Ph.D. program Environmental sustainability and Wellbeing - Università di Ferrara

The objective of the innovative PhD programme in Environmental Sustainability and Wellbeing is to train researchers who, starting from their specific background, will acquire interdisciplinary and integrated methodologies allowing them to understand, manage and enhance the sustainability of the environment in relation to the wellbeing of living organisms.

The training is based on the synergy among four macro-areas: The Humanities and the Social Sciences; Economics and Law; Architecture, Urban Planning and Engineering; Life, Chemical and Biomedical Sciences.

Socio-humanistic competences focus on the Ecological Humanities, Ecocriticism and Ecolinguistics; the management of cultural heritage; urban metabolism and waste prevention; inequality and energy transition; decision-making processes and participatory modelling; practices of social, educational and community theatre; pedagogical and psychosocial programmes of education to environmental and cultural sustainability, ecological thought and healthy lifestyles, including subjects with disabilities or special needs.

Competences in environmental and innovation economics, econometrics and law focus on green, circular, and sharing economy applied to productive systems, labour market, smart mobility, green energy and finance, green and digital transformation, green policy evaluation and climate change.

Competences in architecture, urban planning and engineering focus on energy systems and machines; resilience and transition; GIScience and climate proof planning; renewable energy; energy and environmental management of houses, cities, and industries.

Competences in the life, chemical and biomedical sciences focus on ecological and genetic diversity; evolutionary potential of the species; assessment, monitoring and mitigation of effects deriving from anthropogenic activities and climate-changing, toxic substances; plastic adaptation of the human organism to different stages of health in relation to healthy lifestyles.

Routes towards Sustainability

Routes towards Sustainability is an international University Network founded on the 29th of October 2012 by the University of Ferrara and other nine universities.

Throughout the years Routes towards Sustainability has developed interdisciplinary research on sustainable development; activated teaching programmes at a graduate and postgraduate level, published books, papers and articles.


Gianfranco Franz, Department of Economics and Management, University of Ferrara,

Paola Spinozzi, Department of Humanistic Studies, University of Ferrara,

Gonzalo Valdivieso, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.


Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile - Campus Villarrica

The Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile is one of the leading higher education institutions in Chile. It was created on June 21, 1888 and is organized into four campuses located in Santiago (capital city) and one campus located in Villarrica (Southern Chile). Its mission is “to reach excellence in the creation and transfer of knowledge and educational training of people, inspired by Catholic values and always at the service of the Church and society”. The Institution has accomplished this by creating some of the best academic programs in Latin America in the areas of agriculture, astronomy, architecture, art, science, business, education, history, and engineering among many others. The University has been consistently ranked a top university in Latin America according to several rankings in the past years.

The Villarrica Campus is one of the five campuses of the University and the only one located outside the Metropolitan Region. This Academic Unit has historically stood out for its tireless work in training teachers of primary education and nursery education. Its work also includes a set of initiatives in the areas of local development, sustainability and interculturality, with a large number of research, training and development projects carried out since the 1980s. In addition, there is a high sense of responsibility in the promotion of culture, in its diverse expressions and manifestations, in the central-southern zone of Chile, assuming its role as the only university campus in Villarrica city.

Innovation for Sustainable Development Network                           

The innovation for sustainable development network is a worldwide initiative aiming at disseminating the global knowledge around the role of innovation for a circular and inclusive economy and the fulfilment of the sustainable development goals (

inno4sd aims to consolidate the international eco-innovation community and foster collaboration and knowledge sharing by bringing people together from all sectors related to the green inclusive economy, sustainability and innovation. It is an action-oriented network which supports the practical application of solutions to stimulate transformative change and support sustainable development, worldwide.

The inno4sd network was created in the year 2015 as part of the work programme of the H2020 project. inno4sd has been initiated by a number of senior scholars and practitioners working at leading academic, scientific research and knowledge institutions: University of Ferrara, University College London, TNO, UNU-MERIT, Stellenbosch University, Knowledge SRL, among others. The management team of inno4sd is currently working in the creation of the ‘Ecoinnovation Society”, as forum and contact point for all academics working in this topic.

Management team:           
Dr Fernando J. Diaz Lopez, Director inno4sd (Principal consultant and researcher Technopolis Group, Research Fellow at SEEDS & Associate Professor Extra-Ordinary at Stellenbosch University)         
Professor Dr Massimiiano Mazzanti (Unife, SEEDS), President of the Steering Board
Dr Imke de Kock (Stellenbosch University), Member of the Steering Board

AMIStaDeS – Fai Amicizia con il Sapere

AMIStaDS is a Study Center established in 2017 to promote the knowledge of international culture, both through education and analysis activities and by organizing formal and informal events. One of our main goals is to fill a gap we identified during our activities: namely, the absence of an attentive and constant look at Latin America.

In November 2020, AMIStaDeS launched a series of initiatives, entitled "Journey through the (r)existences of Latin America" and ending in July 2021. This project is aimed at increasing the knowledge of this geographical area and of the people who live there as well as at highlighting the rights denied or gained with great efforts and the need for a development to be both economic and social. Even during the conference held on May 8, 2021 concerning the raw materials, AMIStaDeS emphasized this matter thanks to some speakers’ interventions: indeed, the large quantity of raw materials extracted in certain territories, such as Bolivia and Venezuela, does not go together with the local socio-economic development.

In the next few months, AMIStaDeS intends to continue to pay proper attention to Latin America by establishing a permanent Observatory, in collaboration with several entities including universities and media.