CIHEAM Bari hosted the 2023 edition of the RISE-ATTER Autumn School, a residential training initiative co-organised with Schola Campesina and LAG Alto Salento 2020, which brought together 9 researchers and practitioners from France, Italy, UK and USA.
In Alto Salento (Puglia, Southern Italy), one of the 16 territorial case studies of the ATTER project, the participants were able to observe, discuss and reflect on the multiple dimensions of agroecological transition (AE) by visiting farms, exchanging with local producers of different sex and age, and meeting with various local institutions. A participatory learning dynamics organised with the support of LAG Alto Salento 2020, facilitated by Schola Campesina and structured around the application of the TAPE-Tool for Agroecological PErformance, the global analytical framework for multidimensional evaluation of Agroecology Performance developed by FAO.
The practical and critical application of TAPE's analytical steps provided trainees, local actors and facilitators with an open space for dialogue, for an engaging interplay of knowledge co-generation and active community building, where participants' diverse backgrounds, competencies, experience and views about AE evaluation crossed paths with the personal and business stories of local actors, vivid concerns for current major threats - such as Xylella devastation, invasive touristification, institutional desertification - and with strategies for coping with an uncertain future.
In the horizontal, informal learning approach adopted in the school, personal reflexivity was given a central role through a running thread of moments designed and facilitated by a professional learning enhancer from Coventry University.
The full-immersion week, preceded by an online introductory seminar by an INRAE expert, was enriched by expert inputs from the University of Pisa and FAO, aiming respectively to broaden and deepen the training focus. A concluding post-school reflexive session is due to take place online next November.