Social Innovation in Rural Areas Course - University of Padova


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description


Explore applications of social innovation in rural areas and discover best practices for managing social innovation projects.

Use social innovation to improve conditions in disadvantaged rural areas

On this course, you’ll learn what social innovation is, how it can best be supported and where innovation efforts should be concentrated. You’ll specifically focus on the challenges facing rural areas.

You’ll be introduced to a range of approaches for actioning social innovation initiatives as you explore the role of communities and society in innovation development.

Using global case-studies, you’ll analyse new approaches proposed by 26 partners involved in the EU H2020 research project, SIMRA. You’ll explore the findings of the project, led by the project partners themselves.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to Social Innovation.
  • Characteristics of social innovation in rural areas.
  • Social innovation in rural areas in practice.
  • Good practices and adaptive management in social innovation projects.
  • Methods to evaluate social innovation in rural areas.
  • Policy needs and policies for supporting social innovation in rural areas.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the concept of social innovation and its influence on social, economic and environmental outcomes in rural areas.
  • Improve awareness of the multiple applications of rural social innovation to support social well-being.
  • Develop competences for identifying, categorising and analysing cases of social innovation in Europe and non-European Mediterranean countries.
  • Assess social innovation through innovative techniques of evaluation.
  • Identify diverse roles of communities and civil society in the development of social innovation initiatives.
  • Explore a range of tools and methods to better support social innovation.
  • Classify factors that affect the development of social innovation in rural areas.
  • Compare the policy contexts for social innovation in rural areas and their role in stimulating or constraining its development.

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for anyone interested in innovation in rural development.

This may include decision-makers, public, private and third sector development agents, evaluators, facilitators, technical advisors, researchers or students involved in social innovation projects in rural areas.

Who will you learn with?

Antonio Lopez-Francos

I am an Agriculture Engineer, Postgraduate in Rural Development. I work at IAMZ-CIHEAM since 2004, being involved in the management and implementation of 17 EU projects. I also own a sheep farm.

Todora Rogelja

I hold a PhD on governance capacity for forest-based social innovation from the University of Padova. I have a strong interest in rural development, environmental policy, and innovation governance.

Laura Secco

I am Associate Professor at TESAF Dept., School of Agricultural Sciences, University of Padova. My fields of expertise are social innovation evaluation, rural development, forest policy & governance.

Elena Pisani

Agricultural Economist of the Dep. TESAF of the University of Padova (Italy), interested in measuring social innovation and social capital in rural development projects.

Riccardo Da Re

Postdoctoral Researcher at TESAF Department, University of Padova. I work mainly on social innovation, NWFP supply chain and PES, through SNA, participatory approaches, sampling design and statistics!

Kamini Vicentini

Assistant researcher at TESAF Department-Padua University. Trained in international relations and local development, I am interested in rural development, international cooperation and social farming.

David Miller

David is the Knowledge Exchange Coordinator at the James Hutton Institute. He has a background in geography and mathematics, working on community engagement in science, land use and landscape change.

Valentino Marini Govigli

Formally trained as an economist, I have lately "greened" my background working in the forestry sector as a researcher at EFIMED in Barcelona. Besides my work, I enjoy bike trips and gardening.

Bill Slee

Bill Slee is active in rural community development in NE Scotland as a trustee of several third sector bodies and is also engaged in rural socio-economic research.

Marijke Dijkshoorn is a senior researcher at Wageningen University & Research on urban-rural interactions, knowledge valorisation and (social) innovation in the field of food, greenery and agriculture.

Robert Lukesch

Robert Lukesch, an associate of the ÖAR GmbH; I am a consultant and researcher focusing on inclusive and sustainable governance with a strong focus on Community-Led Local Development.

Rosalind Bryce

Rosalind is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Mountain Studies, Perth College, University of the Highlands and Islands in Scotland.

Alice Ludvig

Alice Ludvig, a senior researcher at University of Life Sciences and Natural Resources, Vienna (BOKU). I am a researcher and lecturer focusing on policy sciences and governance studies.

Elena Gorriz

PhD Forest Governance, MSc Economics, MSc Forestry. I'm a researcher on forest policy and socio-economics, working on social capital, forest ownership, ecosystem services and non-wood forest products.

Diana Valero

Postdoctoral researcher at Perth College-University of the Highlands and Islands. She has been working since 2016 in SIMRA, studying the diversity of examples of social innovation in rural areas.

Lucía López Marco

I am a European Projects Technician at IAMZ-CIHEAM. I hold a Degree in Veterinary Medicine, a Master in Agroecology, Rural Development and Agritourism and a Master on Scientific Communication.

Who developed the course?

University of Padova

The University of Padova is one of Europe’s oldest and most prestigious seats of learning; it aims to provide its students with both professional training and a solid cultural background.

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza

Founded in 1962, the CIHEAM is a Mediterranean intergovernmental organisation devoted to the sustainable development of agriculture and fisheries, food and nutrition security and rural and coastal areas.

SIMRA - Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas

SIMRA seeks to advance understanding of social innovation and innovative governance in agriculture, forestry and rural development, and how to boost them, particularly in marginalised rural areas across Europe.

EU (Horizon 2020 Project)

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 677622.

Join this course



$259.99 for one year

Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks

Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • Access to this course’s tests as well as a print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year
Last updated Sep 2020

About the School

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses.

Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses. Read less
London , Aberdeen , Auckland , Baltimore , Barcelona , Bath , Bathurst , Bergen , Biel/Bienne , Birmingham , Bracknell , Brisbane City , Cambridge , Cape Town , Clayton , Crawley , Charlottesville , Delhi , Dublin , Dundee , Durham , Edinburgh , Enschede , Exeter , Fiesole , Geneva , Royal Borough of Greenwich , Grenoble , Groningen , Hawthorn , Hsinchu , Jerusalem , Canterbury , Hong Kong , Lancaster , Leeds , Leicester , Leuven , Madrid , Makati , Manchester , Melbourne , Ann Arbor , Milton Keynes , Montreux , Murdoch , Norman Gardens , Norwich , Oxford , Padua , Paris , Darling Heights , Reading , Rehovot , Seoul , Sheffield , Slough , Southampton , Glasgow , Guildford , Sydney , Taipei , Tokyo , Trondheim , Uppsala , Warwick , West Lafayette , York , Chicago , Newcastle , Coventry + 70 More Less
Visit the school’s website