Dear ICRPS 2014 Alumni

by Kjersti, 22/07/2014

Dear ICRPS 2014 alumni,

first of all, thank you very much Bill, Fabio, Subi, Kate, Tristeen, Haniel, Mikaël, Md, Venus, Regional Developement group 1, Brett, Pierre, Raymond, Anthony, Salman, Erin, Charles, Aaron, Dan, Marco, Mary, Ryan, Myriam and Ernest for your day to day contributions from the 11th ICRPS Summer Institute in Mexico! It has been great following you and your experiences from day to day. We know your days have been full, thank you for taking time to share it in words and pictures!

I remember the energy, the unity and the very special bond that appears between all the participants during the two weeks as an experience I will never forget. It’s the same feeling that leaves you somewhat empty and a little deprived when it’s all over. It felt like I could detect a little of that in your posts this year? If this is correct, I’m glad you got to feel the same “ICRPS-feeling” that I had. It’s the best!


A lot of new friendships have started in the ICRPS Summer Institues (photo from ICRPS 2011 in Norway)

On behalf of the editors of this blog I would like to say, “Welcome to the club!” Hundreds of grad students, young professionals and researchers taking a particular interest in the situation and well-being of rural communities have participated in similar summer schools before you. All combined, we make a large, competent and diverse network of policy analysts spread all over the world. This network that we now belong to is pretty unique, and we hope that you will both benefit from it, and contribute to it, in the years to come.

The editors Katja, Bernat and Kjersti all participated in ICRPS 2010 in Oregon, USA and ICRPS 2011 in Norway where we got to know the fourth editor in the  group, Eric. He later went on to participate in ICRPS 2012 in Quebec, Canada and Kjersti went to ICRPS 2013 in Italy as a visiting alumni. Our experience is that out of  the large group of people you meet at the Summer Institute, you become especially close to a handful of people (that might have grown up on a continent you have never visited, and with a cultural background very different from your own!) and that these friendships, made in the course of two very busy weeks can be pretty solid, and last for many years after.

However, this blog is aiming to maintain contact between all the people of the ICRPS-family, regardless of what year they participated. This blog is supposed to be a meeting place where you can stay in touch also with those you don’t chat with or email on a weekly (daily?) or monthly basis, and the alumni and faculty you have never actually met, but who are also members of the ICRPS-family. The editors need your help to keep this blog running. Feel free to participate by reading, commenting and maybe even share a post or two with the other members of the network. We need your help to keep this blog going, it’s supposed to be both BY and FOR ICRPS alumni!

We encourage you to consider preparing a contribution to publish in the fall on any topic of interest to you related to rural studies. It could be about your research, a current event, or something that is generally of interest to you. We also encourage you to take some time to consider how you might be able to stay involved with ICRPS within your own schedules. We are always looking for people to join our team at Exploring Rurality or maybe you have a different idea to engage with the network? We are going to take the next month for a break and enjoy the summer. In August we will regroup for a whole new year of ICRPS and the Alumni Blog. We hope that you will join us in whatever capacity suits you.


Kjersti on behalf of the editors Katja, Eric and Bernat.