Food, Place & Innovation - a Sustainable
Food Systems approach

Summer school at Bornholm -

Gaarden in Melsted
Isle of Bornholm the Food Island of Denmark
August 21 – 26, 2022

Food systems are in a state of change. Deforestation and exhaustion of soil and land resources is a problem, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity are serious challenges for cities and regions. Unsustainable eating patterns and food waste needs to be addressed. As a result there is an increased focus on how nature, food and agriculture interact and how biodiversity and climate is affected by food production and consumption.

This recognition is increasingly being the subject to planning and development efforts at city and regional level. The Summerschool Food, Place & Innovation - a Sustainable Food Systems approach addresses the global need for food systems change from a local systems perspective. It argues that all food systems are rooted in a local cultural context. It is place based and in that sense food systems change can be understood as a perfect example of placemaking. The Summerschool evolves the Food Systems case of Bornholm – Denmarks food island. An island with an impressive record of food and food systems innovation. The course develops around four themes


The written group assignment (WGA) is an academic piece of work that follows the IMRaD format, which involves on-course data collection based on collaborative inquiry. It will be done in groups, presented on the last day where feedback will be given. Based on feedback groups will submit the final WGA (15 pages). The WGA needs to be submitted on September 15 and will allow you – if approved - to get an extra 2 ECTS point on top of the 3 ECTS that course attendance alone will give.

The main goal of the WGA is to explore a chosen case the chosen food business (case chosen) with respect to Place (making sense of place), and Innovation (Value creation). The idea of Place - and placemaking – is based on the idea that both nature and culture can create intangibles as well as tangibles. It means that climate (temperature & humidity), nature (soil, land & its structure), as well as culture, tradition & know-how can create value and used in innovation both when it comes to products and services. And that the sense of a place can shape how sustainability is taken care of.

Methodological approaches for Place-based food studies will be presented during the course. The WGA is structure according to the IMRaD format and should as a minimum include:

What is the rationale for your choice of case. Introduce the case and explain both the place as well as the innovation dimension and aspects. Why is it interesting from a research point of view taking the existing literature into account. What is your “take” and what gaps in the existing knowledge does is fill. End up with a hypothesis and or problem definition. And make sure to return to exactly that by the end of your WGA:

Describe how you have been collecting data to understand the case. Make sure to argue for your choice of approach whether quantitative or qualitative. The method chapter should be organized in a chronological order and should relate to both of the ideas of Place and Innovation. If you take a certain theoretical or conceptual approach you can add a section on that.

Describe the findings, results and outcomes of your study

Reflect critically on your findings. The discussion should evolve around the following bullets: Results (what was you findings and how do they add to what others has found), Methods (how well chosen was your methods in terms of reliability and validity and what was strength and weaknesses and Policy Implications (what should others do based on you findings either at research, practitioner or policy level). If you have taken a certain theoretical or conceptual approach you need to revisit and discuss that as well. And finally don’t forget to revisit your initial hypothesis or problem definition and answer or discuss that.

Please provide a list of references for your work. In the running text please use the Harvard style for referencing.


  • Place making and foodscapes development. Creating identities and destinations through intangibles and narratives. Making sense of surroundings, local nature, or culture, traditions, know-how, geographical indications, terroir etc.

  • Local Food Community foodscape transformation. Community organizing, movements and mobilization to take control over local community food environments. How citizens organize growing, purchasing, cooking, eating etc around local collective and social entities.

  • Concepts of AFN & CSA. Alternative Food Networks and Community Supported Agriculture as network of stakeholders interested in exploring new food ways.. exploration of new urban and rural food connections and bottom-up/citizen driven initiatives and approaches to connect urban food consumption and rural food production.

  • Food systems and digital transformation. New connectivities to link buyers and sellers of food using alternative and non mainstream approaches. New just in time platforms to facilitate new types of smart urban-rural food linkages. Digitally connected attempts to link the urban & the rural.

  • Food entrepreneurship and livelihoods. New and innovative way of creating value from place based foodproducts or services. Market typologies and approaches and business models.

  • Nature Based Food Solutions. The concept of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) seen in a food systems and urban growing perspective. Approaches that adds to cities capacities for local food production and development of green spaces and the green economy.

  • Urban Food Strategies. Urban food policy making and Urban Food Strategies (UFS) as a tool for changing city regional food systems. Examination of local government driven approaches to set local, city or city/region based directions for food systems development using a multi stakeholder approach.


