20 - 28 August 2020
29 - 30 August 2020
Welcome to the MEM Summer Summit 2020
The Middle East Mediterranean (MEM) Summer Summit was launched by Università della Svizzera Italiana in 2018.
Every year it gives us great pleasure to host more than 100 young change-makers from over 30 different countries along with around 100 speakers and distinguished guests.
Apply now to attend the third MEM Summer Summit. We very much look forward to welcoming you in Lugano.
The Summit will start in
The Middle East Mediterranean region, a geopolitical space deeply affected by disorder and convulsions both on land and sea, has undergone profound and rapid changes over the past few years. From upheavals of this magnitude, a new world order has emerged for the twenty-first century. From East to West, North to South of the extended Middle East Mediterranean region – from Iran to Algeria and from Syria to the Sudan – several elements of young civil societies are working together across the political spectrum, weaving the threads of dialogue, civic liberties, and sustainable development. Such initiatives are not necessarily in the media spotlight, but together make up a major network from which tomorrow’s social fabric will emerge. It is a phenomenon that Europe must welcome and encourage, if only to ensure its own security in an area of shared prosperity with its southern neighbours. It is precisely with this in mind that the programme of this Summit was conceived.
The Summit – designed as an intellectual and social exchange across borders, cultures and languages – is composed of two parts: an eight-day Seminar and a two-day Forum. The emphasis is on the need and ambition to pursue an incisive analysis and reflection on the complex challenges facing the extended Middle East Mediterranean region.
Our main objectives are:
- to offer a safe space for dialogue between young change-makers from the Middle East Mediterranean region where to lay out a vision for common future of the region, by starting from the present
- to build a common ground and intergenerational exchange between young people and decision-makers, public and private institutions, non-profit organisations, social enterprises
- to develop novel approaches to tackle persisting critical issues
- to act as a breeding ground for developing across border and multilateral project proposals
- to initiate collaboration and start networks among several actors in the region
Applications for the MEM Summer Summit 2020 are now open.
The MEM Summer Summit welcomes applications from candidates:
- aged between 25 and 35
- from the Middle East Mediterranean region and Europe and/or with a proven interest in the region and engagement in the society
- with diverse educational backgrounds and work experience (professionals with careers in business, media, human rights and non-governmental work as well as artists, intellectuals, students and researchers). Multidisciplinarity and heterogeneity of experience are enriching and crucial to approaching the complex issues from plural perspective
- interested and willing to work on project-proposals with an across border approach with participants coming from all over the region
- with the ability to work as part of a diversified team
- with a strong knowledge of English; knowledge of French is an asset
Applicants must submit a complete application on the online YCM platform (to enter, click the button below).
In addition to completing the forms on our platform, applicants must upload the following documents:
- A Letter of Intent of no more than two pages describing current interests and plans in the MEM region, suggesting how the MEM Summer Summit may help further those interests and plans
- An up-to-date curriculum vitae
- A short introduction video in English (up to two minutes long), in which the applicant introduces themselves, briefly state why they are the right candidate and how they can contribute to the Summit
- The names and contacts of two referees
Closing date for application: Sunday 15 March 2020.
Applications will be evaluated by a Committee of experts. The successful applicants will be notified via email by Wednesday 15 April 2020.
Tuition fees for the MEM Summer Summit 2020 are CHF 2,300 a head. This includes plenary sessions and workshops of the Seminar, panels of the Forum, all cultural activities during the Summit, lunches, and coffee breaks. It does not include: travel costs, accommodation, visas, health insurance, and dinners.
The MEM Summer Summit offers a limited number of partial or full grants for participating in the MEM Summer Summit 2020.
- Full grants cover travel, accommodation and tuition fee
- Partial grants cover tuition fee and/or accommodation
Priority will be given to covering the expenses of citizens from low-income countries or with proven financial needs. Applicants may apply for a grant by uploading a grant request letter on the YCM Platform (https://ycm2020.mem-summersummit.ch) by Sunday 15 March 2020.
