First Strategic Assembly Meeting
Inspiring talks and vivid discussions
3 December 2021
On Friday, 3 December 2021, the Transform4Europe Alliance held its first Strategic Assembly Meeting. Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, the meeting was organized as a virtual event. The Strategic Assembly was open to all members of the Transform4Europe community and aimed at reflecting about the work of the alliance, looking ahead and answering questions.
In his welcome speech, Professor Manfred Schmitt, President of the coordinating institution Saarland University, thanked all the members of the alliance for their hard and dedicated work within the first year of collaboration. The opening was followed by short talks focussing on the main thematic areas of the Alliance, beginning with the contextualization of Transform4Europe in the European University Initiative given by Anke Stahl, Head of Division of Project Policies, Internationalisation and Research, University Networks from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). She stressed the importance of cross-border collaboration in the frame of European Universities in times of rising nationalism across the globe.
After these encouraging keynote speeches, the subsequent talks focussed on how Transform4Europe has been working to transform Europe by educating and training knowledge entrepreneurs in the areas of digital transformation and smart regions, environmental transformation and sustainability and societal transformation, community building and inclusion.
Professor Benedikt Schnellbächer from Saarland University presented the concept upon which we base our revolutionary work as an Alliance – Knowledge Entrepreneurialism. In his intriguing lecture, he focused on the “Transformation potential of Knowledge Entrepreneurialism” and what we want to contribute to within our Alliance framework. Professor Vilma Bijeikienė from Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas focussed on “Multilingualism as key for transformation and social inclusion”. In her light-hearted talk, she gave concrete examples of the close and personal collaboration within the alliance, with special mention to the first Transform4Europe European Day of Languages and the great contribution multilingualism makes for community building. Emilie Szwajnoch, the Vice-President of the Transform4Europe Student Council, highlighted the importance of students’ participation within the alliance in her empowering speech on “The role of Students on the sustainability of European University Alliances”. Professor Stelian Dimitrov from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski concluded this section with his talk on “Overcoming the challenges of building smart regions”, which raised many interesting questions by the audience and lead to a vivid discussion, with the dynamic participation of all speakers.
The meeting was rounded off by Transform4Europe Managing Director Cyntia Sandes Oliveira, who presented the alliance’s achievements of the first year and the upcoming milestones and events in year two. In the last section of the meeting, the most frequently questions on the alliance, as well as questions from the audience were answered by Cyntia, showing a great interest in the work of Transform4Europe.
The recording of the meeting as well as the presentations will be uploaded shortly.