Marie Dittmann, creator of Future of Farming MOOC

The EIT Climate-KIC community comprises a rich diversity of expertise, skills and perspectives across our alumni, start-ups, innovation partners, advisors and associates, all of whom contribute to our innovation capacity. 

This week, we speak to Dr Marie Dittmann, formerly of University of Reading, who created the EIT Climate-KIC supported massively open online course (MOOC) ‘The Future of Farming: Exploring Climate Smart Agriculture’. 

What’s your role?

At the University of Reading I held a position as Research Associate in the School of Agriculture, Policy and Development. The lion’s share of my time was dedicated to creating the MOOC, but I was also involved in research on biodiversity in forages for dairy cows.

What are you working on with EIT Climate-KIC?

The MOOC was developed under the framework of the EIT Climate-KIC’s CSA Booster, a project to facilitate the use of climate smart agriculture in Europe. My task was to design and develop the course. This involved writing content, selecting suitable expert contributors, organising and overseeing filming, taking pictures, and liaising with everyone involved in making this course. The whole project was great fun and in a way the MOOC will always be my baby.

What are three implications of this work?

I hope that the course motivates learners to consider the information we give them when making decisions in their daily life such as cutting down their meat consumption and spreading the word about climate change in their own networks. I also hope that our course will make learners aware of how complex agricultural food production is and how many stakeholders are involved.

What or who gives you hope or inspiration in the fight against climate change?

Our learners, who are striving to make a difference and who come up with creative solutions to mitigate climate change. Their enthusiasm is really inspiring.

During the making of the MOOC, I met some great scientists and farmers who are working together on the same goal – mitigating (the effect of) climate change – regardless of their background. We all sit in the same boat, after all.

The broad public gives me hope, too. The recent efforts to reduce plastic waste is a perfect example that the actions of the individual can make a difference and that there is a huge community out there who is hungry for solutions to help our planet.


Sign up here to join ‘The Future of Farming: Exploring Climate Smart Agriculture’ MOOC when it re-launches on 24 September 2018. 

For Chinese, French and German versions of the course that begin on the same day, pre-registration is now open.

 
Location
Related Focus Area
Sustainable Land Use
Related Goal
Goal 4: Make agriculture climate-smart
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