RLC Bonn student Juliet Wanjiku conducting field research in Kenya

RLC student Juliet Wanjiku, who started her doctoral scholarship in Bonn in 2014 in close collaboration with  Biovision Foundation, an organisation funded by RLA Laureate Hans Herren, is currently conducting her field research in Kajiado and Murang’a counties in Kenya.

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 Her research on sustainability of ecological organic agriculture in the two counties involve field surveys of smallholder farmers, biodiversity assessment as well as soil sampling in some of the farms.

Some visual impressions from working in the field below.

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8th RLC Campus launched in Córdoba, Argentina

Relaunch of the new RLC Campus in Cordoba, Argentinia

The RLC network is happy to announce the opening of it’s 8th RLC campus in Córdoba, Argentina.

The new RLC Campus was officially opened on April 19th 2016 at the National University of Córdoba and will serve as an exchange hub for academics and activists on questions such as human rights and social and environmental justice. The campus will be headed by Professor of Evolutionary Biology Raúl Montenegro, who is also environmental advocate and Laureate of the Right Livelihood Award in 2004.

The official inauguration of the campus was followed by a public seminar on multilateral education and criminalization of social protest in Latin America on April 20th. The discussion was led by Chair of the Board of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation Dr. Monika Griefhahn. Several other representatives from the Foundation and Colleges as well as 2002 Laureate Martín Almada were also attending the seminar. More information on the new campus can be found here, in Spanish.

For more information about the new RLC Campus in Córdoba, please view the flyer (EN) or visit the campus profile (link).

New RLC Campus in Cordoba, Argentina

The cooperation of the newly established 8th RLC campus and the National University of Cordoba, serving as host, was commenced on April 19th 2016. This collaboration will amplify the academic exchange on questions regarding human rights, social justice and environmental protection between the campus and the University. Founded in 1613, the UNC has a long history of advocating democracy and human rights with its students launching a movement for a democratisation of academic faculties in Argentina in 1918.

The UNC is home to more than 100 research centres, 25 libraries, 17 museums and 2 astronomy observatories. The RLC campus will be hosted by the University’s Faculty of Psychology which has more than 10 000 students enrolled. The RLC global network is looking forward to many exciting synergies and research projects to result from the interaction of Laureates of the Right Livelihood Award and students at the RLC Cordoba.

 

 

RLC Lund PhD course: Theories of Nature – Anthropocenic Views

On April 11th to 13th 2016, the RLC Lund and the LUCSUS (Centre for Sustainability Studies) held a PhD course revolving around the various theories of nature, focusing on the areas of evolution, ecology, geomorphology and soils as well as agriculture.

Following themes were covered:

  • Evolutionary theories: From Darwin to Synthetic biology.
  • Ecological theories: From ”balance of nature” to resilience and ”coupled social ecological systems”.
  • Theories of the geosphere: From Davis’ and Penck’s theories of geomorphology to “Humanity as a geological force”
  • Theoretical challenges of agriculture: From annual monocultures to perennial polycultures

During the three-day workshop, the participants had the opportunity to discuss the concept of the Anthropocene, the proposed epoch marked by humanity’s impact on the earth starting around 1950, as well as seminal papers with several senior scholars. Contributions in form of lectures and presentations came from, for instance, Dr. Tim Crews of The Land Institute in the USA and Prof. Johannes Persson of the Lund University.

2nd India-Sweden exchange seminar took place in Lund, Sweden

A report on the PhD course “Critical Urban Theory in Practice”  Module II, Sweden Lund 4-8 April 2016
by Dr. Maryam Nastar: Course Organizer, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies

The second module of the PhD course, Critical Urban Theory in Practice started off on 4 April 2016 with 8 students from India, UK and Sweden. This module was organized and funded by Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), one of the Right Livelihood College (RLC) campuses. The initiative was also co-funded by the Robert Bosch Foundation through the Global Secretariat of RLC in Bonn, Germany. Further information on the first module can be found in the section Campus-News of RLC Mumbai.

After an introduction to the course by Dr. Maryam Nastar, Dr. Turaj Faran presented elements of social movements and contributing factors to their success and failure. This was followed by Prof. Eric Clark’s lecture on political, historical and economic forces that social movements are up against, within the urban context. On the second day of the course, Dr. Anders Lund Hansen and Emmerik Warburg, from Christiania Researchers In Residence (CRIR.net), led a fieldtrip to Freetown Christiania, in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the excursion, students got to know about the history of the community struggles and the challenges that community activists have faced over the last decades in relation to public spaces and property in Christiania.

Students during the fieldtrip to Freetown Christiania. Photo by
Dr. Maryam Nastar, LUCSUS.

The fieldtrip and earlier literature reviews formed the basis for seminar discussion on the day after. This was followed by Dr. Maja Essebo’s lecture on instances of struggles for urban spaces in the global North and the notion of the right to the city in practice. By taking off from the field observations and going back to critical urban theory, Dr. Andy Merrifield, the course guest lecturer, expanded on Lefebvre’s notion of the right to the city through an excellent lecture on the origin of the concept and how it is co-opted by different organizations in contemporary urban studies and research.


The public lecture by Dr. Andy Merrifield. Photo by Dr. Maryam Nastar, LUCSUS.
On the last day of the course, Dr. Merrifield gave an open lecture about Professional and Amateur Urbanism in our Urban Age, wherein he discussed the dominant camps of urban studies and how critical urban thinkers can contribute to challenging these perspectives. For more info about this public lecture, can be found here.
Finally, Dr. Mine Islar presented a lecture on new vocabulary of citizenship and the figure of activist citizen and the course was ended by the students’ presentations over two main themes:        1.The impact of the transformation of urban spaces on urban struggles and 2. Social movements and citizenship practices that can potentially address the urban issues. Students impressively used the course materials and concepts to apply these themes to the case study of Christiania and they well demonstrated how critical urban theory can be used in analyzing urban challenges and opportunities.
The course organizer would like to thank all the lecturers and students for their contributions to and participation in the course. Particularly, many thanks to Dr. Turaj Faran for his time and support in the planning phase and in participating the course activities which lifted up the level of teaching and learning to the fullest.

A collective picture of the course participants in Christiania, Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo by Dr. Maryam Nastar, LUCSUS.

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