The Hugo Observatory will be hosting the third and last edition of the Annual Environmental Diplomacy and GEopolitics (EDGE) Summer School in September 2018 in Liège, Belgium, a flagship event which has already taken place in Paris in 2016 and in Bratislava in 2017.

The Summer School is open to:

  • PhD Students focusing their research on environmental changes and migration
  • Master’s Degree students interested in preparing a PhD related to environmental changes and migration.



EDGE Summer School 2018 – Programme (Final)


Programme Overview

Day 1 // Tuesday 4 September: Methods

  • Introductory Remarks: François Gemenne (Hugo Observatory/University of Liège)
  • Presentation of the EDGE project: Paula Puskarova (University of Economics in Bratislava, EUBA)
  • Introduction of the Participants
  • Keynote Address: The state of asylum in Europe: Pascal Brice, Director General of OFPRA, French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons
  • Roundtable: Innovation in Research Methods: Michelle Yonetani (Independent expert), Matthias Vanmaercke (University of Liège), Sabine Henry (University of Namur) – Chair: François Gemenne (Hugo Observatory/University of Liège)
  • Workshop: Re-thinking Categories and Theoretical Frameworks: Break-out sessions – Group 1: Forced displacement vs. voluntary migration; Group 2: Sudden-onset vs. slow-onset events; Group 3: Internal vs. cross-border displacement and migration
  • Student presentations followed by a feedback session: Break-out sessions 1
  • Welcome Cocktail

Day 2 // Wednesday 5 September: State of research

  • Roundtable: The State of Research, Progress and Blind Spots: David Wrathall (Oregon State University); Caroline Zickgraf (Hugo Observatory/University of Liège); Etienne Piguet (University of Neuchâtel); Dina Ionesco (International Organization for Migration, IOM) – Chair: Michelle Yonetani (Independent Expert)
  • Student presentations followed by a feedback session: Break-out sessions 2
  • Lecture: Approaches to Modelling Climate-Change Induced Displacement and Migration: Alex De Sherbinin (CIESIN, Columbia University)
  • Cruise along the Meuse River

Day 3 // Thursday 6 September: A day in Bonn

  • Participation to the TransRE project closing conference “Adaptation in motion: Linking climate change, migration and resilience”: Meeting with conference participants and presentation of a summary of the Summer School proceedings
  • Tour of the UNFCCC Secretariat offices: Overview of the Task Force on Displacement and Discussions about how human mobility features in climate policy, Tour of the Kinley Gallery

Day 4 // Friday 7 September: Policies

  • Roundtable: Which Interactions Between Research and Policies? Bina Desai (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, IDMC); Atle Solberg (Platform on Disaster Displacement, PDD); François Gemenne (Hugo Observatory/University of Liège) – Chair: Caroline Zickgraf (Hugo Observatory/University of Liège)
  • Student presentations followed by a feedback session: Break-out sessions 3
  • Keynote Address: The Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees: Ambassador Jean-Luc Bodson, Special Envoy for Migration and Asylum
  • Farewell Dinner and Quiz Game on Environmental Migration

Day 5 // Saturday 8 September: Workshop: Authoring a PhD on Environmental Changes and Migration (Mentoring workshop facilitated by the Hugo Observatory)

  • Frame your topic (François Gemenne)
  • Collect and analyze (Andrea Milan)
  • Apply for funding (Panel)
  • Break-out sessions: Maximise the reach and impact of your research through press and social media (Julia Blocher); Publish your thesis and publish during your thesis (Caroline Zickgraf)
  • Break-out sessions: Fit into international research networks (David Wrathall); Write convincing abstracts and proposals (François Gemenne)
  • Distribution of completion certificates
  • Closing address and farewell


EDGE is a joint project supported by Horizon 2020 EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which brings together three European partners: Sciences Po (France), the University of Economics in Bratislava (Slovakia), and the University of Liège (Belgium).