”The WSEN connects and supports students from all over the world who are striving to be incubators of the positive change needed for sustainability to be actively practised in all aspects of society.”

The World Student Environmental Network (WSEN) is a unique organisation with specific operational components and values and philosophical components that make it what it is in the large field of student organisations acting for a more sustainable society. The objective on this homepage is to present the DNA of the network in a concise form with necessary background information in order to make the driving purposes and the basic operational structure of the WSEN comprehensible to any member or observer. This builds upon the WSEN past experience and looks toward the future.


Our Mission

The core mission of the World Student Environmental Network (WSEN) is to be a reference hub and worldwide supporter of creative student initiatives for the incorporation of sustainability into higher education systems, policies and institutions at the local, national, and international levels. To achieve this, the WSEN

  • facilitates the development and implementation of student-led sustainability projects through its bundled expertise and experience;
  • collaborates with other student organisations working for sustainability, with a particular goal to articulate a student’s position in institutions and negotiations related to sustainability in higher education;
  • develops its own capacities for enhancing meaningful exchanges and collaborations among student members around the planet.


The WSEN Principales

Diversity is our strength, difference is our goal, youth is our mojo, happiness is our purpose, and sustainability is our path


  • Sustainability - When the WSEN was founded in Kyoto in 2008, its traditional focus was on environmental aspects of sustainability, particularly on Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. During our yearly summits since, it has increasingly become apparent that all challenges related to sustainability are relevant to our work. Therefore, we now address all social, environmental, and economic problems that result from current ways of life. As a consequence, the WSEN itself and its actions have to be socially, environmentally, and economically sound. Due to our historic rootedness in environmental aspects of sustainability, we decided to keep our name as ‘World Student Environmental Network’, recognising that we are living in a time of widespread environmental destruction which affects negatively the social and economic integrity of global society.
  • Diversity - The diversity of our members, of our cultures and backgrounds is our strength. We therefore cultivate co-creation and encourage to overcome existing barriers by an attitude of respect, openness and understanding. There are multiple paths to reach a common goal.
  • Transparency and fairness - In our daily operations, we are consensus-oriented, instead of majority-driven; we therefore strive to find common solutions that all our team members feel comfortable with. Our working structures aim to be democratic, equal and fair; as we aim to be transparent and open to the public and interested students.
  • Resilience - We aim for resilience, and thus consider mistakes part of our iterative learning process. We flexibly react to problems, and allow for adaptations if necessary. This includes being reflective about ourselves and our work and being creative in identifying new ideas and paths.
  • Boldness and creativity - A young student community with budding experience in making changes happen, we judge ourselves entrusted with the responsibility to think outside the box for promoting bold ideas and innovative projects to bring sustainability concretely into the realities of our universities and communities around the world.


A Brief History of the WSEN

”The WSEN connects and supports students from all over the world who are striving to be incubators of the positive change needed for sustainability to be actively practised in all aspects of society.”

The World Student Environmental Network (WSEN), formerly ISEN (International Student Environmental Network), was established in 2008, as a joint decision of students from around the world at the first World Student Environmental Summit (WSES) in Kyoto, Japan. The founding purpose of the WSEN was a need for an international student network that could facilitate information sharing and cooperation between them for the creation of global solutions to climate change and common efforts towards a sustainable society.
Based on the significant work of student volunteers from around the planet, the WSEN has been alive for the past 6 years through its online platforms and especially its energising student-lead annual event, the WSEN Global Summit (known till 2013 as World Student Environmental Summit – WSES). Organised each year by students for students at a different university in a different country, this Summit represents so far the core activity and impact of the WSEN. Each time, supported by the International Committee (previous Summit organisers and volunteers and representatives of the General Assemblies), the local student organisers welcome for a week delegations of students from 30 to 40 universities of the WSEN network, to discuss thoroughly and plan local sustainability projects at universities and beyond.

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