Welcome to Back to the Land 2.0 / 2022
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, artistic, 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 both on-line and on-site with an emphasis on care and the aim to transform complex social contexts towards a more resilient state that celebrate contact between generations and cultural diversity.
LIVE WORKSHOP WEEK
The course includes a live workshop week, in the rural village Hjulsjö in the middle of Sweden where students, partners, experts, and course leaders from Sweden and abroad, share their experiences and adapt models and approaches to the situation at hand.
The course leaders are
- Cheryl Akner Koler professor in Aesthetics in the design program will lead the course in collaboration with:
- John Thackara, a world – known design expert on sustainability development and social innovation.
- Annika Göran Rodell, lecturer at Örebro University, Campus Grythyttan School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Meal Sciences expert U-Theory leadership methods.
- Corina Akner, industrial designer and founder of VÄRT food labs in Goteborg, expert in food waste.
- Anna Maria Orrù, associate professor in design ecology and expert in biomimicry.
We represent these 4 clusters;
– Food Systems / Place
– Aesthetics / Haptics /Food waste
– Sustainable leadership / Social field practice – Arts / Biomymicry
Before and after the live workshop week, the course involves distance work through WorkPlace (WP), zoom and MIRO and the course webpage.
Here is a brief outline of the course:
Introduce yourself – make a short video (max 2 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. We suggest that you end your video by sharing a local food experience. Upload the video on the WP before June 20th; there you can also find films where the teachers present themselves. You will be invited to join the WP a few days before the course starts. We will also be using MIRO whiteboard so please explore the MIRO tools also.
Start Up On-LINE – Tuesday June 21 we all get together on zoom at 16:00 CEST for a two hour informal meeting. This meeting will introduce you to the course program, leaders and participating students. Before joining the meeting, please look through the Video of the participants that have been posted on WP so you get a feeling for the other participants.
Here are the seven on-line sessions we run before and after the workshop week. We expect you to join all of these seven sessions. The Zoom link will be posted on WP. If for some reason you are not able to attend, please send an email to inform us of your absences.
Five ‘Soil to Soil’ Labs sessions include activities in nature, communities and the kitchen. They run from 10:00 – 13:00 CEST. These sessions are hosted by one or more of the course leaders and will prepare you for the workshop week.
- June 27th Monday at 10:00-13:00 Check in + Soil lab
- June 29th Wednesday at 10:00-13:00 Farm lab
- July 1 st Friday at 10:00-13:00 Process lab
- Aug 1 st Monday Check in 10:00-13:30 Eating lab
- Aug 3 st Wed at 10:00-13:00 Digesting lab
Efter the workshop week
- Aug 22th Monday 10:00 – 12:00 Check in for one hour, plus sign up for individual support with course leaders.
- Aug 25thThursday 16:00 present an outline & keyword for assignment 3 and end with a nice glass of wine/cold water with some haptic appetizers.
- Assignment 1– Explore a local food system that is one you either respect or are critical of. Visit the place and people so you are directly in contact with the social and physical aspects of this food system. Prepare an informative poster that maps out the system as such and your own local or regional relationship with it. Some examples can be found on John Thackara’s reading list, for ex: Farm-to-Fork Food Hubs; Connecting schools and farmers; Nature-friendly farming; Regional grain and fiber sheds etc.
Upload the poster on WP by August 9th before 13:00 and send the poster to this email: email@example.com. We will print the posters and use them in the first board meeting at Hjulsjö. The theme of your poster will be your way to present your interests & motivations.
- Assignment 2– Workshop week Aug 10- 17 This week is the most intensive period of the course! It involves a collective living situation for a 6 days at Hjulsjö village on the countryside in the middle of Sweden. Transportation to Hjulsjö is arranged by Konstfack, see workshop week for details. The campsite is across from the Mission House so bring a tent and sleeping bag for your outdoor living. Participants will investigate food system resilience, on-site by carrying out local studies, interest board meetings, dialogues, and tutorials. You will work with local and external food experts such as: agro-forestry, eco farming, ecological ranching, food waste and biomimicry. The course is structured around the five stages of the Theory U-process, a model founded by the Presencing Institute. The different stages involve: active listening, meditation, system awareness, journaling/mapping, performative activities.
Participants will also carry out communication, knowledge exchange activities during the week, with a focus on the co-creation of collective meals whose content, process and form express ecological and sustainable perspectives. A local and national Swedish perspective will be shared in relation to insights from our international participants who will be encouraged to propose practices from their own cultures that can be adapted locally.
FOOD PLAN – all meals will be covered by participants at a cost of 90 €. To support a sustainable, collaborative, and affordable week, we encourage all to take part in this shared food plan for 3 meals: Basic breakfast – Simple lunch – Amazing Evening meals
ATTENTION! please bring snacks, fruit and bread for pauses.
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 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. John Thackara’s recent experience in China is on the agenda as well as Food Labs, led 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. Anna Maria Orrú will give students on-line support in artistic ways to explore design ecology and biomymicry.
We will work with these local partners during the workshop week: Lantliv Hjulsjö -Ellen & Rudy – Eco Ranch, Magnus/Märta Westling- Hjulsjo 130, Eco Garden & Christina Schaffer – AgroForestry.
- Assignment 3 – Reflection: You will summarize your experiences from the on-line sessions, assignment 1 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. The format for this assignment is a poster and text that will be uploaded to MIRO. We will meet on-line after the workshop week to support this process and end in a social gathering to share ideas for the poster’s and key concepts for headings and text.
By the end of the course – with its readings, activities, and collective living and learning experiences students will have experienced:
– new ways to think about food and food systems;
– new ways treat and cook food that enhance haptic attributes and use food waste; – 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.
If you have other questions send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Take care from the course leaders, Cheryl Akner Koler, John Thackara & Annika Göran Rodell, Corina Akner and Anna Maria Orrù.