Germany, Emmendingen (near Freiburg)

The Future of Food Sustainability

when 9 August 2015 - 23 August 2015
duration 2 weeks
fee EUR 2500

The Summer University on the Future of Food Sustainability will address controversial questions regarding future food security and its sustainability in quantitative and qualitative terms. It will alert students to the present world of widespread hunger and food insecurity and help them to plan for a needed transition to a sustainable food system with access to healthy food and clean water for everyone. The content of the Summer University is likewise relevant to nations of the Global South and to industrialized countries. Baccalaureate graduates and Bachelor students from different regions of the world will have ample opportunity for sharing their food security-related experiences from their different cultural perspectives.

The exemplary case studies in Emmendingen will enable students to apply concepts and research methodologies in other settings.

Course leader

German Society for Human Ecology (DGH)
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Humanökologie
Gründungsausschuss European College of
Human Ecology
c/o Dr. W. H. Serbser
Fritschestr. 26
10585 Berlin

in cooperation with:

College of the Atlantic

Target group

The two-week program is open to high school gradu-ates, International Baccalaureate graduates from schools like the United World Colleges (UWC) and Bachelor students with a high degree of motivation and social commitment as well as a starting academic performance. They are expected to have a strong interest in the topic of sustainable food production. The number of participants is limited to 20. Very good English language skills are required. German language skills are an asset but not essential.

Course aim

Work and research in a Real World Lab

During the two weeks in Emmendingen the students will be introduced to a human ecological framework around food security and meal cultures in different settings. They will be exposed to relevant subject matter, theoretical concepts and research methodologies in a Real World Lab. Practical learning will take place within a transdisciplinary group project with the goal of designing a food and meal security plan for the town and the region. Concepts of sustainable food and meal systems will be explored with respect to meeting ecological, health, social and cultural criteria.

Each group will consist of three to four students who for their project decide on a self-chosen problem to be investigated together with one of our cooperation partners in Emmendingen. Four different perspectives will serve to illuminate the topics of nutrition, sustainability and food and meal security: food production, food marketing and trade, food consumption including meal preparation, and food waste and other losses.
Each group will analyze the current conditions in Emmendingen and propose improvements in terms of greater food and meal security and sustainability. The group work will familiarize students with the practice of the businesses on the one hand and introduce them to a collective workshop environment on the other in a Real World Lab. Experienced faculty members from both DGH and COA will work with the students to guide their learning, while respecting individual interests and creativity and encouraging students to selforganize.

The Real World Lab takes the form of a Charrette, i.e., a workshop open to the public, giving the co-operating businesses and interested citizens the opportunity to become involved in the study process. As work progresses the student groups will show interim results and they will also give a final presentation at the end in the town hall of Emmendingen.

Emmendingen is a town near Freiburg im Breisgau. The region offers a variety of links to the program, including a long tradition of exceptionally highquality production and processing of foodstuffs. It is a hotspot of biodynamic agriculture – the Demeter Movement. Not surprisingly, it also hosts a Slow Food association. Emmendingen possesses several remnants of medieval gardens and has plans to restore them as historical sites. One of the industrial highlights of the town, the Wehrle-Werk AG, develops and builds equipment for energy and environmental technology. It is also exploring the possibility of urban roof farming on its factory buildings.
Seven local enterprises and organizations offer themselves as cooperating partners for the group projects. They include a dairy goat farm, horticulture, a beekeeper, a food marketer, organic shops, rural organizations, and charity organizations.

Credits info

For the successful completion of the Summer Univer-sity students will receive from DGH a certificate of the European College of Human Ecology which is equivalent to 150 hours of study (incl. a pre-assignment, the course and the follow-up).

Fee info

EUR 2500: Information about the application procedure as well as the application form are available on our web-site
The program fee covers tuition, room and board, and instructional material.

Application deadline: April 30, 2015

100.00 Euro early registration discount until 28/02/2015

For any questions contact our assistant: buron (at)


Given certain conditions partial scholarships may be offered for up to five students. Please contact us if you want to apply for a scholarchip. buron (at)