RLC Valdivia student Viola Debus successfully presents thesis project

Viola Debus, first RLC Valdivia student, successfully defended her thesis on “Appropriate technology to face climate change: The national electricity market barriers and possibilities for Homemade Solar Panels on a human scale” in which she discusses how to clarify and address various barriers to implementation of solar panels based on community strategies.


Rural areas in Chile are still without access to basic services such as drinkable water or electricity. The lack of public policies, the centralization and monopolization of the electricity market, leaving communities with no other choice but to use ways to generate electricity with  high costs, both economically and socio-environmental, example of this are the petrol generators. Even though there are appropriate technologies for those types of places such as photovoltaic panels, they do not get implemented due to various barriers encountered, such as the lack of information and knowledge about its benefits, the high monetary cost of these technologies and/or the lack of subsidies from the government.

This thesis discusses how to clarify and address these barriers based on community strategies which enable a pilot project with photovoltaic panels within the community “Lomas del Sol”, 1 km outside the urban area of Valdivia, Chile. The use of materials available on the Chilean market in order to build a “homemade” photovoltaic solar panel will be studied, expecting to lower investment costs and increase self-reliance of the communities. Another expected effect is the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases by reducing fossil fuel compared to the currently used generators, which would have a positive effect in temperate forests

Vandana Shiva visits RLC Campus Córdoba

In June 2016, Indian laureate Vandana Shiva (RLA 1993) visited  the municipality of Malvinas Argentinas (in Córdoba province), the town where Monsanto illegally started building the world’s largest plant for genetically modified maize seeds (3.5 million bags per year). Successful fights have temporarily stopped this project.

In that visit, she met RLA 2004 laureate Raul Montenegro, who has been working with the organised neighbours of Malvinas Argentinas since they started the resistance, in 2012. Together with “Malvinas lucha por la vida” (‘Malvinas fights for life’) and the citizens’ assembly, both laureates said “No to pesticides” and “Monsanto Out”.

Vandana Shiva also transmitted to Raul Montenegro her enthusiastic support to the recently founded Campus Córdoba of the Right Livelihood College (RLC) which is located in the Faculty of Psychology at the National University of Córdoba.

RLC Bonn PhD student attends Workshop at Deakin University, Australia

Willis Okumu (RLC Bonn PhD student) and his scientific advisor Dr. Papa Sow (ZEF) convened a workshop on the role of local knowledge on climate change mitigation in Africa, at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, in early June 2016. At this occasion Willis Okumu gave a presentation on “Nganyi Rainmakers: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge to Farmers Climate Change Response in Western Kenya” on June 8, 2016. joint pic-deakin

International Workshop on Sustainable Agriculture at the RLC Campus in Bonn


On June 4-9, 2016, 25 young researchers from nine countries worked together with distinguished scientists, practitioners and a RLA Laureate representative on sustainable agricultural with a focus on smallholders in rural areas in Africa, Southern Asia and Latin America.

Key notes were given by Dr. David Amudavi, Director of Biovision Africa Trust in Nairobi, Kenya (RLA awarded organisation), Mr. Thomas Cierpka (Deputy Director of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, IFOAM), Dr. Wolfram Laube (Senior Researcher at ZEF), and Dr. Irene Kadzere ( Senior Researcher at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Fibl, in Switzerland). During the intense workshop sessions, the workshop participants presented and discussed their research in a cohesive transdisciplinary way by building on each participants’ expertise and experience. The workshop sessions were facilitated by Mr. Laurens van Feldhuizen, Royal Tropical Institute , KIT, in The Netherlands).

The workshop sessions and key notes were imbedded in a series of scientific and cultural outbreak events, such as an excursions to an organic farm, to the German Historic Museum and Botanic Gardens of the University of Bonn.

[Update] Please watch the key note by Dr. David Amudavi (Director of RLA awarded organisation Biovision Africa Trust) here:

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