The participation in summer school is worth a number of 3 ECTS issued by the Doctoral School at CPH University.

  • Participation in the summer course gives 2 ECTS
  • Participation AND approved Written Assignment in group gives 3 ECTS



Bent Egberg Mikkelsen
Department of Geosciences and Natural Research Management 
Phone: +45 35 33 74 64


Participant Template (PT).

Please take some time to fill out the Participant template and insert a photo an your contact information. It will allow us to start making a draft group organization. And it will allow us to get in contact with you before and during the course for logistic purposes. All info will be handled in compliance with GDPR. Some of the practical information and urgent communication regard to transport from Rønne (your point of entry to Bornholm) to the accommodation will depend on smooth connectivity, so please join our WhatsApp group. You will receive an invitation. For any urgent matter you may call  0045-25 38 43 66 (Bent Egberg Mikkelsen, course coordinator)

Pre course communication.  

As part of the planning we will do a pre course Zoom meeting on Friday, July 29 at 13:00 CEST to inform about the practical arrangements and the course assignment. Please use this zoom link. Based on your completed PT we will make suggestion for groups and we invite you to appoint a spokesperson/porte de parole for each group. You are expected to get in contact with your group members in the week before the course in order for you to prepare for the choosing of your topic for the WGA and to get the most out of the course.


The summer school is held at gaarden, an old Farming Museum in which a house of food culture has been added. It contains a lecturing room and a large educational kitchen with a beautiful view to the north Baltic Sea. The venue is 24 km north of Rønne. Its located on the north of the island of Bornholm in walking distance to the Town of Gudhjem and with a sandy beach 5 min’s away.   

The island

The isle of Bornholm is famous for its unique mixture of remoteness and connectedness. The Bornholm food ecosystem is one of the main dynamos of gastronomic innovation in Denmark. You can read more about the gastronomic surge that has swept the island over the past decade in the Guardian and in New York Times.


The Summerschool is arranged by Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management at University of Copenhagen in cooperation with the Bioeconomy Graduate Research School  at Lund University and Gaarden at Melstedgaard, Bornholm. The Course Credits are issued by UCPH Science PhD program.

Registration fee

A registration fee of 375 € will be charged per participant. It covers administration, transport and meals during the course.



The accommodation is at Bornholms Højskole.

Please remember to bring linen. If you don’t want to bring you own a fee will be charged 130 DKK a week.

Price from Sunday to Friday are 200 € in double occupancy. Some single occupancies are available at 300 €.

Bornholms Højskole is one of the around 70 folk high schools in Denmark that provides adult education in many different topics. It builds on the ideas of Nikolaj Frederik Severin Grundtvig an 18th century Danish philosopher. Accommodation in a high school is simple, friendly and social.



Bornholm is located in the middle of the Baltic Sea but well connected to both Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Poland.

By air Bornholm is 35 minutes from Copenhagen and approximately 1 hour from Danish airports Billund, Aalborg and Sønderborg.

By ferry Bornholm is 1 hour and 20 minutes away from Ystad on the Southern tip of Sweden. Other ferry routes:  Køge (DK) 5½ hours. Sassnitz (DE) 3½ hours. Świnoujście (PL) 5 hours. Going overland from Copenhagen takes you through Southern Sweden, is easy and takes around 3 hours by car, bus or train including the high speed ferry transfer.

Remember to stay updated on Swedish/Danish border control procedures and always carry your passport (or photo ID if you are a Scandinavian citizen). One way bus prices start from 99 DKK (approx. 7,50 €). Read more on how to get there. If you are flying to Rønne you are on a domestic route and are formally staying within Denmark.



All connections to Bornholm is through the main seaport and airport of Rønne on the south western tip of the island.  Please note that the Danish travel card (the rejsekort) cannot be used on Bornholm so have some cash handy if you want to go by bus.


Bornholm is the bicycle Island of Denmark with spectacular bike paths and bikerental is easy and cheap. Expect to pay 15 €/day if you want to rent a bike. The three distances you need to now about are: Rønne to Bornholms Højskole: 17 km, Bornholms Højskole – Gaarden 15 km and Gaarden – Rønne: 23 km and all on hard surface in rather flat terrain.  Being on Bornholm you are never far from the sea so if you are a swimmer don’t forget to bring your swim gear. In particular after a bike ride a cool dip is great.

Course shuttle

We will use a minibus during the course for transfers. Please make sure to be ready 5 min’s before the departure