Food, Place & Innovation - a Sustainable Food Systems approach, Summer school at Bornholm

Gaarden in Melsted, Bornholm, Denmark 5th edition: August 20 – 24, 2023

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.

And planners at city and regional levels at increasingly realizing that. The Summerschool Food, Place & Innovation 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. The Summerschool takes place at Bornholm – the undisputed food island of Denmark.


The written group assignment 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 23 and will allow you – if approved - to get an extra ECTS point on top of the 2 ECTS that course attendance alone will give. The main goal of the WGA is to explore a chosen local case with respect to how the idea of place can be used in the innovation and value creation efforts that is needed to create more sustainable Food System. 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. Methodological approaches for Place-based food studies will be presented during the course. The WGA should be structured 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. For your information, The place and innovation dimension will be introduced during the course. You may explain why it is 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.
RESULT (WHAT): Describe the findings, results and outcomes of your study. The result should answer the question you have raised in the problem definition of the introduction.


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.


The topics of WGA are formulated based on three different themes that course is focusing on.

Examples of WGA topics:

The topics of WGA are formulated based on three different themes that course is focusing on.

Foodscape environment and experience

  • In this topic, consider to explore use case of high-end gastronomy such as Michelin star restaurants to understand how they use local food culture, nature, ingredient, and surrounding to provide food experience.

Place sense-making and business innovation

  • In this topic, consider to explore food and beverage business and their way of creating value to end consumer. How local food business taking advantage of Bornholm ́s landscape, its nature, cultural, tradition, and its identity/narratives.

Food & local community networks

  • In this topic, consider to explore community and networks of food related actors. How new urban and rural food connection and bottom-up/citizen driven initiatives and approaches to connect urban food consumption and rural food production. How Community organizing, movements and mobilization to take control over local community food environments and create food and community learning space.
  • New connectivity 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.



Bornholms Højskole - Nature based accomodation


The summer school is held at Melstedgaard, House of Food Culture, Bornholm. 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. It starts Monday morning the 24th of August and ends August 27 afternoon. One of the days will be a 1⁄2 day off allocated for group work and field work.

The island

The isle of Bornholm is famous for its unique mixture of remoteness and connectedness. 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.

How to get there

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) 51⁄2 hours. Sassnitz (DE) 31⁄2 hours. Świnoujście (PL) 5 hours. Going overland from Copenhagen takes you through Southern Sweden, is easy and takes around 21⁄2 hours by car, bus or train. Remember to stay updated on 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.

Local transport

All connections to Bornholm is through the main sea- or 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 10 €/day if you want to rent a bike and want to use bike for going Rønne (24 km). Being on Bornholm you are never far from the sea so if you are a swimmer don’t forget to bring your swim gear.


We use Bornholms Højskole as our basecamp. 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 Thursday are 175 € per person 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










Bent Egberg Mikkelsen

Phone: +45 35 33 74 64

Course students and teachers in 2022 

The sea buckthorn farm in Høstet