Green Learning Network

GLN Newsletter #2


Welcome to the second edition of the GLN official Newsletter, bringing you the freshest news and project insights, as well as upcoming events!

In this Newsletter you can find:

  1. GLN New Logo Design
  2. GLN Summer School and Creativity Session
  3. 3rd Transnational Project Meeting in Italy
  4. LINQ 2015 Calls for Papers “The Need for Change in Education: Openness as Default?”
  5. Ancient Spices of Cereals and Old Varieties of Wheat
  6. Agro-Forestry Workshop in Paris
  7. Education Should Be Open to Everyone!
  8. GLN Links with the ISLE Association and ICA
  9. Paris World Climate Conference 2015

GLN New Logo Design

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GLN Summer School and Creativity Session

The GLN Project run its first Summer School in Marathon, Greece between 15th to 17th July 2014.

The event, part of a larger summer school organized by the Open Discovery Space project, saw teachers, environmental specialists and learning experts from across Europe come together to envision the future of education in the ‘Green’ subjects of Agriculture, Biodiversity and Rural Affairs. Over three days of intensive workshops, participants went through an ‘Action Creativity Session’ led by a joint team from 21c and AgroKnow.

The Creativity Session paired experts in the field with creative people from different walks of life and challenged them, over a number of different exercises, to take an idea all the way from inception to a fully viable, ready-to-be-launched business. This event, being a part of the Green Creativity process, pushed participants to come up with the next generation of Entrepreneurial Educational tools to encourage greater innovation in next-generation farming. The GLN team created some wonderful models and came away from the session with practical ideas that can become the basis of a future business plan, to ensure platform sustainability in the longer term.

3rd Transnational Project Meeting in Italy

GLN partners spent 3 days in Italy at the 3rd Transnational Project Meeting that took place in Pollenzo – Bra, a home to Slow Food Movement and a beautiful University of Gastronomic Sciences between 20th to 23rd of October 2014.

The meeting brought together the Consortium members from all over Europe and South Africa to discuss project progress, upcoming activities and deliverables as well as to welcome a new partner – the National Museum of Natural History and Science in Lisbon (MUHNAC). MUHNAC joined the GLN partnership recently and it will not only assist in the development of Living Roadmap for pan European green Open Educational Resources but it will also support partners in network enlargement efforts.

In its new Consortium composition, GLN was presented to a wider audience during the Terra Madre and Salone del Gusto 2014 that took place in Turin. Project presentation at this highly popular International Food Conference that normally gathers more than 1,000 exhibitors from 130 countries was a very big success as it attracted many students, teachers and practitioners who expressed interest in joining the platform as soon as it becomes available.

LINQ 2015 Calls for Papers “The Need for Change in Education: Openness as Default?”

LINQ 2015 Calls for Papers, Projects and Workshops on Learning Innovations and Quality for Changing and Opening Up Education.

The 4th annual international conference “Learning Innovations and Quality” (LINQ 2015) has published its three calls related to this year’s theme, “The Need for Change in Education: Openness as Default?” Continuing the successful series of conferences from 2013 in Rome and 2014 in Crete, LINQ returns to its birthplace in Brussels to discuss the place of open education and research in contemporary society. From 12 to 13 May 2015, LINQ will convene international learning experts and practitioners from all educational sectors. Interested parties are invited to submit research papers, project overviews, and workshop proposals on the following themes by 4 February, 2015 using the official LINQ templates available on the conference website.

Overview of the important dates:

- Paper submission deadline: 4 February 2015

- Notification of acceptance: 20 March 2015

- Camera-Ready copy due: 31 March 2015

- LINQ Conference (preliminary): 12-13 May 2015 in Brussels

Direct enquiries and full papers can be sent to the LINQ Conference Manager Mrs Tatiana Shamarina-Heidenreich at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany (

Ancient Spices of Cereals and Old Varieties of Wheat

New research of Paola Migliorini and Irene Benvegna from University of the Gastronomic Sciences has produced significant results in investigation of the 'Ancient spices of cereals and old varieties of wheat for organic and local bread chain'.

World food insecurity and hunger, health, climate change, loss of biodiversity are connected problems. The sustainable agro-food systems have an important role to resolve it. How?

The cultivation of local populations of wheat varieties will produce a wheat of a vintage harvest. In other words, the production of several varieties of wheat in a specific place, in a specific year is more productive, competitive and successful, just like the wine.

The research project in Piedmont started in 2008. It aims at:

  • The conservation and development of agronomic traits of local varieties of wheat in organic farms of hilly and mountain area;
  • Assessment of technological and nutritional quality of grains from different species and varieties;
  • Sensory evaluation of bread;
  • Development of organic and local supply chains of bread made with ancient spices of cereals and old varieties of wheat, involving researchers (genetist, agronomists, food technologists and sensory experts), farmers, millers, bakers and consumers, according to the participatory plant breeding approach.

