The Global Sustainability Fellows Program


The GSF Program is an initiative of The Sustainability Laboratory, a thought-leader in the global transition to a sustainable future. The program’s foundation is The Lab’s unique theoretical framework, offering an uncommonly rigorous and comprehensive, systems-based approach to addressing issues of sustainability, change processes, and development. By incorporating this framework with hands-on, experience-based learning, international exposure, and cross-disciplinary work, the GSF offers a road map for developing model sustainability processes and guiding project planning and implementation, within a context that accounts for the complexity of the real world.

  • By incorporating The Lab’s rigorous theoretical orientation with experience-based learning, international exposure, and cross-disciplinary work, the GSF experience adds an essential dimension to the education students receive at their home institutions.
  • As the GSF program grows, we anticipate that fellows’ work pioneering effective solutions to critical sustainability challenges will serve as a real-world testament to the efficacy of the GSF approach.
  • Participants in the program are among the first members of the GSF Alumni Association, a professional, interdisciplinary network, where a common purpose, language and framework serve as the basis for game-changing sustainability innovations and initiatives worldwide.
  • The program is currently recruiting for its third summer session, which will be held at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies in Israel’s Negev Desert, a location which will also allow close contact with The Lab’s flagship model development project, Project Wadi Attir.
  • The pilot session of the GSF Program took place over two summer sessions at EARTH University in Costa Rica, during July of 2014 and August of 2015. Students from 16 countries on five continents, and representing a range of disciplines, participated in this session.

The Fellows Say

“I want to create a definition of sustainable practices that I can incorporate into my future work as an architect. As a student peering out of the academic bubble, I seek to understand how ‘sustainability’ can move from the theoretical to the tangible without losing the clarity of the idea.”Christopher Taleff
Global Sustainability Fellow from the USA

“Meeting a diversity of inspiring, like-minded people, determined to making the world a better place, helps to reignite one’s optimistic spirit, in the face of all the challenges that lie ahead. Now it’s time to get to work!”Conrad Steinhilber
Global Sustainability Fellow from Germany

“By using group model building and qualitative modeling, we could integrate the stakeholders in the process of developing the plan. It was great to experience what a powerful tool system dynamics can be, and how the participants of the workshop engaged in the task given.”Therese Bennich
Global Sustainability Fellow from Sweden

“As a person brought up in a poor, rural area, I understand that the heaviest brunt of the effects of climate change, environmental degradation and poor leadership are faced on a daily basis by those whose ecological footprint is too insignificant to mention. I therefore desire to be a leader in transforming the lives and livelihoods of the very poor, marginalized, and hard-to-reach people.”Boru Halkano
Global Sustainability Fellow from Kenya

“I believe there is a clear need to involve social scientists when conducting environmental research; sustainability projects should consider the communities’ values, beliefs and practices in order to combat poverty, improve their social organization and protect their resources.”Rosa Ana De Luca
Global Sustainability Fellow from Mexico

“This year’s GSF session really helped me to see how The Lab’s approach is focused on long-term and systemic change. I’ve learned that sustainability cannot apply to any person, community, or nation, but can only apply to the planet as a whole.”Conor Meehan
Global Sustainability Fellow from Ireland

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