Italy, Sillico, Pieve Fosciana, Lucca

Food and Innovation in Rural Transition: the Tuscany case

when 1 July 2017 - 28 July 2017
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 10 ECTS
fee EUR 1000

The programme will be focused on gaining awareness and competencies about food issues and transition in agriculture and rural areas through the framework of innovation theories; the goal is to give students promising tools to design future pathways related to food issues and rural development, able to meet medium and long-term societal and consumer demands.
The Summer School would provide students engaged with agricultural and rural studies an immersive experience on the Tuscan territory, through which tackling directly the issues of food and innovation for transition in rural areas, development and sustainability and experimenting/learning the work of research. Tuscany is worldwide well know for food and rural development and will offer to students the right landscape for a comprehensive study and research experience. Hence, fieldwork and building the case study research focused on food and innovation in rural transition will represent the main body of the programme; in order to fit this goal, students will be introduced to theoretical background and appropriate methodology in order to let them explore the field with the right tools. A special focus will be given to visual methods – photography and video – as means for investigation, documentation and reporting.
Expected competencies
Rural transition, food issues and the design of innovative pathways of change are highly demanding in terms of competences (knowledge, attitudes and capability). The Summer School aims at provide students with theoretical knowledge, methodological tools and direct comprehension in order to better face local processes of rural transition and food issues. More and more rural sustainable development processes and issues related to food ask to better understand and mobilize local resources and to integrate according with innovative patterns, social, economic and environmental dimensions at the local level. The Summer School will establish new connections and strategically visions in order to promote transition in rural areas through innovative pathways of change.
Work plan
The Summer Course is organized into 3 learning sections:

1. Literature review: Food and Rural Development Studies, Innovation and Transition theories
2. Research Methodologies
3. Food and innovation in rural transition (case-study)

The “Review of Food and Rural Development Studies” provides students with the theoretical framework to understand the new challenges of rural transition, mainly focusing upon new forms of connections among agriculture, rural areas and local needs. The programme will be focused on the following issues:

• Innovation and Transition in rural areas and in agriculture
• Local resources and territorial components;
• Multifunctional agriculture: concepts and implications;
• Food sovereignty;
• The changing role of food in rural development (Typical food and consumers);
• Learning networks and synergies for sustainable rural development;
• Agricultural Knowledge Innovation Systems;
• Social learning approach to innovation.

Discussing about selected case studies in Tuscany, students will be stimulated to reflect on the issues emerging from the theoretical framework.
The part of “Research Methodologies” uses a participatory learning approach, where students will be actively involved in observing and understanding the empirical reality, engaged in reflection, discussion and reporting – elaborating concepts individually as well as in groups.
This part of the course is articulated into a series of workshops that will introduce and reflect on methodology for fact-finding activity, analysis and reporting (i.e. individuation of focus and specific objectives, specific methods, etc.)

Methods
• Interviewing methodologies;
• Visual monitoring activities;
• Group work facilitation;
• Data elaboration;
• Reporting methods.

Visual methods will be integrated in this framework, being very useful to build, elaborate, exchange and communicate new knowledge.
“Food and Innovation in rural transition” case study introduces students to the application of the theoretical and methodological background to the empirical cases.
A guided tour of field visits to the Tuscan northern territory, together with meetings and interviews with special informants and stakeholders, will be organized in order to expose students to the specific issues of the course. Within this section of the course, main tasks for the students will be to collect, elaborate and report data and information, according with the theoretical background received and by implementing research methodologies.

Course Organization
• 4 weeks residential of intensive course in a Tuscany rural village (from Monday to Friday):
• 2 weeks of theoretical and methodological background
• 2 weeks of field works - collecting, elaborating and reporting data
• Overall load of 250 hours of activities (lectures, workshops and field trips) corresponding to 10 ECTS

Place
The location of the case study is Sillico village, which is located in the northern part of Tuscany (province of Lucca, 85 km from Pisa), called Garfagnana. This small village has medieval origins and is situated in the mountains, at 700 meters above the sea level. Even if it counts only about 90 inhabitants.

Application Deadline: 15/06/2017

Course leader

Prof. Francesco Di Iacovo
francesco.diiacovo@unipi.it

Target group

EU and Non-EU students (University degree or Bachelor degree, Master degree) as well as PhD students. For students who want to specialize in European Rural Development and to live a practical experience

Course aim

Expected competencies
Rural transition, food issues and the design of innovative pathways of change are highly demanding in terms of competences (knowledge, attitudes and capability). The Summer School aims at provide students with theoretical knowledge, methodological tools and direct comprehension in order to better face local processes of rural transition and food issues. More and more rural sustainable development processes and issues related to food ask to better understand and mobilize local resources and to integrate according with innovative patterns, social, economic and environmental dimensions at the local level. The Summer School will establish new connections and strategically visions in order to promote transition in rural areas through innovative pathways of change.

Fee info

EUR 1000: Course Organization
• 4 weeks residential of intensive course in a Tuscany rural village (from Monday to Friday):
• 2 weeks of theoretical and methodological background
• 2 weeks of field works - collecting, elaborating and reporting data
• Overall load of 250 hours of activities (lectures, workshops and field trips) corresponding to 10 ECTS

Application Deadline: 15/06/2017

Scholarships

No

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