The Hague Summer School

The Hague Summer School is a modular course made up of general and elective modules. You can choose to study for a two week or four week period. The two-week summer course consists of a general module and an elective module of your choice. The four week summer course combines the two-courses and consists of two general modules and two elective modules. Each elective includes at least three organisational visits.

  Interdisciplinary Modules Elective Modules
Week 1 & 2
(3-14 July)
Global trends for
sustainable cities
- Entrepreneurship in
the Next Economy
- Urban Delta Developments
- The impact of fountains in cities
Week 3 & 4
(17-28 July)
Social Trends in cities in the 21st century - Human rights, Security
and Development
- Leadership for 
Sustainable Innovations 

Elective module: The impact of fountains in cities

3 - 14 July 2017

The image of a city determines its power to attract people and to impress the outside world. Architecture has always played in important role in designing cities to meet its reputation. Buildings and landmarks like towers and bridges often convey a hidden message to visitors of the city. Fountains play an important role in this image building but are also important to inhabitants as well for social and health reasons.

The Hague as the royal residence of the Netherlands has a considerable number of fountains. But fountains are also interesting for habitants as playground or meeting points. Fountains may cool their surrounding during summer heat.

In this module you will look into both the physical and health impact of fountains. You will evaluate the perception of local residents of what fountains mean to them. Depending on the weather, the heat impacts of a real fountain will be measures, the participants will analyze the expression of the fountain and evaluate the actual use of the fountain by stakeholders.

Interdisciplinary module: Global trends for sustainable cities

3 - 14 July 2017

The world is getting more and more connected, not only consumers but also organizations are increasingly interlinked. The public and private sector, once clearly separated, are moving closer to each other and will continue to do so. More and more new initiatives will stem from the interfaces between those sectors. The next generation of leaders will be inspired by and will seek the connectivity between the public & private worlds in order to be a catalyst for change. 

In this general module students are introduced not only to trends, but also to methods and tools that help create (a vision on) the future and therefore help shape that future. The focus will be on future trends, for business and public sectors, but also trends that are already taking shape in the current reality.

In this module you will look at several global trends that also have a connection to sustainable cities, since this year our Summer School theme is 'Sustainable cities'.

There are many organizations based in the Netherlands that use their expertise on this topic at home and abroad. With the changing demographics worldwide and growing of cities, we see a global rise in the importance of keeping cities sustainable. Most important innovations will come from Technology.

During this module, you will be given a real-life challenge to tackle in a multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary team using planning and practical methods. Every morning, from Monday to Thursday, there will be inspiring lectures by Dutch experts from the government and private sector and international lecturers. All Summer School students will work in groups on their challenges discussing the topics in depth to broaden your views.

On the last Friday there will be a finale where you will present your work to each other and related stakeholders. On both Friday afternoons students will visit a cultural institution in The Hague.

Interdisciplinary module: Social Trends in cities in the 21st century

17 - 28 July 2017

As the world gets more connected, consumers and organizations are becoming increasingly linked. The public and private sectors - once separate entities - are moving closer to each other and will continue to do so encouraging more new initiatives.

Our next generation of leaders will be inspired by the public and private worlds and use this connectivity as a catalyst for change. So how can visionary leadership, public/private partnerships, social media, technological advances and reformed institutions deal with all the challenges that water presents?

In this module you will look at several global trends that also have a connection to sustainable cities, since this year our Summer School theme is 'Sustainable cities'. In this module you will explore the social side of sustainable cities. With the changing demographics worldwide and growing of cities, we see a global rise in the importance of managing the effects this will have on social sustainability of cities.

During this module speakers from THUAS, Dutch and international organizations in and around The Hague and representatives from public organizations will give you real-life examples. You will be allocated a specific 'wicked' problem that you will tackle in a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary team using design thinking skills.  

Every morning, from Monday to Thursday, there will be inspiring lectures and you will work in groups on your challenge, taking part in discussions and developing new innovations.

On the last Friday there will be a final event when you will present your work to each other and related stakeholders. During this module you will visit The Peace Palace and two other cultural institutions.

Summer School students work together in a multi-disciplinary setting during general modules to broaden their views.

Elective module: Entrepreneurship in the next economy

3 - 14 July 2017

Entrepreneurs are making important changes in global societies. They are developing new products and services and generating billions of pounds worth of profits. But as the world changes, so does their work.
Large corporations are working alongside smaller, grass roots organizations to reach the less privileged. Entrepreneurs are not only focusing on profit, but also on their corporate social responsibility. We now even see entrepreneurship thriving in post-conflict societies.