Streaming of the Forum 2019
Day 2 – 25 August 2019
Day 1 – 24 August 2019
A selection of the media coverage of the MEM Summer Summit and related themes is available here:
- il Fatto Quotidiano (08.01.2020): “Caos che aiuta i terroristi: l’Italia stavolta rischia”
- La Repubblica (05.01.2020): Gilles Kepel: “L’attacco di Trump all’Iran è stato una rischiosa bravata”
- Il Giornale (02.12.2019): “L’Isis mi ha condannato a morte, ma a perdere sono stati loro”
- La Stampa (25.11.2019): Dal Medio Oriente all’Africa, una novità nelle insurrezioni che scuotono il mondo musulmano
- Neue Zürcher Zeitung (22.11.2019): “Der Jihadismus hat die arabische Welt in Geiselhaft genommen”
- Corriere della Sera (16.11.2019): “Tra l’America e la Turchia uno scambio sulla pelle dei curdi”
- Rai – TG1 (27.10.2019): Analisi dell’Orientalista
- La Repubblica (27.10.2019): Gilles Kepel: “Al Baghdadi era solo un ologramma. Lo Stato islamico è finito”
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (17.10.2019): Der neue Dschihad und seine Mentoren
- Politik (24.09.2019): “Unfähig, das Herz zu beschützen”
- EXagere – Rivista (23.09.2019): Mediterraneo e Medio-Oriente, impegno e passione nell’analisi geopolitica. Intervista a Gilles Kepel
- Der Spiegel (21.09.2019) – “Die Situation ist vergleichbar mit jener in Europa 1914”
- La Repubblica (17.09.2019): Il parere di professor Gilles Kepel sugli attacchi contro gli impianti della Saudi Aramco
- Osmed (16.09.2019): Il caos mediterraneo. Il punto di vista di Gilles Kepel
- RSI LA 1 Telegiornale (15.09.2019): Il progetto SESAME in Jordania – L’intervista al ex direttore del CERN Herwig Schopper
- TGCOM24 (13.09.2019): Festival di Mantova 2019, Kepel: “I soldi dellʼIsis? Chi sa non parla”
- I ragazzi di piazza Tahrir (11.09.2019): Con Gilles Kepel al Festival della letteratura di Mantova
- Ticino Welcome Magazine (11.09.2019): Enabling change, the female perspective
- Avvenire (10.09.2019): Gilles Kepel: “Il dialogo con il mondo arabo? Parta dall’economia”
- La Stampa (06.09.2019): Gilles Kepel: “Un nuovo ruolo per l’Europa nelle crisi del Medio Oriente”
- La Liberté (02.09.2019): Au-delà des frontières
- L’Osservatore Magazine (31.08.2019): Anche noi fummo migranti
- La Provincia di Como (25.08.2019): Forum Medio Oriente a Lugano. “Con la cultura strategia di pace”
- RSI LA 1 Telegiornale (25.08.2019, 20.00): Il Summer Summit Forum 2019 MEM è giunto a conclusione
- Il Sole 24 Ore (25.08.2019): Si chiude oggi la seconda edizione del Middle East Mediterraneum (MEM) Summer Summit
- Council of Europe – Cultural Routes (24.08.2019): Switzerland: Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe presented at the Middle East Mediterranean Summer Summit Forum 2019
- RSI Rete Due (24.08.2019): Capire il Medioriente
- RSI News (24.08.2019): “La crescita spetta al singolo”
- RSI Rete Uno – Cronache della Svizzera italiana (24.08.2019): Il Medio oriente mediterraneo visto da Lugano
- RSI Radiogiornale (24.08.2019): Confronto con i giovani al MEM
- RSI LA 1 – Il Quotidiano (24.08.2019): Lugano capitale del Medio Oriente
- RSI LA 1 Telegiornale (24.08.2019, 20.00): Il Forum Medio Oriente Mediterraneo
- RSI Rete Due – Nilo: il Re dei Fiumi (24.08.2019): L’Islam nella terra dei Faraoni
- RSI LA 1 Telegiornale (24.08.2019, 12.30): Il forum dedicato al Medio Oriente
- L’Osservatore Magazine (24.08.2019): Immobilità dei confini, mobilità delle idee
- RSI Radiogiornale (24.08.2019): Due giorni di dibattito e confronto sulle sfide da affrontare nel Medio Oriente
- Teleticino – Ticino News TG (24.08.2019): Dobbiamo accelerare
- La Provincia di Como (24.08.2019): Politica ed economia, Forum Medio Oriente
- RSI (24.08.2019): “La crescita spetta al singolo” Intervista al consigliere federale Cassis intervenuto al Middle east mediterranean summer summit in corso a Lugano
- La Rivista di Lugano (23.08.2019): “Città in frammenti” al Palazzo dei congressi
- LaRegione (23.08.2019): MEM, arriva Cassis a discutere di Medio Oriente
- RSI LA 1 Telegiornale (23.08.2019, edizione delle 20.00): Domani, il culmine del MEM
- RSI Rete Tre (22.08.2019): Voci giovani dal MEM Summer Summit
- Ticinonline (20.08.2019): “Così si ricostruisce una città distrutta dalle bombe”
- 20 Minuti (20.08.2019): Città devastate dalla guerra, una mostra all’USI le fa rivivere
