Rural School of Economics
September 2021

The Rural School of Economics initiated by Myvillages is a new trans-local and collaborative infrastructure for trans-disciplinary and inter-generational learning, organised around those who create and use rural economics.

Lots of People are part of this (and more will come in over the coming years). Myvillages initiators are Wapke Feenstra and Kathrin Böhm.

The school is de-centralised, self-organised, multi-lingual and nomadic. It exists as an international network between rural communities, and between rural communities and cultural and research organisations.

The classrooms happen close to where rural economics are practiced, in small workshops, kitchens, on fields, in the street and in village halls. The pedagogy highlights learning as commoning, and focuses on mutual knowledge exchange, where the roles of teachers and learners are interchangeable.

The Rural School of Economics builds on the extensive experience of Myvillages in local knowledge exchange with villages and farmers. And Myvillages has been a leading partner in the Eco Nomadic School (2012 -2018) from the start, and has successfully tested and developed methods and tools for community learning and trans-local exchange.

The Rural School of Economics is initially planned for 2021-2023. The classrooms start in five European regions: the village Zburazh in the Brest Region in Belarus, Zvizzchi in the Kaluga Oblast Region in Russia, Pushkino in the Tver Region of Russia, Pollinaria in Civitella Casanova in the Italian Abruzzo, ruruHaus in Kassel Germany and Lumsden in Scotland.

Parallel to this initial phase the school will re-connect with partners and communities that have been involved in the Eco Nomadic School and/or worked with Myvillages in the past, and extend to new collaborators who want to connect their interest in rural and rural economics to the infrastructure and curriculum of the network. The Rural School of Economics has the ambition to grow into a long-term networked alliance of cultural and civic organisations, who connect traditional and progressive economic cultures.

By 2023 Myvillages aims to have directly connected partners and collaborators in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Belarus, Russia, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, France, the UK and The Netherlands. Colleagues who address community-led economic transformation in South America, South East Asia, USA, Turkey and Scandinavia have also expressed their interest in the wider network building, opening up the possibilities for a globally connected trans-local school.