A week-long Summer School takes place at the end of students’ first year of GLOCAL. It is organised by a different partner university each year and includes visiting professors from associate partners from around the world. Previous summer schools were held in 2018, 2019, and 2022 in Göttingen, Rotterdam, and Prague, with this year’s edition being held in Kyoto.

The topic is decided on an annual basis and relates to trends and issues of the moment.

Please note that all enrolled students finishing their first year of the programme are expected to attend the Summer School. The cost is embedded in the total programme fees whether students decide to attend the summer school or not. However, travel costs and living costs incurred during the Summer School are not included in these fees and must be covered by the student. A small travel subsidy, as well as accommodation for students is available.

“The GLOCAL Summer School was not only a moment to reunite with the people who have become my family for the past year, but also an opportunity to meet new people, hear different perspectives regarding family owned businesses around the world, and to connect those perspectives in order to form a more accurate and global opinion on family firms. Additionally, it has been a glimpse of what GLOCAL life in Göttingen will be, an introduction to the city, the professors and the university.”

Diego Méndez Quiroz, GLOCAL 2017-19 cohort

2023, Kyoto - "Glocalizing Kyoto"

In many ways, Kyoto is a ‘global city’.

Since the late nineteenth century international visitors have flocked to Kyoto for trade and tourism and the city is now world-renowned as a repository of Japanese culture and craft, much of which is now recognized as “World Heritage”. Though Kyoto is better known as a centre of Japanese tradition, it is also a strikingly modern city boasting several leading universities and research institutes and has produced iconic companies such as Nintendo and leading international firms (among them “hidden champions”) such as Kyocera and Shimadzu, etc.

Whilst all of this has emerged during a period of intense globalization, there is a sense that Kyoto has not fully taken advantage of the benefits of its status as a “global city” nor realized its vision in this regard. Kyoto, like much of Japan, has struggled to attract inward foreign direct investment (inward FDI to Japan was 5% of GDP in 2020 compared to an OECD average of 57.8%) and the city is on the verge of bankruptcy. As a host to several protected heritage sites, including temples and shrines, the city is unable to effectively collect tax revenue from much of the urban landscape. Furthermore, whilst these heritage sites attract tens of millions of tourists to Kyoto each year, boosting the local economy, the city often struggles to cope with these numbers, a phenomenon described as “overtourism”. Residents (and some visitors) complain of problems such as the overcrowding of walkways, public transportation and facilities, as well as the sometimes-behaviour of visitors.

With this in mind, participants of this summer school were invited to observe and experience for themselves the current situation of Kyoto as a “global city”, offering their thoughts on the following question:

What can Kyoto (the city, its residents and businesses, etc.) do to better take advantage of the benefits of being a “global city” and alleviate the problems?

Participants were split into groups, with each group making a presentation on the summer school’s final day. They were free to select a format but encouraged to focus on the following:

  • Observations/reflections based on company visits and speaker presentations. What do they identify as problems/solutions for issues that Kyoto, the Kansai region, and Japan face?
  • Reflections from their own experiences living in other cities, including their hometown and other places they’ve lived (for example during their time with GLOCAL). They were asked to consider if there’s anything Kyoto is doing well or badly compared to those places, or if there were initiatives in those places that Kyoto can learn from
  • Reflect on the problem of “overtourism” in Kyoto. Groups visited a specific site on the Thursday and spent time in the city throughout the week, and were asked to comment on their experience, what could have been improved, and what Kyoto was doing well.

See below for photos from the summer school – many thanks to Laura Ortiz from our 2021-2023 cohort for taking them!

2022, Prague - Twelve Centuries of Creativity: Arts, Business and Civil Society in Prague

You can view the full programme here. Click these links to read about the students’ experiences of both the practical and cultural aspects of the programme.

2019, Rotterdam - Tastes of the Global City

You can view the full programme here and read about the students’ experience of the Summer School here.

2018, Göttingen - The Mittelstand goes Global

You can view the full programme here and read about the students’ experience of the Summer School here.

The 2020 Summer School in Gdansk, Poland, was cancelled due to COVID-19. The provisional programme is available here.

The 2019 GLOCAL Summer School in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, took place from August 25th to 29th, at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The topic was “Tastes of the Global City”. The full programme is available here: Summer School 2019 Programme.

Incoming students wrote about their experiences on the GLOCAL Experience Blog, which is available here: Catching up with GLOCAL III (Summer School 2019).

The 2018 GLOCAL Summer School in Göttingen, Germany, took place from 27th August to the 1st September at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. The topic was “The Mittelstand goes Global: Local Roots and Internationalization Pathways of SMEs”. The full programme is available here: Summer School 2018 Programme.

An incoming student wrote about their experience at the Summer School on the GLOCAL Experience Blog, which is available here: GLOCAL Summer School, perspectives from the new cohort.