European Universities - Driving the Sustainable University of the Future

Panel discussion at Freie Universität Berlin between European university leaders on November 2, 2021, to be livestreamed as part of Berlin Science Week

The role of European universities in the development of a sustainable higher education landscape will be the focus of a livestreamed discussion on November 2, 2021. Experts from the universities that form part of the Una Europa university network and the European University alliance CHARM-EU will discuss the role and responsibilities of European universities in developing the sustainable university of the future. The second Una Europa Talk will also focus on ways to improve the well-being of citizens and society overall. The event will also provide a forum to discuss contributions to solving the global challenges facing humanity, which are formulated in guidelines such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The participants will be Aleksandra Lis (PhD candidate in cultural studies, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski w Krakowie), Soledad Garcia Ferrari (Personal Chair of Global Urbanism and Resilience, University of Edinburgh), Jan-Martin Wiarda (moderator), Doris Alexander (Trinity College Dublin and CHARM-EU representative), Verena Blechinger-Talcott (Vice President for International Affairs, Freie Universität Berlin), and Günter M. Ziegler (President, Freie Universität Berlin). The livestream will be available on the day of the event at­m/de/event­/una-talk/ .

Sustainable development is one of the greatest global challenges of our time. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the European Green Deal - which are guiding the EU member states in pursuing ambitious goals in climate and environmental protection - are intended to provide a framework for a better and more sustainable future for all people. They highlight the need to work across disciplines and sectors and to make it possible for citizens to become more involved. Universities are key actors in driving innovation and momentum, contributing to the European Union’s Sustainable Development Goals and those of the United Nations.

The European university alliance Una Europa, launched in 2019 and funded by the European Commission to strengthen cooperation in the field of study and teaching, includes eight renowned universities: Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Edinburgh, Helsingin Yliopisto, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski w Krakowie, KU Leuven, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. The aim of the alliance is to improve the quality of European higher education, to develop innovative teaching formats, and to promote cooperation between the institutions, their students, and employees. Activities in all areas of sustainability are an essential element of the cooperation. The partner universities see it as their institutional responsibility to help shape the global discourse on sustainability and to take on the associated challenges in all areas of the universities - whether in teaching, research, or campus management.

Another event taking place within the framework of the Una Europa network will be the Europe-wide PhD slam dedicated to the topic of sustainability on November 4, 2021. Eight PhD students will compete in a public virtual PhD slam from 12:00 to 2:00 pm. Participants will each have seven minutes to present their research projects related to the topic of sustainability in an enlightening and entertaining way. This is the first time an event like this has been held internationally with viewers in different countries voting for their favorite researchers in order to determine the three finalists. The event, which will be held in English, will be moderated by poetry slammer, science slammer, and physicist Dr. André Lampe. The stream, which will be available worldwide - as well as the registration link to vote - will be made available shortly before the event at­event/una-­phd-slam/.

Time and Access Details

o Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. (CET)