About the Georgia D-Lab Satellite
Capacity Building Through Integration of Project-Based Learning Methodology into Entrepreneurship Curricula of Vocational Educational Training Institutions in Georgia: March, July 2019
D-Lab research assistants Abigail Edwards and Meg Slatterly worked with in-country professors Nina Andriadze and Shota Murtskhvaladze and the Georgian Ministry of Education. The group facilitated a two-day workshop equipping teachers from vocational educational training (VET) institutions across the country with the materials and techniques to teach a project-based, client-focused course. Meg and Abigail then traveled to three VET institutions to lead workshops with students to introduce the D-Lab design-think methodology. In July 2019, Dr. Kurt Kornbluth, Director of the UC Davis D-Lab, and Greg Miller, Ph.D. Student in the Energy Graduate Group at UC Davis conducted a follow-up visit to meet with professors and other stakeholders.
Regional Sustainable Agriculture Education Initiative: August 2018
D-Lab Research Assistant and 2018 Blum Fellow Abigail Edwards traveled to rural Georgia to work with established contacts within the D-Lab Georgia satellite. The primary purpose of the trip was to gain insight into the agricultural needs of Bareti, assess the Bareti farmsite, and initiate a knowledge transfer with the villagers in Bareti.
Sharing Knowledge for Rural Development: July-August 2017
The UC Davis D-Lab formed the Georgia Working Group (GWG) to conduct small courses with students from Georgian universities and local Georgian communities facing environmental issues. The GWG works with primary in-country client, NGO Environment & Development (E&D). The goal of D-Lab's collaborative efforts with E&D is to facilitate curriculum and faculty exchange, with the support of Georgian universities, government ministries, and organizations.
Community Needs and Assets Assessment: July 2017
Partner Institutions: Bediani Children’s Center, Research and Innovation Fellowship for Agriculture
RIFA Fellow and IAD/ARE graduate student Bilkis Bharucha traveled to Georgia to teach local graduate students about project framing and management in Tbilisi, and to complete a community assessment in Bediani in hopes of identifying farming and business opportunities.
Exploratory Visit and Georgia Regional Innovation Outreach Initiative: August 2016
D-Lab Research Assistant and 2016 Blum Fellow, Leanne Bolaño, traveled to Bediani, Georgia to conduct an exploratory visit and establish the D-Lab Georgia satellite. The primary purpose of the trip was to gauge local interest in project-based learning opportunities.
The involvement of the UC Davis D-Lab in evaluating developed courses as a short term contribution was crucial. After the exploratory visit, we are starting to develop long-term cooperation between the two Universities. It will also introduce relevant educational, thematic curriculas essential for GIPA to modify and extend knowledge in the fields of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources Management, Rural, and Agriculture Development. -- Kakhaber Bakhtadze, Program Manager of Environment & Development.
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Due to the fall of the USSR in 1991, post-Soviet countries, including Georgia, dramatically switched their economies from a state-managed model to an open, market-driven economy. A different and new understanding of private ownership and entrepreneurship was also introduced. Regarding previous structural adaptations, today Georgia is a growing economy, with decreasing levels of social inequality and a healthy environment for business development and international trade. Improving agriculture through education and establishing international linkages have been identified as components of this equation. With this goal in mind, academic institutions such as the Georgian Institute for Public Affairs (GIPA) and Tbilisi State University, along with NGOs such as the Bediani Regional Educational Center (BREC) and Environment & Development (E&D) connected with the UC Davis D-Lab to identify and build collaborations between the University of California, Davis, and Georgia. While attending UC Davis as a Humphrey Fellow in 2016, Georgian client and BREC founder Kakhaber Bakhtadze paired with the UC Davis D-Lab to join in building capacities for local students, small-business owners, and farmers.