Università della Svizzera italiana launched the MEM Summer Summit in 2018, in collaboration with the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs that is one of the main partners. The acronym MEM stands for the extended region of the Mediterranean and the Middle East (from Morocco to Iran) and it refers to a complex and heterogenous geopolitical and cultural space that has undergone and is still undergoing profound and rapid changes. The MEM Summer Summit aims to develop new approaches, different narratives, as well as new projects that transcend physical and cultural boundaries between communities on all shores of the MEM region and beyond with the active contribution of the young participants, called young change-makers. Furthermore, the Summit aims to create a safe space for the young change-makers to meet, to exchange experiences, to collaborate and to build a common understanding.
The MEM Summer Summit takes place during the summer in Lugano, in a hybrid format, and it is composed of a Seminar and a Forum.
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