River Intellectuals

It is time to link up with the next generation of scientists and conservationists! Professors, students and research-hungry folks alike; this page is for you. The Balkans has the potential to become a significant scientific hub. We want to connect university professors and students to the region as a way to examine the impacts of hydropower and find integrated and long-lasting solutions. Read about our growing network below and download the .pdf at the end of the page so you can discuss and share ideas with classmates, professors and mentors.

River Intellectuals Network

River Intellectuals is a growing network of students and professors that see more value in the free-flowing rivers than only kilowatts. Each working on their own discipline, their combined story shows the widespread impacts that dams can have. The network enables students to understand the bigger picture, learning from peers from different disciplines. The goal of the network is to exchange ideas that will have an impact on preserving wild, free-flowing rivers. Disciplines involved range from Water Management to Anthropology and from Political Sciences to Tourism. An unsolved question in one research field can lead to an answer in another field. Scroll down to meet our first River Intellectuals!

The network is supported by professors from the Balkans as well as from universities around Europe. They will soon be introduced on the page below.

Spread the story

The academic world is often seen as a world of its own. Conclusions and findings from research are barely accessible to the wider public, as they are published primarily in scientific papers that are stored in expensive, online journals. We want to get the stories out so that people and decision makers are better informed. By sharing the stories of our river intellectuals, the complex world of rivers and dams becomes more understandable. Keep track of this page, as soon it will start to fill up with stories of our River Intellectuals.

Want to be a River Intellectual?

Do you want your research to have an impact? Through our network, you can find a relevant topic and get connected to local universities, NGOs and local communities. You will exchange ideas with students from different disciplines that all have the same goal: to protect the wilderness.

If you identify with this goal, please get in touch with Vera, River Intellectuals Coordinator – vera@balkanriverdefence.org.

Students for Rivers Camp (SRC) 

July 7-13, 2019 | Soča River | Kobarid, Slovenia

click here for the
Full SRC webpage 


The Students for Rivers Camp is a week-long gathering of students who love nature and want to protect it by using their brains. Whether you’re starting your master degree or are about to finish your PhD, whether you study law or engineering, ecology or economics, during this camp you will have a chance to connect to like-minded people and learn how your research or study project can contribute to saving the last wild rivers of Europe.

The week will consist of expert lectures, workshops, and a river experience where you participate in a short multi-day river trip. The expert lectures give insight into the importance of the river ecosystems and the driving forces behind hydropower development. The workshops will illustrate the role of corruption and how stepping to the court can be a tool to give a voice to the rivers and local communities. On an overnight river experience, it is the river itself that is the inspiration. We create a setting where ideas can flow in a way they would not in a formal classroom. In small groups, you will explore research needs and opportunities in a topic of your choice and at the end of the week, you will walk away with team initiatives that can be the start of a career in river conservation.

This camp is the official kickoff of the River Intellectuals Network, a community of students and experts that work to bridge the gap between academics and conservationists. It will facilitate access to research, information exchange and other creative initiatives that support local NGOs fighting for their rivers.


CONTACT INFO – ri@balkanriverdefence.org

River Intellectuals Blog

Our River Intellectuals come from different fields of study, but all have a common goal; protect the free-flowing rivers of the Balkans from unnecessary hydropower development. This blog collects stories of how River Intellectuals are putting their knowledge into action. Have a read and learn about the wide range of impacts and solutions! Feeling inspired? Get involved yourself!

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