Groningen, Netherlands

Local Initiatives for Sustainable Development

blended course
when 12 July 2021 - 16 July 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 1.5 EC
fee EUR 350

What are the pressing issues of development today? Poverty, inequality and climate change are certainly outstanding candidates in the world we live in. However, what to say about the local problems that cities and communities all around the world face daily? What actions have been taken to tackle such issues? Who are the stewards driving processes of change at the local level? Most importantly, how do these local initiatives connect to the global sustainable development agenda?

In this summer school, we will look into the roles of local actors, particularly the youth, who are coming together to create alternative solutions to the challenges people face in their everyday lives. Our focus is local, looking at the initiatives around the city of Groningen, but also international when discussing the experiences within other hubs in Africa, Middle East and Latin America where embedded researchers and practitioners have been involved in processes of change. We will actively seek for different stories from individuals seeking to overcome ethnic, religious and political divides in their communities to young people transforming post-conflict situations in livelihood opportunities through collective action. We expect to draw a connection among these stories and to engage in a joint production of knowledge with our interlocutors.

Working in core themes connected to local initiatives around Groningen, participants will be able to contact community engaged actors, physically and/or online, and to investigate further into their challenges and inspirations. This small-scale fieldwork experience will be reflected upon under the light of participatory approaches to research and social change. Participants in this summer school will learn about the role of community stewards, particularly of local youth, and will be given the tools to identify key social issues. Furthermore, they will be motivated to find meaningful ways to contribute to social change whatever they are.

Course leader

Josje van der Linden, Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Groningen
Ana Rodrigues Vasse, Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen

Target group

This course is designed for people with an interest in local initiatives on all levels, from very practical to more theoretical. No prior education needed.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Course aim

After this course you will be able to:

1. How to position local initiatives in the broader agenda of sustainable development
2. Getting a global/multi-cultural perspective on local initiatives
3. Understanding the goals and strategies of grass roots initiatives in and around Groningen

Credits info

1.5 EC
Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 40 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Fee info

EUR 350: Fee Groningen: € 350 (includes 5 lunches, welcoming dinner and 1 excursion)
EUR 50: Fee Online: € 50



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