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Feeding the Billions: Challenges and Innovation in Food and Water Security Interdisciplinary Studies Program Summer 2023 July 4-Week - Amsterdam

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Feeding the Billions: Challenges and Innovation in Food and Water Security

Feeding the Billions: Challenges and Innovation in Food and Water Security Course Overview


CEA Partner Institution: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Primary Subject Area: Env. Sciences
Instruction in: English
Course Details: Level 300
Recommended Semester Credits: 3
Contact Hours: 45


There are 7.8 billion people to feed today, and this number is expected to increase to about 10 billion by 2050. More food is needed, and more food means more water for crops and livestock to grow.

This course is evidence-based and addresses food and water challenges and innovative interventions from various disciplinary perspectives and socio-cultural contexts, using real-life examples. Interactive theoretical lecture sessions are alternated with debates, group work and a field visit. Students will benefit from discussions with their peers from different disciplinary backgrounds and countries of origin. At least five of the following topics will be covered:
- Drivers of food and water security
- Food systems and transdisciplinary research
- Water management in flood-prone areas and water-scarce areas
- Food (and water) prices and food economics
- Innovative interventions to feed the world more sustainably

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
- Better understand food and water security, its context (local to global), major challenges, innovative solutions and policies.
- Understand and can explain major concepts and theories in this field.
- Be able to select and apply appropriate transdisciplinary approaches in food and water security research
- Have acquired skills to evaluate research and do critical reading of the literature.
- Possess the communication skills needed to participate in current debates in the field of food and water security.

This course is going to be taught through lectures, excursions (if possible), discussions, group work and videos. Students will be assessed through active participation and a poster presentation.

We bring practice to the classroom by using real-life examples from the Netherlands and from projects in Africa and Southeast Asia. Assessment is based on student participation and the preparation of a digital poster (1 per group), based on peer-reviewed scientific journals supported by other, non-academic, yet societal relevant articles, to be presented during class (by means of an oral group presentation).
Contact hours listed under a course description may vary due to the combination of lecture-based and independent work required for each course. CEA's recommended credits are based on the contact hours assigned by Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam): 15 contact hours equals 1 U.S. credit

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