We strive to build bridges between the student community, academic leaders and decision-makers.
The BeEUTOPIAn Conference
April 25th-26th 2022 - Brussels
The BeEUTOPIAn Student Conference , organised by the EUSTT, took place on April 25-26 both at VUB and online. The conference aimed to reclaim a meaningful space for discussion, exchange of knowledge and networking within the EUTOPIA Alliance. Each of the two conference days focused on a different topic: mental health and student participation. These two issues were brought up and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic, and heavily impacted the lives and opportunities of young people across Europe.
On April 25th, the conference started with the inspiring opening remarks of Luk van Langenhove, Vice-President for EUTOPIA at VUB, and of Matthew McCarthy, General Coordinator of the EUSTT. After that, we exchanged with Aleš Mendiževec, Ph.D. at the University of Ljubljana, who talked about mental health and human love and hate for technology in the era of Artificial Intelligence. Later on, David Gosar, PsyD and Ph.D. from the University of Ljubljana as well, taught us about machine learning and how it can be applied to the field of psychology, highlighting its enormous benefits but also its risks. Later on, participants engaged in the ‘Wall of Post-Pandemic Emotions’, which was a relaxed space to express ourselves and contrast the pandemic time with the post-pandemic one. As the final speaker, Olivier Mairesse, associate professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, showed us the impact of the pandemic on the sleeping habits of young people.
On April 26th, we started with a rich panel of student representatives of associations throughout the Alliance: Marc Jodar from Compartim la UPF, Aïssatou Jalloh from Decolonize VUB, Alexander Şorodoc from AIESEC, Miriel Sissonen from Handels Kvinnliga Nätverk and Nino Shakulashvili from the University of Gothenburg’s Graduate School Organization. They discussed the role of their organisations within the EUTOPIA Alliance and the impact of the pandemic on their activity. After that, we held student flash talks. Firstly, Bernat Payà and Carlota Ropero, EUTOPIA Student Representative and EUTOPIA Career Ambassador respectively, explained to us their role and invited us to make the most of the tools and opportunities EUTOPIA offers to us. Then, Miha Robnik, a philosophy student at the University of Ljubljana, recited a political philosophy essay. Finally, Miša Glišič, Ph.D. Student of German Studies at the University of Ljubljana, talked about cultural hybridity in our daily life. The last session of the conference consisted of a workshop called ‘Changemakers’, where participants formed groups and were handed out pressing current topics for young people such as rising housing prices, lack of funding for research, cheap rail transportation or unpaid internships. The conference was closed by the remarks of Matías Díaz Roqueta, the EUSTT’s Head of Events.
Student Forum: youth engagement in decision-making
November 25th 2021 - Barcelona
On November 25th, 2021, the Eutopia Student Think Tank (EUSTT) organised its first event within the framework of the EUTOPIA week that was held at Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona. The conference, which was titled “Student Forum: Youth engagement in decision-making” intended to formally introduce the organisation to the universities community, and discuss the importance of the participation of young people in society.
For that, three leading voices from youth organisations were invited as guest speakers: Mireia Orra (Director of Joves pel Futur), Ferran Piqué (President of FNEC) and Viviane Ogou (youth delegate to the Council of Europe, and president of La Puerta de África). They respectively talked about the role of youth in political participation, university governance, and Europe.
In addition, the forum had an initial address by Marie Marchand, former president of the EUTOPIA Student Council, a welcome word by UPF Rector, Oriol Amat, and the introduction to the organisation by its president, Sahil Kamboj. About fifty attendees, among which there were numerous students from the different universities of the alliance, followed the event from UPF’s Ciutadella campus and online from home.
Then, after finishing the interventions by the speakers, an open debate started, which fostered interaction between the guests and the public, and finally led to a series of questions and answers that highlighted the interest of the students to get involved in decision-making processes concerning their future.
Finally, the event concluded with some closing remarks by Pol Villaverde, the General Coordinator of the EUSTT and moderator of the session, who insisted on the central role that the organisation will play in the student life of EUTOPIA for the decades to come. We also thanked all those who in one way or another have collaborated with the project, and finally the attendees of the event, who are ultimately the participants to grow the initiative.
We are open to organize events in different formats in collaboration with a wide array of institutions, from student associations to local organizations and NGOs.