WSEN 2016

WSEN logo
Posted on 19 July 2016

Organising teams at Keele and Sussex Universities are hosting the 9th annual World Student Environmental Network’s (WSEN) Global Summit in 2016 this July. The WSEN is a hub and worldwide supporter of creative student initiatives to help incorporate sustainability into Higher Education. T heir flagship initiative is an annual global summit held in a different country every year with about 100 delegates coming from dozens of universities from around the world.

The summit runs from July 24th to 30th, with the first half spent at the University of Sussex, and the second half at Keele University. The student­led summit will involve lectures from leading sustainability experts from around the world, hands­on workshops, and a community project. Some of the highlights include: a film screening follwed by Q&A with the Director, Jerry Rothwell; and keynotes by Bina Agarwal, a prize­winning development economist and Director and Professor of Economics at the University of Delhi, Paul Allen from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, and Satish Kumar, founder and Director of Programme of Schumacher College. The summit has been entirely student­led, including designing the programme and raising the £50 000 need to cover the cost of accommodation, food, and transport within the UK for the delegates.

Last year both Keele and Sussex Universities sent delegates to the 2015 summit in Australia to learn from their organising team. Previous hosts have included Doshisha University in Japan, University of Victoria in Canada, University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Student organisers commented:

We are very excited about the opportunity of organising this global gathering of students and are looking forward to the challenge of doing so in a collaborative way between two universities. We believe that showing the delegates two different parts of the UK as well as two different institutions will enrich their experience immensely.

Professor Mark Ormerod, Deputy Vice­Chancellor and Provost at Keele University, comments:

This is a tremendous achievement and it is fantastic to see students taking such a strong lead in sustainability, one of the university’s key overarching priorities and strategic aims, and one of the biggest global challenges. We look forward to building a strong relationship with Sussex and the other universities that will be sending delegates from all over the world. Cooperation is the foundation of building a sustainable future, and with this summit we will genuinely be leading by example.

Professor Andrea Cornwall, Head of the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex, comments:


"Sussex students have a long and proud tradition of activism, and care deeply about not just understanding the world but making it a more just and sustainable place for us all. Coming together with the University of Keele to host WSEN 2016 is a very exciting opportunity to advance an agenda to which we at the University of Sussex are passionately committed."

Professor Clare Mackie, Pro­Vice­Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) at the University of Sussex, comments:

“With staff and students from more than 100 countries around the globe and world­leading teaching and research in areas such as development studies and climate change, Sussex has internationalism and sustainability in its DNA. I am proud of the work that our students have put in to attract this world summit to Sussex and Keele, and very much look forward to welcoming students from all over the world onto our campus next summer.”

For more information about the summit, please get in touch with Rebecca Laycock at You can also visit the WSEN 2016 website and the main WSEN website for a wealth of information about the network as well as the summits.