Italy and Piedmont region are deficient in soft wheat and it is imported from abroad. The national harvest of wheat satisfies about 40 % of the requirements. The massive import does not stimulate the selection of grains of quality, especially in organic agriculture. The seed industry produces varieties that are evaluate with a Isq (Synthetic indicator of quality in Italian) for their potential technological features. However, these varieties are characterized by high genetic uniformity and are selected with high external input and in environments with great availability of water that does not reflect the characteristics of soil and climate of marginal areas. The lack of suitable varieties is among the causes of the continuous and progressive abandonment of cereal cultivation in many Italian marginal areas. The field trial began with a few grams of seeds, from old farmers or national gene-bank, started in some Piedmont farms. Some of the farms that understood the objective and importance of the work, have undertaken autonomous path to produce organic and local bread chain. Two examples:

Main results of the research:

1. A list of suitable variety of wheat for sustainable cultivation, with particular attention to organic farming.

2. The cultivation of ancient species and old varieties in the farms in hilly and mountainous areas of Piedmon.

3. Agronomic characterization of local wheat varieties, sensory characterization of the bread and the evaluation of sensory properties related to consumer preferences.

4. The identification of the flour with nutritional characteristics, that may give to the processed products specific sensorial and healthy properties.

5. The definition of the conditions for the formation of a short chain sustainable for the production of bread.

Agro-Forestry Workshop in Paris

A national event on agro-forestry was recently organized in Paris in the framework of the agro-ecological project of the French Ministry of agriculture. Several workshops and presentations were held which highlighted the importance of training for farmers, future farmers and counsellors in order to develop agro-forestry, a practice that has been abandoned in many European regions. GLN partner, Agrosup Dijon, is also coordinator of the AgroFE project which aims at implementing training in agro-forestry at European level.

Education Should Be Open to Everyone!

Founder of International Community for Open Research & Education (ICORE) and GLN partner Dr Christian M. Stracke appeals to Educators during speeches at BI2020 in Oslo & ICDE in Moscow.

Dr Stacke argued that: “in order to improve the educational quality, publications and resources must be available openly. This is essential to their widespread adoption and usage and to the introduction of open education.”

Dr Stracke addressed a large, diverse audience of international education professionals during the ICDE International Conference 2014 on connecting the world through open, distance, and e-Learning in Moscow from 25 to 26 of September 2014 and during his keynote at BI2020 in Oslo on 13 October 2014, hosted by BI Norwegian Business School.

In his talks, Dr Stracke emphasised the necessity for change which educational institutions face, corresponding to the growing role of technology in the learning processes. However the introduction of new learning technologies alone cannot address the issues in learning quality which have appeared during the revolution of open education answering globalization and societal challenges.

GLN Links with the ISLE Association and ICA

GLN has links with other networks including the ISLE Association: Association for Innovation, Teaching and Promoting Sustainable Development in Life Sciences, Applied Sciences and Social Sciences in Europe and worldwide and ICA: Association for European Life Science Universities.

At the “ICA”- Association for European Life Science Universities’ General Assembly which took place at the University of Ghent in Belgium on 29th October 2013, the ISLE association was accepted to become one of ICA’s permanent “Standing Committees”. ICA’s Standing Committees are either subject specific networks within the disciplinary areas represented by ICA or support networks for the development of education, research, internationalization and innovation.

All Standing Committees are members of the ICA Council which acts as a forum for dialogue between all parties with a view to preventing unnecessary competition, and to benefit from cooperation and the resulting synergy.

On Thursday 25th and Friday 26th September 2014, the I.S.L.E Association, as a standing committee of ICA - "Association for European Life Science Universities", was invited to attend the ICA-EDU Workshop in Vienna to discuss and prepare for the first ICA-EDU Conference in spring 2015.

The goal of the workshop was to identify hot topics in Higher Education in life sciences for ICA EDU to address, and consequently to finalise a programme for this ICA-EDU conference.

At this meeting, Corinne Stewart, President of the ISLE Association, presented how the Green Learning Network aims to address the current gap between the educational approaches in the Agriculture, Biodiversity and Rural Affairs (ABR) fields and the everyday practices of farmers and agricultural professionals.

The topic was of great interest to the other members of the ICA-Edu steering committee and the theme was chosen for one of the conference workshops: “Bridging Education and Practice”.

The ICA conference entitled "Life Science Graduates: fit for Europe" will be held on April 15th and 16th and an add-on ISLE meeting will take place on April 17th at the “BOKU” - University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna.

Paris World Climate Conference 2015

Friday, Dec. 4th 2015 at 9am

3 Avenue du Général Eisenhower

Paris, IDF

Every year the United Nations organizes a “Conference of the Parties” on climate issues. The Kyoto conference (1997), the most famous of all, gave its name to the protocol signed by many countries on greenhouse gas emission. Other recent conferences were Copenhagen, Doha and Warsaw in December 2013. State representatives from across the world come together to negotiate agreements. Other non- state representatives from civil society are also present: NGOs, businesses, city and local authorities and committed citizens.

France has been chosen to host the “COP21” Conference, to take place in December 2015. It will host close to 50 000 players and international delegates. The conference will be an important milestone as in 2015, commitments must be defined for 2020 when the Kyoto protocol will no longer be in effect.

Far beyond conducting and successfully completing multilateral negotiations between 194 countries, the Paris Climate 2015 conference will be an exceptional opportunity to showcase all the solutions and initiatives deployed in the energy, mobility and construction sectors, both in France and elsewhere, by businesses and institutions, territorial collectivities, various organizations and research and innovation centers.

In this regard, the French Committee for sustainable development, the Comité 21, together with the Club France Développement Durable (representing over 60 French networks), has taken the initiative of creating a framework to showcase concrete climate actions and solutions. With this goal, we are collaborating with Alliantis for our strategic alliances approach and with France’s leading events agency, le Public Système.

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