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Danish and foreign students work for energy but its make tourism and trade on Samsø

This fall the Energy Academy has had three big university visits with student groups. One visit of a 4-week duration involved two university teachers, their families and 21 students from Maine, USA, who stayed at Ballen Camping, rented bikes and frequented the local co-ops, bakeries, fishmongers etc. This is certainly tourism and experience economy in a new form which benefits the whole island – also the island community’s trade and turnover. The fact that we on Samsø develop offers and stays of great quality and substance means that we as an island stay relevant to many different people all over the world.

The visiting students have had different academic backgrounds, degrees and aims with their stays. The Academy personnel helps the universities and the students to get closer to that which they are interested in investigating. The students spend different amounts of time on the island, from four weeks to three months. The activity around the students benefits many of the island’s trades. They have dinner in the local restaurants, they may even watch a movie in the cinema. They use the ferry to get to and from the mainland. Their activities resemble those of a holiday tourist.

What is the value of a network focused on pilots module of education at the Energy Academy 2.0?

A six year old wish to cross the Atlantic to visit each other provided many possibilities. Samsø Energy Academy could carry out an education module in the fall of 2014 on Samsø. This could be arranged thanks to a decisive donor, the Partridge Foundation, which has a focus on the future of the American state of Maine. The Partridge Foundation donated 10 mio. Danish kroner. In 2013 the Partridge Foundation invited the president and CEO of the university College of the Atlantic and the island organization Island Intitute to a meeting in which the donor expressed a desire to support the areas agriculture/foods, education and the environment with a focus on climate change. The College of the Atlantic would be able to contribute students and knowledge about the areas through their studies. The Island Institue could contribute islanders who struggle daily with those three focus areas. The question now became how these two groups would work together to develop visions promoting agriculture, education and the environment in the state of Maine while simultaneously involving the rest of the islands off the American east coast.

The donor from Maine stipulated that the projects be facilitated through a professional communication strategy to allow the projects to spread throughout the USA. The American media who have visited and written about Samsø’s education project 2.0 since then are the New York Times, Ecowatch and Huffington Post. Many of these stories have been shared on social media platforms all over the world. That really is valuable for the island’s tourism!

Samsø Energy Academy is receiving many inquiries from American universities and organizations who wish to start a co-operation with Samsø and visit us. This is a chance to develop Samsø’s profile on business tourism in collaboration with the local population on Samsø. The islanders and the students all state that Samsø is a unique place to work and stay, and that the openness and curiosity is very special.

We at the Energy Academy want to thank all the local hosts who opened their homes and invited to conversations and dinners. Without you the students and the universities would never get to know the reality behind Samsø as Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island.

The Energy Academy visited Maine in October to close the teaching module at the University College of the Atlantic, and we were introductory speakers at the university’s SHE conference

Here you can learn what the students learned on Samsøøren+hermansen

Learn more about the Energy Academy’s collaboration with the Island Institute

And watch the Energy Academy’s newest film about the collaboration COA – iSLAND INTITUTE AND THE ENERGY ACADEMY


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