IN COLLABORATION WITH Harvard Chan C-CHANGE
Confronting Climate Realities with Concrete Action
Session 1: July 18–24, 2021 Tuition: $3,990 Location: Harvard Chan C-CHANGE, Boston, MA
Join like-minded students, engaging educators, and inspiring mentors this summer for a climate change program with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Choose an Action Focus and delve into climate issues related to your interests, strengths, and passions. Gain perspective from world leaders and politicians. Meet inspiring activists, scientists, renewable energy innovators, and entrepreneurs at the forefront of addressing the climate crisis. Engage with themes such as health, energy, water, transportation, and agriculture, and, over the course of the program, develop a capstone project focused on transforming your ideas into action.
This program was developed thanks to the support of Gina McCarthy, National Climate Adviser to the Biden/Harris Administration and former Director of Harvard Chan C-CHANGE and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Learn from experts at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and other experts, including academics, policymakers, and scientists working in fields related to climate change. Participate in workshops, attend lectures, and take advantage of all Boston has to offer.learn more
Gain inspiration from the experiences and perspectives of political and industry leaders, including the Director of Harvard Chan C-CHANGE and the former governor of Vermont.learn more
Climate Action Plan
Develop a Climate Action Plan based on your interests and round out the program with a presentation to your peers, sharing your vision for practical action to make lasting change when you return home.learn more
“I am excited to be a part of a program at Harvard that will help give students the tools to tackle both the biggest challenge and opportunity of any generation born to this earth so far.”
— Harvard Senior fellow Governor Peter Shumlin
The Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Youth Summit on Climate brings together motivated and like-minded young people to learn from and be inspired by political leaders, climate activists, scientists, energy innovators, entrepreneurs, and each other.
Each student chooses an Action Focus based on their interests—Community, Industry, Policy & Security, Press & Media, or Science & Technology. This Action Focus acts as the lens through which students view the challenges of climate change. Each day, Action Focus groups and instructors meet to delve into the complex systems within their Focus, discuss and brainstorm how to address challenges, and prepare capstone projects.
Daily workshops, Action Focus meetings, and guest speaker events take place near the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Medical School in academic buildings and outdoor settings around Boston. Offsite and field-based learning activities balance classroom and workshop time.
Residence & Accommodations
Students and residential instructors reside at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, just a short walk away from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. Rooms are doubles and assigned by age; genders are separated by floor; and staff reside on the same floors as students. Residence Halls have 24-hr front desk security, high-speed wifi, air conditioning, and on-site laundry facilities.
Activities & Excursions
In addition to thematic program activities, students have the opportunity to explore all the culture, history, and cuisine that Boston, Cambridge, and Harvard have to offer, from the Boston Common and the North End to the Harvard Museum of Natural History and Harvard Yard. Stroll the streets of Harvard Square, kayak the Charles River, or play frisbee on the quad.
Become part of a community of high school students and instructors with diverse interests and a shared passion for addressing the climate crisis. Students hail from across the U.S. and around the world, creating a vibrant and dynamic community of motivated, driven individuals.
Guest lecturers and workshop leaders provide important context for our climate challenges, as well as inspiration for ways forward. In addition, residential program instructors lead smaller Action Focus teams in discussions, hands-on activities, and field trips, while serving as mentors and helping students shape their capstone project presentations.
Each day features a combination of Action Focus seminars, hands-on activities, excursions, and guest speaker events with the entire program body. After breakfast, depending on the day, Action Focus learning may start in classrooms and meetings spaces on campus, or the students and instructors may travel to a nearby site for field-based learning. After lunch, Action Focus seminars continue. Afternoons and evenings offer opportunities to explore the cultural side of Boston, participate in group activities, or work on independent projects. After dinner, students and instructors from all Action Focus groups convene for guest speaker events and evening activities. On the final two days of the program, students focus on their Climate Action Plan, which they present on the final evening.
Guest lecturers bring to the program diverse backgrounds with high-level, real-world experiences and insights. Each speaker structures their lecture to relate to the five Action Focuses and their area of expertise. For example, an expert in oceanography might discuss how climate change is affecting the ocean and include the current technology used to mitigate the effects, the industries involved, the policies regulating (or not regulating) the problem, any community response or involvement, and the media’s role in disseminating information thus far.View full speaker bios
Michelle A. Williams, MS, ScD
Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthLearn more »
Gaurab Basu MD, MPH
Primary Care Physician and Co-Director of the Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy at Cambridge Health Alliance; Instructor, Harvard Medical SchoolLearn more »
Aaron Bernstein MD, MPH
Interim Director, Harvard Chan C-CHANGE;
Pediatric Hospitalist, Boston Children’s Hospital;
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
Marcia Castro MA, PhD
Andelot Professor of Demography Global Health and Population; Chair, Department of Global Health and Population Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthLearn more »
Francesca Dominici, PhD
Clarence James Gamble Professor of Biostatistics, Population and Data Science, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Co-Director of the Data Science InitiativeLearn more »
Howard Frumkin MD, DrPH, MPH
Former Director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the CDC; Professor Emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of WashingtonLearn more »
Howard Koh MD, MPH
Former Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership, Harvard Chan School and Harvard Kennedy SchoolLearn more »
Natalia Linos MSc, ScD
Executive Director, FXB Center for Health & Human Rights at Harvard UniversityLearn more »
Director, Climate NexusLearn more »
Renee N. Salas MD, MPH, MS
Yerby Fellow, Harvard Chan C-CHANGE; Affiliated Faculty, Harvard Global Health Institute; Emergency Medical Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolLearn more »
Governor Peter Shumlin
81st Governor of Vermont; Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow, Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Co-Director, Putney Student TravelLearn more »
The Harvard Chan C-CHANGE Youth Summit on Climate is designed to educate, empower, and prepare students to take leadership roles in addressing the climate crisis.
Students receive, upon presentation of their Climate Action Plans, a certificate of program completion, endorsed by Harvard Chan C-CHANGE.
Scholarship opportunities are available through the Putney Open Door Fund. The Putney Open Door Fund is a nonprofit foundation whose purpose is to eliminate barriers for young people seeking educational summer experiences. The Fund’s Board of Directors is committed to making the immeasurable benefits of transformative travel available to all students, regardless of their economic status.
The Putney Open Door Fund limits eligibility to students who are U.S. residents, whose parents’ combined annual income is no more than $50,000, and who have few assets. Scholarships are awarded annually. Many applications are received and allocation is competitive.
HOW TO APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP
To be considered for a scholarship, candidates must meet eligibility criteria and complete a Putney Open Door Fund application. For more information and to access summer 2021 application materials, please visit the Putney Open Door Fund scholarship opportunities page.
* Scholarships cover tuition in full and any domestic airfare (if necessary) to have the student meet the group. The scholarship does not cover spending money, required packing list items, or baggage fees.
Peace of Mind Payment & Refund Policy
In light of uncertainty regarding travel during 2021, the $700 payment ($200 application fee and $500 tuition deposit) required to hold space on one of our programs this summer is 100% refundable for any reason until April 15, 2021.
If after April 15 you decide you aren’t comfortable traveling on your program, we will work with you to find a space on another program you’re excited about. If you don’t have a second choice program and decide not to travel, your payment is non-refundable.
To read our FAQs about COVID-19 and travel in 2021, click here.