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 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 internationally, share their experiences and adapt models and approaches to the situation at hand.
Before and after the live workshop week, the course involves distance work through workplace, zoom and the course webpage.
The course leaders represent the following three clusters;
Food Systems / Place (John Thackara)
Aesthetics / Haptics (Cheryl Akner Koler)
Sustainable leadership / Social Body practice (Annika Goran-Rodell)
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 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. 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 workplace. We will also offer some food and social labs that are optional 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 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. Send the poster on August 20th before 13:00 to 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 and motivation for applying to this course.
- Assignment 2– Workshop week Aug 8- 14 This week is the most intensive period of the course! It involves a collective living situation for 6 days at Hjulsjö village in the countryside in Sweden. 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, 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 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 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 online and in your own 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 from 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. See 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 to the course leaders send a mail to email@example.com
Take care from the course leaders, Cheryl Akner Koler, John Thackara & Annika Göran Rodell