American Univesity of Beirut

LDEM students to travel to Jordan: Rural Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Tourism workshop

LDEM students, led by Nayla Al-Akl, LDEM, will participate in the workshop Rural Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Tourism in Jordan, June 22-29. Students will travel to Jordan to work with the Kufranja community to develop the “Ajloun Trail” in collaboration with several stakeholders of Ajloun, including the Jordanian Ministry of Tourism, the Kufranja Municipality, the Royal Academy for Nature Conservation, and the Queen Rania Center for Entrepreneurship.

Part of the Middle East Social Innovation Lab (MESIL) project funded by DAAD, the FAFS Dean’s office and LDEM will share the cost of $2000 in supporting this student development project.

In a project of academic, cultural and social enrichment, LDEM students will work on the real case study development and project design for the Ajloun trail with team mates from Germany (University of Nürtingen-Geislingen, Lebanon (American University of Beirut), Jordan (German Jordanian University) and Palestine (Birzeit University). Students will work with their counterparts sharing social entrepreneurship while learning architecture, landscape architecture, economics, agriculture, rural development and management.  

First, between March 19 and mid-June, students will attend an online course, Social Entrepreneurship for Local Change. The course involves 116 international participants from international universities and organizations; topics include social entrepreneurship, social innovation, recognizing local challenges, theory of change, developing ideas (design thinking), business modelling and planning, implementing new businesses, and the basics of co-operation management. On-site (June 21-30) project work will involve interdisciplinary, international teams in Jordan. 

Working with the Kufranja community in the Ajloun governate and with multiple stakeholders, students will go towards developing the “Ajloun Trail“, and addressing issues such as landscape, identity, capacity building, sustainable tourism, women’s empowerment, rural development and more. Project deliverables include three assignments: 1) defining a local challenge, 2) a case study reflection of comparable successful cases, and 3) a business plan for their own concept. 

The MESIL Project is linked with the educational development project, Community Learning for Local Change (CLLC), part of the ERASMUS+ Programme Social Entrepreneurship for Local Change. The consortium includes four European Universities from the Netherlands, Estonia, Romania and Germany as well as three relevant NGOs.

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