8th Summer Academy

The Euracademy 8th Summer Academy of 2009

The 8th Summer Academy was organized by the Euracademy Association on the theme “Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development:an integrated approach” and took place between 18 and 26 July 2009, in San Marco dei Cavoti, Benevento, Italy.San Marco dei Cavoti is a small village located on the mid-southern Apennines, the long mountain chain that crosses Italy from north to south. The village falls in the territory of the Campania region, province of Benevento, situtated 100 km from Naples (the regional capital) and 300km from Rome. The town is an ancient medieval settlement, typical of the Italian inner areas, with a well-conserved historical centre. The area offers an attractive natural environment and rural experiences such as local food products, traditions and customs. The village hastaken several initiatives to promote sustainable rural development and rural animation, and has been acclaimed as an example of best practice.

In this rare rural landscape an international delegation of 40 participants including academics, researchers, teachers and animators in the field of rural environment met for 8 days. 20 participants were attracted coming from 9 European countries and were assisted by a 5-member facilitators’ team. The students came from a variety of professions –researchers, consultants, managers, university staff and others.

Before they arrived in San Marco dei Cavoti the students received:

  • A Participant’s Handbook, which introduced them to the programme of the 8th 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 to the other participants.
  • A Thematic Guide on “Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development:an integrated approach”. A second edition of this, revised and enriched in the light of the Summer Academy was prepared and printed in book.

The Summer Academy began with an open space session, where participants had the chance to introduce themselves and reveal their expectations from the 8th Summer Academy. Three days of lectures, workgroups and discussions on sustainable agriculture and rural development in Europe followed.

The fourth and fifth day of the Summer Academy, the participants split in 3 groups and took off for a two-day study tour to different locations. The groups produced reports for the locations they visited and had them presented for all the participants.

The final two days of the Summer Academy included a panel discussion, networking sessions for the participants to take further the contacts they had made in the Academy, visits to Benevento’s Museum and old city centre and a formal evaluation session of the Summer Academy conducted by the external evaluator of the project.