The Euracademy 3rd Summer Academy of 2004
The 3rd Euracademy Summer Academy, was organised jointly by the Euracademy Association and the Nicholas Copernicus University in Toruń, and took place between 16 and 25 of July 2004, in Przysiek, a small rural village near Toruń. Toruń is a very old mediaeval town, located in North Poland along the romantic Vistula river shores, which the Academy’s participants visited on several occasions and were impressed with the statue of Nicolaus Copernicus, which became the symbol of the Academy. Przysiek is located about 10 kilometres away.
In this scenic rural scenery, an international delegation of 40 participants, including academics, researchers and animators in the field of sustainable rural development met for 10 days. 25 participants were attracted coming from 9 European Countries and were assisted by a 15-member facilitation/moderation team.
The students came from a variety of professions –planners, project coordinators, managers, university staff, farmers, rural animators and others. Their average age was around 40, and just over half of them were women.
Before they arrived in Przysiek, the students received:
- A Participant’s handbook, which introduced them to the programme of the 3rd Summer Academy and to the highly participative approach to the training. In it they were also asked to write their own case studies and bring them along.
- A Thematic Guide to “Diversification of Rural Economies”. A second edition of this, revised and enriched in the light of the Summer Academy implementation was prepared and printed in book. The revised material will be soon uploaded in the platform of the 3rd distance learning course.
The 10 days of the Academy included an open space for introduction, followed by lectures, small group discussions, presentations of participants’ case studies on diversification of rural economies from all over Europe and the conclusions panel, held in this order, to explore the theme from different points of view, bringing in the discussion the participants’ experience.
A major part of the Summer Academy and a chance for participants to compare their previous knowledge and experience with real life examples of diversification in rural areas was the two-days study trips to local settings with interesting cases. The participants were divided into two travelling groups. Each group had the opportunity to visit entrepreneurs, farmers, producers, public services institutions and other actors in the Kijewo Królewskie Municipality and the Kowalewo Pomorskie region. The two groups met in Golub Dobrzyń Castle on the second day of the Study Tours. Each group prepared their Study Tour Report all along the tour. The descriptions of the study visits included presentations of places visited, evaluation and recommendations for future development of the visited case studies. The Study Tours reports were printed and distributed to all participants. The groups prepared also creative presentation of their tour and presented in plenary.
The final two days of the Summer Academy included a conclusions panel discussion about the diversification of rural economies; networking sessions for the participants to take further the contacts they had made in the Academy to plan joint activities for the future; and the 1st General Assembly of the Association.