During this summer school module you'll learn about new types of enterprises and become familiar with innovative business models and strategies promoting entrepreneurship in society. We start at the top of the pyramid and show you the latest financial models needed to make these changes.

You'll find your 'inner entrepreneur' through theory and practical workshops and get a chance to develop your own business ideas.

Elective module: Human rights, security and development

17 - 28 July

The Hague, also known as the City of International Peace, Justice and Security, hosts around 131 international institutes and 80 justice organizations. It is one of the United Nations cities, along with Geneva and New York. Since 1913, the Peace Palace has been a center for world justice, hosting the permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice. You'll also find the International Yugoslavia Tribunal, Europol and the International Criminal Court in The Hague, along with many other courts, tribunals and NGOs.
In this module, you will be introduced to modern security challenges, the protection of human rights and the socio-economic development agenda for countries and populations suffering from grave injustices and poverty. We will focus on the theme sustainable cities and the consequences growing cities have on human rights, security and development.
The module is both academic and practical. You will be acquainted with some general political, economic and legal theory and case studies. Visits include the International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, development cooperation organizations and institutions which encourage democratization.
At the end of the module you will have experienced an 'integrated approach' - how to achieve synergy for peace operations, state building, poverty reduction and basic human rights.
You will write a research paper on specific international issues. The best papers will be awarded special recognition by a jury of experts at the end of the module.

Elective module: Urban Delta Developments Worldwide

3 - 14 July 2017

Are you eager to learn more how to deal with the ‘urban wicked problems' of today and the future, by exploring the complexity of delta areas around the world? In 2050, ca 650 million people will live in delta and coastal urban regions (Delta Alliance, 2016).

Cities in these areas face challenges such as climate change, sea-level rise, land subsidence, climate refugees and the competition of valuable grounds. During this module at the summer school you will explore the effects of urbanizing deltas on the environment, land use, social-economic systems, vital infrastructures and governance; Different cases will be discussed, such as the Mississippi delta around New Orleans, the Yangtze delta around the Shanghai metropolitan area or Ganges delta in Bangladesh.

Step by step you will develop an integral vision for a specific urban delta area. This takes place by understanding developments in the water system, land use planning and demographic developments, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in metropolitan areas at an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital systems. In other words, during this module you will learn about the resilience of urban delta areas.

In this course provided by the HZ University of Applied Sciences, the Research Group Resilient Deltas and partners,  a combination of theory, practical workshops in studio setting, gives students the opportunity to deal with one of the most complex societal challenges of the future.

Elective module: Leadership for sustainable innovations

17 - 28 July 2017

The world has major sustainability issues (social, ecological and economical). There is a need for innovative leadership and bottom-up solutions to these challenges. This elective is delivered in collaboration with the New World Campus. It builds on a unique combination of the New World Campus-experience in the NGO world, the high-end teaching experience of the Dock20-team and the inspiring academic environment of the Hague Summer School. This elective aims at broadening participants’ perspectives in current and urgent social, sustainability issues, like water. It is an open, experimental space for students and young professionals to explore their leadership skills with a special focus on bottom-up organizing. The Hague, as a city of peace & justice, offers the perfect environment for that.

The course is designed to support participants in finding their personal leadership direction by focusing on societal issues as the center from which ideas are created. The course combines theory and reflection with hands-on projects for real life assignment providers. Methods from the field of participatory leadership will play an important part in the program. Additionally, this course looks at innovation as a complete process, using design thinking: from idea to prototype, and from prototype to impact. Innovation can only be called as such when it has a meaningful and useful and recognized positive impact for a large group.

Annual umbrella themes

Each year, we focus on an umbrella theme that looks towards solving a ‘Wicked Problem.’ Students work on projects around a selected theme in both our general modules as well as the elective modules. Last summer, the umbrella theme was ‘water’.

Social programme

As new friendships are a foundation for new and fruitful cooperation in the future, The Hague Summer School is not just about studying. We know that you are also here to make meet people and have fun! During the evenings and on the weekends we offer an extensive social and cultural programme. Activities like the ‘Urban Bike Ride’, ‘Game Night’, ‘Treasure Hunts’ and off course ‘Dutch Nights’ are organized.

You will feel at home straightaway in The Hague. The city has all the benefits of a big city - the museums, restaurants and transport links - but also has a welcoming village feel. The Hague itself has many cultural highlights, including Mauritshuis, the Municipal Museum and the Peace Palace. The city boasts excellent theatres and music venues and is reputed to be Holland’s top pop city, hosting Parkpop, Europe’s largest free festival in June.

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