The Youth Encounter on Sustainability Course, Serbia

Deadline: 12 April 2013
Open to: Undergraduate and graduate students as well as young professionals from all regions. Participants should not be below 22 and above 33 years of age.
Venue: Kostunici & Novi Sad – Serbia, 28 June – 15 July 2013


Seminar location is situated some 2.5 h from Belgrade International airport in a very remote, but beautiful mountain region of South Serbia, close to the City of GORNI MILANOVAC (25’000 inhabitants). In the middle of the dispersed settlement of the community of KOSTUNICI, surrounded by 30 ha free hilly land with sports and recreation areas and a spectacular view over valleys and mountains, we are accommodated in simple, but well amended block and chalet type wooden houses. Numerous smaller and bigger seminar and recreation rooms (indoor and outdoor), a big open restaurant space, and other facilities are at our full disposal The site is operated by the cooperation of the villagers who take care for excellent local food, and help for exploring the area and arranging local side visits and activities.

For the last 4 days participants will transfer to the Province of Vojvodina in the low lands of the country with its famous old province capital of Novi Sad. About 30 km outside of this 2nd biggest town of the country we will be accommodated in a modern governmental center in the middle of the beautiful national park of Fruska Gora Mountains, with very comfortable seminar, outdoor and rooming facilities.


As in all YES courses we will touch upon and discuss all facets of the sustainability concept within a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary context. Within the framework of a well elaborated systems approach we follow a modular concept that includes the main burning themes on climate & energy, food, water and health, biodiversity, land use planning, policy making, the economic sector, and psycho-social aspects regarding consumption, attitude change, and ethics. Besides presentations from well selected university faculty members and experts, we will spend much time for discussions, case study work, small group activities, and exchange of experiences in our multi-cultural composition of the participants. Besides nature explorations we will visit small local production centers and factories.

The country of Serbia is on the turning point from a dictatorial socialistic towards a modern democratic system. It therefore provides an ideal showcase for many countries in our world today with equal or similar challenges. The way to more real democracy, and the quest to find the right balance between privatization and governmental operations, building a stable infrastructure incorporating environmental and sustainability aspects will guide us throughout the course. Incorporated into the course program along the themes mentioned above, we therefore will work in groups on a very concrete CASE under the leading objective: Common Goods & Sustainable Development of a rural village. Based on the help and inputs from our regional and international experts, we will do a pilot field study, visit local communities and elaborate a future action plan addressing the following additional issues:

  • What are public common goods, and how shall they be managed and what is the role of the private sector?
  • How can we promote an economic development in rural areas with a decreasing population?
  • How can we improve the infrastructure services regarding energy, water provision, sanitary facilities, garbage disposal and land use protection on a low technology and low cost level?
  • How can we introduce sustainable agricultural methods & open up markets for the local farmers and food producers?
  • How can we give the young generation new future hopes, and help creating jobs?
  • How can we enhance the educational system, in a community that looses children?
  • How shall the local community be managed on basic democratic principles
  • How can we enhance the local social capital and increase the well-being without compromising on too much materialistic growth and consumerism?
  • How can we promote through marketing mechanisms a good and healthy rural life
  • What are the long-term sustainability strategies we propose to our model village?

During our stay in the heart of the impressing “Fruska Gora” National park, close to the city of Novi Sad we will deepen our understanding of the challenges, formulate the results of our “pilot village study” and discuss it with representatives when visiting the provincial government in the capital of the partially independent province of Vojvodina. During our 4 days stay in this modern, well equipped education center, we will also have the chance to do some nature explorations and stroll around the beautiful, historic city of Novi Sad.


The YES Serbia basic course with a concrete case study work on rural village development is designed for upper level undergraduate (3d year minimum) and graduate (Masters and PhD) students, as well as young professionals from all regions, the private, public and NGO sector. Participants from any country and any field of study should demonstrate a high dedication to sustainability. The full program will be conducted in English and applicants must demonstrate a working proficiency in the language. Participants should not be below 22 and above 33 years of age.


  • EUR 330 or USD 430 for students from non-OECD countries (including all Eastern European & Balkan countries)
  • EUR 750 or USD 970 for students from OECD countries
  • EUR 1’000 or USD 1’300 for young professionas (studies terminated )

Early registration before March 12th benefit from a 10% discount.

Application process

To apply for the YES course SERBIA, complete the separate application form and return it via email with the requested attachments to: Dr. Roger Baud: [email protected] Application Deadline: April 12th, 2013.

Please enclose the following supporting documents along with your application form:

  1. Your CV / Resume (max. 3 pages)
  2. A short statement of motivation to attend the course (max. 400 words)
  3. A letter of recommendation from your organization or from a professor

More information can be obtained from the official brochure.

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