geneva. Even though due to the COVID, our summer school was held in a hybrid form, it also gave us such a great opportunity to connect with talented people from Singapore, Paris, Seoul, and Chile. Moreover, mentors from WHO, UN, and other international organizations gave us great insights on SDGs, especially on how open-source health solutions can solve various health challenges. This program would definitely enrich your summer and I highly recommend it!"

Xiaoyan Xing, Tsinghua University

“Participating in the GTI SDG summer school was one of the best decisions I have ever made. GTI is an amazing place where I collaborated with participants across the world and experienced mentors from different institutions and organizations. Those experiences extremely opened my mind and enriched my knowledge as well as communication skills. I believe through the four weeks of intense yet productive work you will learn how to achieve a SDG solution from scratch, how to work with people who have diverse cultural backgrounds and personalities, and so on. 100% recommend it!”