Welcome to Back to the Land 2.0
We would like to welcome you to this international course about reconnecting Urban and Rural communities by exploring Food Systems through sustainable Co-Creation. The course will investigate ways to enhance food culture and security by exploring local food systems that connect aesthetic, social, ecological, and economic factors together.
During the course, you will be introduced to different design approaches that focus on food and relationships. The sustainable leadership methods from ‘Theory U’ (Scharmer, 2016) are applied throughout the entire course with an emphasis on care and the aim to transform complex social contexts towards a more resilient state that celebrates contact between generations and cultural diversity.
COVID Changes- ONLINE: The entire course will be run online this year 2021. Students will receive an email on June 10th with an invitation to the course ‘workplace’ where all course information will be posted. The WORKSHOP WEEK during August 8-14 will also be conducted online where we plan to connect online with the rural village Hjulsjö in the middle of Sweden.
The course leaders represent the following three clusters;
Food Systems / Place with John Thackara from Ganges, France
Aesthetics / Haptics with Cheryl Akner Koler from Stockholm & Gotland, Sweden
Sustainable leadership / Social Body practice with Annika Goran-Rodell from Grythyttan & Sångshyttan, Sweden
By the end of the course – with its readings, activities, and collective living experiences – students will have experienced:
– new ways to think about food and food systems;
– how to be as well as what to do, in a food system context;
– who you need to connect with – and how, – in order to intervene in a food system;
– how to reflect, in your journey ahead, as well as how to take action.
Here is a brief outline of the course:
Introduce yourself – make a short video (max 3 min) in your local environment that gives a feeling for where you live; and share with us, in a few words, what motivated you to apply to this course. Upload the video on the workplace before June 20th; there you can also find films where the teachers present themselves.
Start Up – Monday June 21 we all get together on zoom at 16:00 CEST for an informal meeting. This meeting will introduce you to the course program, leaders and students. Before joining the meeting please look through the video of the participants that have been posted on FB so you get a feeling for the other participants.
CHECK-IN sessions on MONDAY June 28, July 5, 14, 19, 26th for one hour starting at 10:00 – 11:00 (Swedish time) hosted by one or more of the course leaders. We expect you to join all these sessions. If for some reason you are not able to attend we expect you to send an email to inform us of your absences. The Zoom link will be posted on the workplace. We will also offer some food, place, and social labs during the first part of the course.
- Assignment 1– Explore a local food system that is one you either respect or are critical of. Visit the place and people where you are directly in contact with this food system. Prepare an informative poster that maps out the system as such and your own local or regional relation with it. Some examples can be found on the workplace and in John Thackara’s reading list, for ex: Farm-to-Fork Food Hubs; Connecting schools and farmers; Nature-friendly farming; Regional grain and fiber sheds; Urban food forests. Upload the poster (with your name on it) to the FB workplace during the first week of August, with the deadline of August 7th 13:00. Also please send the poster to email: email@example.com. The theme of your poster will be your way to present your interests and motivation for applying to this course.
- Assignment 2– online Workshop week Aug 8- 14 This week is the most intensive period of the course that is also run ONLINE this year involves an online collective living situation for 6 days. Participants will investigate food system resilience, on-site, by carrying out local studies in their own community, interest board meetings, dialogues, and tutorials. You will also join different groups with experts such as agro-forestry, eco-farming, and food waste. The course will be structured around the five stages of the Theory U-process, a model founded by the Presencing Institute. The different stages involve 1) suspending judgment, 2) embodied meditation, 3) performative activities, 4) poetic reflection 5) journaling/mapping. Participants will also carry out communication, knowledge exchange activities during the week, with a focus on the co-creation of online collective meals whose content, process, and form express ecological and sustainable perspectives. A local and national Swedish perspective will be shared in relation to insight from our International participants who will be encouraged to propose practices from their own cultures with the potential to be adapted locally.
New ways to re-connect the city with the land will be a core theme: Ways that are part-time, but long-term; ways that involve an exchange of value, not just paying money; ways in which land, knowledge, and equipment are shared in new ways; ways based on the re-discovery of historical links between town and country – but reinvented in an age of networks and social innovation.
Each morning we gather ONLINE to participate in common routines such as: preparing and sharing breakfast each morning and introducing Theory “U” lead by Annika Göran Rodell, followed by a unique program designed for each day. Course leaders and invited experts will introduce activities to be carried out in a combination of online sharing and exploring your own local environment. John Thackara’s recent experience in China is on the agenda as well as Food Labs, lead by Corina Akner (VÄRT) and Cheryl Akner Koler and will be offered in which haptic sense, touch, and other non-verbal forms of communication are used in a variety of taste and meal experiences.
- Assignment 3 – Reflection: You will summarize your experiences during the weekly meeting and the workshop week. Each student refines these experiences according to their own perspective, skills, and long-term interests for themselves and for the community. See the menu assignment for more information.
Anna Andreasson is our course administrator. For any formal questions about the course email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have other questions before the course starts please send them to the course leaders through this mail: email@example.com.
Take care from the course leaders, Cheryl Akner Koler, John Thackara & Annika Göran Rodell