What the Alumni are saying about the UN Summer Academy

Cross-pollination of ideas

“I attended the UN Summer Academy at UNHQ in New York in 2014. Working in UNHCR, I already had exposure to various aspects of UN field operations. However I wanted to learn more about different agencies; and the UN’s priorities at the highest level. The Summer Academy was the perfect forum to broaden my horizons in this way. Meeting with colleagues from various agencies, academia and civil society created a great atmosphere for the cross-pollination of ideas.”

Bhuvana Radhakrishnan, UNHCR

Useful for work at country level

“It was a big opportunity for sharing the information and experiences from across the world particularly on the current challenges faced by UN and opportunities for our UN work. The knowledge gained during this programme was useful for our work at country office level. I benefitted a lot with my interaction with other participants as well as with speakers and other participants. ”

Gopal Sharma, UNICEF

Opportunity to interact with senior UN officials and CSO representatives

“Within a well-structured learning environment, the Academy provided us with a life-time opportunity to interact with the senior-most UN Officials, imminent CSO representatives, renowned university professors, best-selling book author, etc. Thank you UNSSC Team for organizing such a marvellous programme right across the UN HQs. ”

Bijay Thapa, United Nations Population Fund

Understanding the challenges of the UN

“My attendance to the 2013 UN Summer Academy provided me with the opportunity of improving my knowledge on the philosophy, structure and role of the United Nations System. It also helped me for understanding the challenges that current global rapid changes post to the UN System and how it is responding. The course helped me in understanding the place that WHO has in the UN System, particularly from the perspective of the Secretariat, and its relationship with other UN agencies.”

Dr. Guillermo Mendoza, World Data Center

A forum for nurturing ideas

“The Academy continues to be a forum for nurturing ideas that help build a stronger and more successful organization. To perform its mandate more effectively, the UN will significantly profit from an all- actors dialogue and an internal bottom up and top down renovation to strengthen its capabilities and maintain its relevance for the next 70 years.”

Carlos María de Cerón y Castro, International Adviser

A complete eye-opener

“I have been an anthropologist for a long time and attending the UN Summer Academy allowed me to see the interplay of the social, economic, and cultural issues on a macro level. I saw the struggle in implementing human rights at the local level which often becomes associated with cultural practices. There were many challenges discussed and debated during the UN Summer Academy and I believe more people should attend this forum to foster greater commitment from global citizens.”

Maria Alcantara, University of São Paulo, Medicine Faculty

Un Atelier de haut niveau

“J'ai vecu personnellement une belle experience professionnelle au cours de cette edition 2012 de la UN Summer Academy a Turin, en Italie. C'était un Atelier de haut niveau avec une bonne organisation pratique des differentes sessions pour les sous –themes. Les Conferenciers étaient de haut niveau et experts chacun dans son domaine. Les presentations etaient tres riches en enseignements; les echanges étaient trés interessants et trés ouverts. J'encourage tous les collegues de l'Organisation des Nations-Unies a s' inscrire!”

Gaston Gouri Bi, UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire

High-Level Debate

“Attending the first and second editions of the UN Summer Academy was a most enriching experience to me. It was a great opportunity to learn much from the speakers as well as from the exchange with the diverse group of participants, specially being one of the few participants from the corporate sector. I could better understand how the UN and its staff work, and how they relate with private and governmental organisations. The programme covers the key areas of the current international agenda in a quite high-level debate. I certainly hope to attend again.”

Mariana Castro, PhD Candidate, University of St. Gallen
"I was fortunate to attend the UN Summer Academy in Bonn, Germany in August 2016 to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I went to Bonn to learn about the goals and, in particular, make linkages to management practice. The UN Summer Academy was action packed and we were fortunate to hear from many speakers covering a vast range of topics. I personally came away with a few other insights that will shape my work in this space."

Jenny Darroch, Drucker School of Management
“The 2016 UN Summer Academy provided us with an opportunity to explore ideas and learn from each other as well as a chance to meet experts in the field of sustainable development. We go back to our countries inspired and with many new connections, which will help us to make a difference back home. Education is the first step to change attitudes and behaviors in the long term.”

Dwiti Vikramaditya, Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS), India


“The UN Summer Academy was well-organized. The visit to Opladen was a really nice idea to actually see how common efforts contribute to SDG implementation. The program is very well balanced between presentations, activities, trips and communication. Thank you!”

“The reasonably long time for social interaction was brilliant.”

“Overall the sessions were very good and very related to my work. Having people from all over the world and working in different walks of life was an amazing experience. The UN Summer Academy added a perspective from developing countries.”

“The UN Summer Academy helped a lot in clarifying, conceptualizing, defining and redefining ideas and concepts that we use in our professional lives without realizing the transformation those ideas had gone through from the last time we studied them.”


“The groups were great! The UNSSC has an important convening power! Some speakers were amazing. Well done.”

“It was a nice opportunity to learn new things and skills and to meet other people. I was also good to meet forward-thinking people inside the United Nations.”

“One of the strengths of this course is the quality and diversity of the participants which allows sharing of experience and networking. The overall experience was delightful, informative, and intellectually enriching.”


“I found the academy very useful so I would like to recommend it to others. Hopefully next year many colleagues from my mission will participate!”

“Thank you for making the training a great learning experience! ”

“THANK YOU for a fantastic week! It exceeded my expectations! Great facilitation team. Keep up the good work!”


“The UN Summer Academy brought in speakers that were inspiring, engaging, and informative. The speakers provided feasible and practical solutions that we could utilize in our daily lives. The concluding sessions at the end of each day were very useful in identifying the take-away points that we could apply to our development operations.”

“The contents of the course were really good. The sessions were an eye-opener for me and will take the discussion within my agency. ”

“Very valuable presentations and discussions - as well as the materials found on the UNSSC online portal. I liked how the agenda was planned, the chosen themes per day and the flow of these themes. The network opportunities definitely open some possibilities for collaboration.”

“The sessions on innovation and communication are very useful. I will apply this in my daily work. I was most impressed by the quality of the speakers at the UN Summer Academy. I felt very engaged throughout the entire 5 days. ”

“I particularly appreciated the historical perspective, which as a United Nations employee operating at a technical level, I have neglected to pay attention to. It was interesting to get the insider's perspective regarding the role of the United Nations through the Security Council. The topic of mainstreaming Human Rights was also very insightful.”

“I really want to thank you for developing and organizing such a great event! The participants came from many diverse backgrounds and disciplines which was quite a treat. I learned so much and had an amazing time! ”

“It was really a great experience and I came back to my duty station full of energy, ideas and enthusiasm. It was worth every single penny. Thanks again for giving me this opportunity.”


“The sessions were very effective! ”

“Many excellent presenters! Bravo! ”

“A wonderful experience which I recommend to several colleagues working in several disciplines.”

“Very inspiring sessions. Good refreshing course. ”