The Sustainable Development Goals and Local Economic Development: UQTR, Quebec, Canada – FRI, Transylvania, Romania

Event details

  • Sunday | July 7, 2024 to Sunday | July 14, 2024
  • All Day

Țara Făgărașului, July 7-14, 2024

The SDGs LED Summer School is organized by the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières and FRI. The educational experiences will allow participants to explore how sustainability challenges affect local communities and how the SDGs can enhance local development. The UQTR-FRI Summer School, which takes place between July 7 and 17 in Făgăraș, Romania, is interdisciplinary and designed for participants with a background in a wide range of subjects. The registration fee for attending the UQTR-FRI Summer School is 300 CAD and can be paid here. To register, please fill in this form.

The Sustainable Development Goals and Local Economic Development Summer School

While hopes for economic development and sustainability remain high, local communities face increasing challenges navigating the impact of global crises. From climate change to enhanced insecurity to digital and cyber threats and populism, local communities find themselves in a growing confrontation between democratic and authoritarian states. All of the above significantly impact local communities’ economic development, leading to growing economic insecurity and augmented political polarization.

Within the framework of the SDGs, the Summer School will focus on more specific sustainability areas. This year, three of the challenges that will be explored are:

  1. the actualization of industrial heritage for local economic development,
  2. leveraging assets in contexts of structural violence, inequality, and discrimination (concerning the Roma population, domestic violence, and intergenerational trauma generated by the former communist-totalitarian regime), and
  3. leveraging biodiversity for addressing climate change.

The experience offered by the UQTR – FRI Summer School 2024 encompasses: 

  • An academic exploration of current thinking on Sustainable Development, with a particular focus on the SDGs, an in-depth overview of current global challenges, and the impact of the above on local economic development in an area that has seen sweeping transformation from a totalitarian regime and centralized economy to a democratic political system and market economy.
  • The chance for participants to engage with local realities in Țara Făgărașului, a beautiful but deeply affected area in Southern Transylvania, Romania.

The Summer School program offers an opportunity to review theoretical insights related to the sustainability of local communities and gain hands-on practical experience in engaging with local communities affected by the challenges of our time. The teaching staff at the Summer School brings together professors and researchers focusing on both natural and social sciences, as well as practitioners in community development. This will create a learning context where theoretical insights are connected to local realities and current community challenges.

Țara Făgărașului, Romania, is an area that has been significantly affected by regime change in multiple respects – forcefully moving from a constitutional monarchy to totalitarianism in the late 1940s and from totalitarianism to a democratic republic in 1989. During the totalitarian-communist regime, the region experienced accelerated industrialization, leading to a population increase, followed by depopulation during the transition to a market economy after 1989.

The population of Făgăraș – the main town in the region – was approx. 10.000 in 1948, grew to over 45.000 people by 1992 and went down to 26.000 by 2021. Such population shifts occurred in the context of the region’s industrialization and de-industrialization, leaving behind significant social, economic, and sustainability challenges. The Summer School will focus on understanding the local context so that participants can generate solutions to the explored challenges. The summer school will include site visits to local communities (both rural and urban) and engagement with local actors who understand local dynamics. Participants will work in groups on the above challenges to generate solutions for the region’s economic development.

Joining us, you will have the opportunity to explore Făgăraș and Țara Făgărașului while learning also about Quebec and, in particular, about Trois-Rivières and Victoriaville, two regions with similar sustainability-related challenges. You will also expand your social network and benefit from an interdisciplinary and intercultural learning experience. Besides the formal part of the Summer School, the program will include visits to relevant sites in the region. The registration fee for attending the UQTR-FRI Summer School is 300 CAD and can be paid here. To register, please fill in this form.


Curs – UQTR, Quebec, Canada

Mihaela Cibian, Ph.D.

Curs – UQTR, Quebec, Canada

Ștefan Cibian, Ph.D.

Simon BarnabÉ

Departments/units: Făgăraș Summer School 2024, Educational Programs Department, Center for International Affairs and Postdevleopment (C-GAP)Center for Anti-Communist Resistance and History (CRAI)Society, Crisis, and Resilience Program

Regions: North America, Central and Eastern Europe, Romania