12th Summer Academy

The Euracademy 12th Summer Academy of 2013

The 12th Summer Academy was organized by the Euracademy Association in cooperation with Notranjski Ekološki Center (NEC) on the theme of “Culture and Landscape: Contributions to Sustainable Rural Development” in Loski Potok, Slovenia and took place from 13th to 21st July 2013.

The landscape of Retje-Loški Potok is characterised by its recognisable spatial structure within a wide valley lying on the high karstic plateau in southern Slovenia. The centrally positioned village of Retje in the valley bottom dominates the landscape and although sometimes (especially following heavy precipitation) the underground water table rises dangerously, it rarely reaches the houses, thanks to their wisely chosen location on the highest points of the uneven valley bottom. The village is embedded in the traditional agricultural field pattern of mainly rectangular plots dating back to the 1820’s and run from the bottom upwards to the top of the forested slopes on the both sides of the connecting road. To highlight the uniqueness, both sides of the longitudinal valley are distinguished by a church – on the one side the parish church of Saint Lenard while on the other the chapel of Saint Florian.

In this rare and highly changing rural landscape, an international delegation of 40 participants, from 13 European countries, coming from a variety of professions –planners, landscape architects, researchers, project coordinators, managers, university staff and others- met for 9 days.

When they arrived in Loski Potok, the Participants received:

·        A Participant’s Handbook which introduced them to the programme of the 12th Summer Academy and to the highly participative approach of the training. It also set guidelines, for the participants of how to write their own case studies and bring them along and present them during the fifth day of the Academy to the other participants.

·        A Thematic Guide on “Culture and Landscape: Contributions to Sustainable Rural Development”. A second edition of this, revised and enriched in the light of the Summer Academy is being prepared and will be printed in book.

The 12th Summer Academy began with the-longstanding-International Dinner, that was particularly rich and introduced the participants to each represented country’s gastronomy.

The Summer Academy started “officially”, with greetings from Loski Potok’s local personalities as well as an open space. The days that followed included lectures, workgroups, discussion as well as study trips and visits to places that marked out the magnificent landscapes of Loski Potok.

The first two days included lectures on both landscape and Creative Industries, whereas, it is important to mention, the realization of the Landscape Workshop, during the second day, organized in the context of the E-CLIC project, where Euracademy participates as a partner.

The third day all the participants travelled to Ribnica’s craft centre, to Cerknica Lake, the world’s biggest disappearing lake, as well as to Ljubljana, the country’s capital, where they visited museums as well as the city’s centre. On the fourth day, they split in seven groups, who took off for a one-day study trip to different locations. The groups visited ecological farms, protected areas, natural parks, open air museums, crafts centers and eco-touristic businesses where they discussed with Local Action Groups’ (LAGs) representatives and learned about local food. The groups produced a presentation of their study trip that were presented to all participants.

Three more days of lectures, workgroups, discussions and presentations of the case studies brought in by participants followed. In addition, Euracademy’s 10th General Assembly took place on Thursday, July 18th.

The Summer Academy ended with a panel discussion, a conclusion panel and also with networking sessions between the participants to take further the contacts they had made in the Academy to plan joint activities for the future;

Our Thanks to the Touristicno drustvo Notranjska for their help in the organisation of the study trips.

E-CLIC International Landscape Workshop

The E-clic Landscape Workshop took place on Monday July 15th, within Euracademy’s 12th Summer Academy in Loski Potok, Slovenia .

E-CLIC is a project funded under the Lifelong Leaning Programme, ICT. The project is led by the “Eesti Maaulikool University” (Estonia) and is supported by a partnership of 9 organisations related to lifelong learning and rural planning, one of which is Euracademy Association. The project develops a methodology that aims to inform European citizens on European policies and motivate them to take part more actively in their implementation. The European Landscape Convention (ELC) is taken as an example, given its significance for the environment and economy of Europe and the contribution all European citizens can make on the preservation and valorization of landscapes.

The relation between the project and the 12th Summer Academy’s theme, gave birth to the idea of the realization of an E-CLIC Landscape Workshop.

The Workshop consisted of eight lectures, six of which were carried out by E-CLIC’s partners’ representatives.