Meeting with Students in Utrecht University
Meeting MSc students at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) on Urban Agriculture
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About 30 MSc students from the University of Utrecht had a meeting with representatives of NGOs involved in urban agriculture in the Netherlands to learn about working done in this field and choose where they could develop their research and prepare their theses.

The meeting was devised and performed (on 10.16.2015) by Dr. Cristina Grasseni with the help of PhD student Vinzenz Baumer Escobar and doctors Arnold van der Valk and Katrien Klep.

Cristina and Vinzenz receive students and guests and present their expectations.
Dr. Katrien Klep developed expectations of the university and Femke Hoekstra presented the projects of the RUAF Foundation which publishes the Urban Agriculture Magazine, among other projects and programs).
Eva Meijerink, from Edible Amsterdam NGO and Merel Hondebrink from Boerenverstand NGO
Menno Houtstra, from Kaskantine (an alternative restaurant with sociocultural activities) and Robbert Maas, from SOON NGO.

In the final part of the mornin Prof.Dr. Arnold van der Valk, from the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS - Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions) gave a talk on the importance of food systems in general configuration of society, and how the necessary changes in these systems will lead to desirable changes in society.
His presentation exposed data showing the importance of the food sector in the socio-economic dynamics of society and stressed the need for strategic management of new eating habits, more resilient in all respects.

Below , Dr. Arnold emphasized the importance of the book The Dynamics of Social Practice The dynamics of social practice in everyday life and how it change, which deepens the idea of ??promoting fundamental changes in society from changing the `tecnossocial` systems that configure it.

Dr.Arnold's lecture confirmed the classic Macrobiotics aphorism - What you eat you are... So also society is what it produces and consumes as food, and can be transformed radically in seeking healthier and more sustainable food systems.

After the meeting, Cristina kindly created this web page to allow students to exchange ideas with me on Urban Agriculture.

Apresentação e plano da reunião
Dr.Cristina Grasseni

Dear colleagues and guests,

In preparation for our Friday meeting I thought I would circulate some shorter points that wrap up the document previously circulated – attached here.

The session’s aim is to establish contact and see what forms of collaboration can be developed so that our students could have access to a "fieldwork site" and develop a reciprocally useful short research project. We might want to address our reciprocal motivations, opportunities, or potential hurdles in the morning self-presentations (recommended from 10 to max 15 mins each, 40 students attending) and afternoon "World Cafè" (meeting students in small groups, in brief sessions of 15 mins each, 35 students attending).

If it helps, in your brief self-introductions you could address the following question:

  • How do you envision collaboration with students? (choosing a research question, deciding on methods, final product, data analysis and data ownership).
  • Could you offer access for fieldwork, opportunities for internships, guidance/tutorship?
Perhaps the following, more detailed questions are also of guidance for the world cafè:
  • What kind of research or topics you would like to see addressed by the students?
  • What kind of methods you use/ you would welcome from them
  • If there are particular questions/ type of knowledge/ data that you would like them to produce?
  • In what form would you like to see the results of the research (policy document / internal document/ web site contents etc)?
  • Do you have a policy on data ownership regarding the research data, results and final product? (students should own the data they produce).

Our goal for the moment is to facilitate networking among students and institutions/organizations/entrepreneurs that are busy with sustainable food initiatives "on the ground". From the results of our actual conversations on Friday, we aim to have enough food for thought to come up with an agenda of points that need attention to develop student projects.

Myself and Dr.Katrien Klep will be with you in the morning, and I will continue working with you in the afternoon "World Cafè" (talking to students in small groups) with Ph.D. candidate Vinzenz Baumer Escobar.

Looking forward to meeting you all