What's the Institute for Environmental Transition?
An interdisciplinary community gathered around the environmental transition
An institute for the transition
The Institute for Environmental Transition of the Sorbonne University Alliance (ITE), like the other multidisciplinary thematic institutes of the Sorbonne University Alliance, is not a laboratory or a group of laboratories, but an interdisciplinary community gathered around a common theme, the environmental transition, open to all members of the Sorbonne University Alliance. It draws on the research and training structures of the Alliance in order to strengthen the links between research, training and transfer of knowledge and innovations to society around the same theme.
The ITE aims to contribute to the long-term environmental transition by providing a platform for interactions between science and society.
Environmental or ecological transition is defined by the ITE as the design and implementation of development trajectories that preserve or restore the viability of the planet for humans and non-humans. It is based on a systemic approach to transform the way we produce, consume, work, travel, live and share economic wealth within the limits imposed by the resilience of the Earth System in order to limit the extent of climate change and warming, halt the decline of biodiversity, conserve the resources, reduce the pollution and preserve health. It implies a questioning of our values, is declined at all scales of space and time and mobilizes all forms of creativity, ethics, social, scientific, technical, artistic, economic, etc.
The Sorbonne University Alliance has hundreds of researchers, research teachers, PhD students, technicians, engineers and administrative staff. The ITE aims to bring together multiple skills related to the different natural sciences and the humanities and social sciences (SHS). It wants to confront them, enrich them, articulate them, engage in a dialogue with all the actors of society, and propose robust scenarios for the future, usable to make informed decisions.
The institute also draws on its educational potential, which includes around 40 undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and engineering degrees associated with the environmental transition, and on original training schemes such as the Science-fiction Committee.
The ITE also works on the transfer of expertise between researchers and actors in society (local authorities, companies, public bodies) who need guidance on environmental issues. Two major projects are priorities: urban areas, which are growing all over the world and are subject to special constraints, and rural and vulnerable areas, such as agricultural areas sensitive to climate change.