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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Public Participation in Sustainable Transitions

Energy island Ameland
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Current environmental crises such as climate change, the loss of biodiversity in sensitive habitats, and the reduction of natural resources ask for new approaches to the energy transition. These challenges have technical, environmental and social components, and therefore the energy transition requires interdisciplinary approaches and collaboration across disciplines. Therefore, the summer school adopts an interdisciplinary approach and challenges the participants to think beyond their own perspectives and fields to explore different aspects regarding community engagement, public participation, and citizen empowerment in relation to the solutions for the energy transition on Ameland Island from the Wadden Sea.

The summer school is built around a challenge proposed by the Ameland Energy Cooperative, which will be shared at the start of the Summer School. More information about the role and work of the Ameland Energy Cooperative and the sustainability challenges they are dealing with, but also about the projects and initiatives they work on, you will find out about during a one-day field trip to the Ameland island. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution for any challenge in the energy sector, in the following days, the participants will have introductory lectures given by experts and lecturers from the different faculties in relation to different fields (e.g. law, social sciences, spatial planning, law, environmental sciences, etc.) that are relevant to the development of integrative and sustainable approaches and solutions.

Since a variety of participants with different backgrounds and knowledge levels are welcome to join, the participants will receive reading material and are encouraged to discuss with each other their own findings. Throughout the Summer School, the participants will work together in smaller interdisciplinary groups on the challenge. At the end of the Summer School, the participants will submit and present their solutions to the entire group and to the Ameland Energy Cooperative.

This summer school is linked to the Master Environmental Psychology as well as the Master Energy and Climate Law.

Practical information


27 - 31 May 2024


Groningen, the Netherlands
During the week, there will be a one day excursion to the island of Ameland.

Master students, postgraduate students (PhDs and postdocs), researchers and professionals with interest in public participation in relation to sustainability transitions.
incl. coffee, tea, lunch, 1 group dinner, and 1-day excursion to the Ameland island
€ 300 for students

€ 450 for practitioners and other external stakeholders

Travel and accommodation are not included in the fee; participants attending the Summer School are responsible for making their own travel and accommodation arrangements.
Academic coordinators

Prof. Dr. Goda Perlaviciute - Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences

Prof. Dr. Lorenzo Squintani – Faculty of Law


Maria Alina Radulescu



This summer school is for master students, postgraduate students (PhDs and postdocs), researchers, and professionals with interest in public participation and sustainability transitions.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Course schedule
  • Sunday, 26 May 2024 (evening): Welcome activity. 
  • Monday, 27 May 2024: Opening of the summer school, launch of the summer school challenge, lectures, and social activity. 
  • Tuesday, 28 May, 2024:  Lectures, group work time. 
  • Wednesday, 29 May 2024: 1-day trip to the Ameland island, presentations of Ameland Cooperative.
  • Thursday, 30 May 2024: Lectures, group work time, closing dinner. 
  • Friday, 31 May 2024: Presentations of group work, the closing of Summer School.

A detailed course schedule will follow. The programme is based on:

Lectures: Gain insights from experts in the field of public participation and sustainable transitions.

Interactive working sessions: collaborate with peers to exchange ideas and perspectives on the proposed challenge.

Site visit: witness sustainability in action through a visit to the Ameland island to learn from the Ameland Energy Cooperative members about the inspiring projects they collaboratively work on with other stakeholders to advance the energy transition on the island. 

Social events: welcome drinks and city tour; closing reception / dinner.

Learning outcomes

After this course you will be able to:

1. Learn about key developments relating to public participation in regards to energy transition

2. Gain and apply insights from different academic disciplines on a challenge related to public participation and energy transition

3. Work together in international, interdisciplinary teams of students, researchers and practitioners

  • Preparation: 14 hours
  • Lectures: 32 hours
  • Presentation: 10 hours

Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 56 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Introduction to lecturers

Prof. Mr. Dr. Lorenzo Squintani
As Professor of Energy Law, my research and teaching ginterests include EU substantive law and EU environmental, energy and climate law. In addition, I am Director of the Wubbo Ockels School for Energy and Climate at the University of Groningen, which mission is to work together for a greener and fairer energy transition and climate policy. I am also founder and member of the managing board of the Like!Me Living Lab which studies how to improve the effectiveness of public participation practices in the field of energy and environmental matters.

Prof. Dr. Goda Perlaviciute
My key research interests lie in public evaluations and acceptability of energy sources, systems and policies; and which factors influence these evaluations and acceptability judgements. I focus on theory development and applying theory in addressing acute environmental and energy problems. My teaching involves both bachelor and master courses in environmental psychology, as well as masterclasses and trainings to practitioners and decision makers in the energy domain.

Application procedure

To apply, kindly fill out the online application form. Please note that you will be asked to upload the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (max. 2 pages)
  • Motivation letter, clearly stating why you want to join this summer school, what you will bring to the school and what you hope to learn (max. 1 page)

Early-bird deadline: 15 March 2024 (early-bird discount 10%).
Applicants requiring a Schengen visa to travel to Groningen are required to apply by the early-bird deadline.

Final deadline for applications: 26 April 2024

Applications are going to be evaluated on a rolling basis until the 30 available spots are filled. Therefore we advise you to apply as soon as possible. The results of the selection process will be communicated via email within 10 working days following receipt of the application and no later than 8 April 2024.

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Last modified:15 April 2024 10.56 a.m.