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Dr. Philippe Forêt Joins Bard College as Senior Research Fellow

The Graduate Programs in Sustainability (GPS) at Bard College in New York are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Philippe Forêt as a Senior Research Fellow.  Prof. Forêt works at the Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at the School of Management Fribourg (University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland). He was for ten years the Co-Director of Environmental Humanities Switzerland at SAGUF (Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences), which he founded in 2013 with Profs. Christoph Kueffer (ETH Zurich and OST Universities) and Marc Hall (University of Zurich). He has been since 2020 a member of Prof. Max Bergman's Social Transitions Research Group in the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Basel. He joins Bard’s GPS to expand worldwide their work on democratizing access to social entrepreneurship education, and also to support GPS’ coordination of global climate education.

Bard GPS is engaging students at more than a dozen universities across the world in a proven, rigorous 15-week course in social entrepreneurship. The project combines (1) the reach of synchronous on-line education via a powerful, social technology platform called Rebelbase with (2) the high-touch, small-class, in-person instruction needed to master the innovation skillset. Students are based at colleges, universities and NGO’s. Graduates are empowered to continue their entrepreneurial work through continued access to the on-line innovation ecosystem. Through a train-the-trainer model, the project is also expanding social entrepreneurship educational capacity worldwide. The project is built to scale, with a goal of reaching tens of thousands of students each year and democratizing global access to tools for innovation.

To date, the project has included students and faculty from Bard College as well as: BRAC U in Bangladesh, the European Humanities U in Lithuania and the American U of Central Asia in Kyrgyzstan and Al Quds U in the West Bank, the American U of Bulgaria, U of Professional Studies in Ghana, U de Los Andes in Colombia, Open U of the Philippines, Parami U (Burma), National Sun Yat Sen U in Taiwan and Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México. In addition, the project has included NGO-based entrepreneurs in South Africa and refugee-camp based learners in Kenya, as well as a cohort from the professional association for sustainability in higher education, AASHE. A short video introduction featuring student projects from Bangladesh and Palestine is here.

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Bard GPS also leads a global effort in coordinated climate education. Over the last five years, GPS has helped organize April climate education events at hundreds of colleges, universities and K-12 schools across the world, each year involving tens of thousands of students in more than 60 countries. Part of this work involves supporting faculty to “make climate a class” in non-climate courses, bringing climate solutions and climate justice conversations directly into topics across the curriculum.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Dr. Forêt join our team,” says economist and GPS Director Eban Goodstein. “Philippe brings a wealth of experience driving successful, large-scale interdisciplinary research programs, and we look forward to bringing his expertise to bear in our work in democratizing access to innovation worldwide.” Forêt currently serves as an expert advisor for the UNESCO Inclusive Policy Lab, Management of Social Transformations Program, and as a member of the UNESCO BRIDGES Coalition on Sustainability Sciences. He is also an external expert the European Cooperation in Science and Technology program, and a Senior Research Fellow and Mentor the Earth System Governance program of Utrecht University. He is in addition the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment nominee for the Special Report on Climate Change and Cities for the 7th IPCC Cycle.

The Bard Graduate Programs in Sustainability offer the following degrees: MS Environmental Policy; MS Climate Science and Policy; M Ed in Environmental Education, and the MBA in Sustainability. The Bard MBA is one of a few graduate business programs worldwide that fully integrate a focus on mission-driven business and sustainability into a core MBA. Ranked the #1 Green MBA by the Princeton Review in 2021, 2022 and 2023, the program was also ranked #2 in the nation for Non-Profit Management by the Review in 2023, and was, in addition, listed as #4 in Corporate Knights Better World MBA global ranking for 2024.


About the Author

Katie Boyle

Katie Boyle

Katie Boyle is the Enrollment and Marketing Director for the Bard MBA in Sustainability program and Bard Center for Environmental Policy. In this role, she oversees the marketing and brand management for The Impact Report podcast. She also manages recruiting, admissions, and enrollment for both programs as well marketing and advertising campaigns.