International Summer School for community and local development in Latin America and the Caribbean


 13 Jun-7 Jul & 23-29 Jul 2023  E-learning & Study Visit | 13th edition [acceder al contenido en español]

Building local change strategies in Latin America and the Caribbean

The central theme of the 2023 edition is integrated local development, understood as a long-term, on-going partnership process involving local actors and local capital. It implies the management of local assets in order to improve the wellbeing of communities through processes of change and transformation.

The 2023 edition is structured as follows: 

  • E.summer: 4 online preparatory meetings (13, 20, 27 June, 7 July 2023).
  • Live summer: one-week study visit to Trento (Italy), week 23-29 July 2023. 


The central theme of the Summer School is the promotion of "local development", understood as the public and private actors’ intervention on the assets present in a given territory (Territorial Capital) which, based on processes of change and transformation that incorporate the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, allows to improve the well-being of the residing communities.
The role and the strategic capacity of local actors, together with the commitment to collaborate and coordinate actions towards the design of a "shared future”, represent key elements of development processes rooted in local contexts, in which differences should be exploited as opportunities rather than considered as barriers.

In this way it is possible to promote strong ties between regions and communities; and to design development strategies with a multi-dimensional nature, able to integrate the different dimensions – cognitive, social, governance, infrastructural and ecosystemic - that characterise each context. Only by increasing their own adaptive capacity to economic, social and environmental change local communities will be able to successfully face the huge challenges of today.

The promotion of solidarity processes at the international level is a further funding concept of the Summer School that enable the development of networks of actors, the integration of approaches and sharing of good practices. The project represents the meeting point of innovative experiences in terms of community development practices performed in the context of the Trentino region in Italy, and in the most varied realities of the Latin American countries. Hence, it opens the field for comparison and exchange between different visions and approaches, allowing to highlight the positive elements from each of them. In other words, the aim is to promote a dialogue between the actors from the different Latin American countries, as well as between Europeans and Latin Americans, who may guide a process of continuous redefinition and adaptation of local development strategies as stemming from the complex changes that, at the current juncture, affect the world as a whole.



  • Sharing concepts and languages on sustainable local development based on the comparison between local experiences from Latin America and Italy.
  • Develop common tools for interpreting and understanding the specificities of selected local experiences, identifying and analysing the main highlights from applied projects and practices aimed at promoting local development according to existing territorial capital.
  • Encouraging the exchange of experiences and approaches among the participants in order to lay the foundations for a permanent dialogue on key issues for local development such as the different dimensions of territorial capital and the objectives of sustainable development.


  • Preparation: previous activities of the participants along the weeks before the start of the Summer School in order to prepare the case study that each will take to the Summer School.
  • Modular structure: one topic per day both during the online training and during the field visit.
  • Analysis of three primary objects of study: 1. Latin American case studies provided by each participant; 2. Experiences from Trentino and other regions; 3. Inputs from experts.
  • Insertion of theoretical/methodological “essentials”.
  • Field visits to concrete local initiatives from the Italian reality.
  • Active participatory approach and efficient exchange of knowledge/experience among participants with a clear focus on practice.
The Summer School is based on active exchange of participants’ knowledge and experiences (multi-stakeholder open dialogue). Thus, the case study described in the on-line registration form is considered to be a fundamental condition for registration, and will be presented and discussed during the Summer School’s sessions. If selected, the proposed case study cannot be changed or disregarded.



Participants should be strongly committed to local development topics and activities. They should currently work (or at least they should have working experience) in public institutions (national, regional, provincial or local governments, development agencies, research centres, international organizations) or private organisations (foundations, co-operatives, NGOs, grassroots community organisations, non-profit entities, etc.) active in the field of local, community, economic and social development.

They must have the nationality and residence in one of the Latin American countries at the date of application and must not have participated in any of the previous editions of the Summer School.

The Summer School has a maximum capacity of 35 participants, depending on the applications’ selection process from the different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. This process will be aimed at ensuring a varied and balanced classroom composition.

  Barrow of a street vendor in Havana, Cuba

Materials & Information


Agenda  (in Spanish only)


Working language

Spanish only.


Dates of the Summer School 2023

13 Jun-7 July 2023 | 4 online meetings
23–29 July 2023 | study visit to Trento



[email protected]


[email protected]





This project originally emerged from the cooperative relationship established between the OECD LEED Trento Centre for local development , the Centre for International Cooperation (CCI) and EAFIT University of Medellin in collaboration with the Trentino Federation of Cooperatives and the contribution of the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy.

This thirteenth edition will also be supported by the Autonomous University of Tamaulipas (UAT), Mexico.



 Previous editions 

13 June-13 July 2022, DIGITAL
25-29 July 2022, Trento, Italy

12th Edition
Colorful hand embroidered fabrics in Mexico City

Agenda E.Summer (in Spanish only)

Agenda study visit (in Spanish only)


8 June-20 Sept 2020, DIGITAL

11th Edition

Souvenir in Raquira Colombia

Agenda (in Spanish only)



15-26 July 2019, Trento, Italy

10th Edition

La pintoresca ciudad de Guanajuato, México

Summary Agenda 
(full agenda in Spanish only here)


13 July - 3 August 2018, Trento, Italy

9th Edition

Vinicunca, Perú

Summary Agenda
(full agenda in Spanish only here)


17-28 July 2017, Trento, Italy

8th Edition

Plantación de olivos, Perú

Agenda  (in Spanish only)


18 - 29 July 2016, Trento, Italy

7th Edition


Agenda  (in Spanish only)



20-31 July 2015, Trento, Italy

6th Edition

La gente es tierra pensante

Agenda  (in Spanish only)


14 - 25 July 2014, Trento, Italy

5th Edition

Mirando un mural, Brasil

Agenda (in Spanish only)


15-26 July 2013, Trento, Italy

4th Edition

Carretera andina, Perú

Agenda (in Spanish only)


16-26 July 2012, Trento, Italy

3rd Edition

Sacando plata de un cajero, Perú

Agenda (in Spanish only)



18-28 July 2011, Trento, Italy

2nd Edition

El Metrocable de Medellín, Colombia

Agenda (in Spanish only)



26 July - 5 August 2010, Trento, Italy

1st Edition

Transportes locales, Colombia

Agenda (in Spanish only)

Video (in Spanish and Italian)



Centre for International Cooperation EAFIT Social Universitad Autonoma de Tamaulipas Fondazione Ernesto Illy




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