- RTS 1 – Tout un monde (20.08.2019): L’élite de la jeunesse moyen-orientale réunie à Lugano pour se construire un réseau
- RSI Rete Due – Nilo: il re dei fiumi (17.08.2019): Ossessione Oriente
- RTS Couleur 3 (16.08.2019): Le MEM, une opportunité aussi pour échanger idées et contactes
- RSI News (15.08.2019): “Il cambiamento parte da Lugano”
- RSI Rete Uno (15.08.2019): Lugano- parte la seconda edizione del MEM Summer Summit
- RSI LA 1 (15.08.2019): USI – parte la seconda edizione del MEM Summer Summit
- La Regione Ticino (14.08.2019): Frammenti di Aleppo a Lugano
- Ticino Politica (14.08.2019): MEM Summer Summit Forum 2019: ecco il programma
The Lugano Initiative
The Lugano Initiative, a document put together and written up by the young change-makers during the MEM Summer Summit, collects concrete proposals for development and growth in the MEM region. Some 100 young change-makers worked together across cultural differences and national identities.
An on-line platform has been created for the exclusive use of change-makers. There, they can apply and find material for the preparation of the Summit along with the detailed programme of the Seminar and the Forum. The project-proposals, developed during the Seminar, are available on the platform where it is possible to leave comments and interact with other participants. Visit the young change-makers platform at:
Università della Svizzera italiana, West Campus Lugano
The Seminar of the MEM Summer Summit 2020 will take place at Università della Svizzera italiana, West Campus Lugano. The campus hosts the Faculties of Biomedical Sciences, Communication Sciences, Economics and Informatics, as well as the University central administrative offices and library.
Palazzo dei Congressi
The Forum of the MEM Summer Summit 2020 will take place at Palazzo dei Congressi. It is centrally located, right next to the splendid municipal park, Parco Ciani and its villa, directly on the lake shore.
Call for volunteers
The call for volunteer applications for the MEM Summer Summit 2020 will open on Monday, 30 March 2020.
The Università della Svizzera italiana is looking for proactive people interested in volunteering for the MEM Summer Summit 2020, to be held on 20 – 30 August 2020 in Lugano, Switzerland.
Volunteers play an important role in supporting the MEM Summer Summit and are key to creating a positive and welcoming atmosphere for the young change-makers, speakers and guests while assisting the team in the smooth and professional running of the ten-day event.
Volunteers can get involved in the entire Summit, or in either the Seminar or the Forum.
- Be over 18 years of age
- Preferably, be enrolled in a Swiss university
- Have a very good command of English (additional language skills are a plus)
- Preferably, have a keen interest in politics, society and culture of the Middle East Mediterranean region
- Have a genuine interest in or some experience of event management, hospitality and communication
Personal and professional growth
By acting as a volunteer at the MEM Summer Summit, you will enrich your CV with an exciting experience. At the end of the event, you will be issued with a Certificate of attendance mentioning the tasks you completed and responsibilities involved. Students of USI’s PMP, MEP or MEPIN degree programmes may obtain credits from the Volunteer Programme.
Volunteers can make the most of the opportunity to work in a dynamic and cooperative team of professionals, build hands-on experience from observing what goes on behind the scenes of an international event, get inspiration for their future, and enrich their personal cultural baggage.The Volunteer programme offers learning and networking opportunities within an international environment: speakers and guests from NGOs, governmental institutions and prestigious universities.
Please note that accommodation and travel are not covered, hence have to be borne by the volunteers. However, food and drinks will be free for volunteers while on duty; and the official MEM Summer Summit shirt they receive remains their property.
How to apply
If you are interested, please send a copy of your CV and a motivation letter to the following address: MEM@usi.ch specifying “MEM Volunteer Programme” in the subject.
The application deadline is Saturday, 30 May 2020.