Achievements

Methodology

The methodology developed and implemented during the last editions has become instrumental today to the success of the Summit itself. The impact of this approach has been such that the MEM Summer Summit has received mandates to implement the methodology during other international initiatives: for example, the Sommet des deux rives (2019), the OSCE Mediterranean Conference in Tirana (2019), and the project Bites of Transfoodmation (2020-2022).

Organised by the Permanent Representation of Switzerland to FAO, IFAD and WFP, in partnership with Istituto Svizzero, the Swiss Embassy in Rome, Présence Suisse and Università della Svizzera italiana, this initiative aims to lay the foundations for a process of change towards more sustainable and resilient Food systems in the future.

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The project is supported and funded by the Drosos Foundation. Eight MEM Alumni from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey have taken part in this project. It comprises of a series of online workshops, designed to work and reflect on mobilities and new forms of citizenship in the MEM region. The findings of this project are collected and presented in a digital publication that includes narratives and pictures done by members of the team.

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In 2019, Università della Svizzera italiana and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies received a mandate by the French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs to contribute to the organisation of the Forum on “Youth, Education and Mobility” in Valletta (Malta) and “Culture, Media and Tourism” in Montpellier (France). All this was possible thanks to the close association with the host countries, providing observers for the other consultations (Algeria, Malta, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia) in preparation of the Summit that took place in Marseille, on 23-24 June 2019.

The results of the MEM Summit 2019 were presented in a special session during the 2019 OSCE Mediterranean Conference, Tirana (Albania), 24-25 October 2019.

Bites of Transfoodmation

The MEM Summer Summit is transferring to the event Bites of Transfoodmation by applying its methodology. The Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations organisations in Rome, in partnership with the Swiss Embassy in Rome, Istituto Svizzero, Presence Suisse and Università della Svizzera Italiana have launched Bites of Transfoodmation, a project that brings together young, motivated individuals to take part in a process of change towards a more sustainable and resilient food system in the future.

MEM Summer Summit at Expo 2020 Dubai
Workshop and public discussion: Re-thinking food systems. Visions of a new society through the lens of food.

Organized by the Swiss Mission in Rome and Università della Svizzera Italiana (MEM Summer Summit)

Access to healthy and nutritious food is a right, not a privilege. Yet, food systems are getting more complex and food insecurity and water scarcity in the MENA region are two of the key issues of the 21st century. How can we rethink our food habits, shape narratives, and use food as a powerful instrument of cohesion and inclusiveness?

The Workshop

The workshop brought together young people from different regions to discuss the future of food systems, with a particular focus on the MENA region. The workshop was be inspired by the Bites of Transfoodmation (BoT) Manifesto and the Middle East Mediterranean methodology and values.

The Public Discussion

High-level speakers from academia, business and diplomacy as well as young individuals debated and exchanged their views on the transformation and the future of food systems. The list of speakers included Boas Erez, the rector of the Università della Svizzera italiana, Federica Frediani, the project leader of the MEM Summer Summit, and MEM Alumni, who also take an active part in the BoT community.

Watch the public discussion below.

Cultural Narratives - New Horizons

The New Horizons Project originated from Stream C of the Seminar that focuses on cultural narratives. It comprises of online and on-site workshops, where a team of MEM Summer Summit Alumni, led by Federica Frediani come together for discussion and working together over topics like:

  • The mobility of people, ideas, cultures and commodities transcending barriers of space and time were/are hallmarks of contemporaneity;
  • Digitalization;
  • The role of culture and creativity in the process of economic and social reconstruction after Coronavirus.
Rachid Koraïchi 
Jardin d'Afrique
Rachid Koraïchi 
Jardin d'Afrique
Nour Nasreldin
Muted City
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Ahmed Mater, in his book Prognosis, offers an analysis of Saudi Arabia and Middle East where autobiography and history of the region overlap in a moment of great incertitude and transition. Mapping his life and work on a historical timeline, the book offers an unprecedented insight into changes forged by and in the Kingdom, and its significance in world religion, culture, and geopolitics.

Rachid Koraïchi, with his project Garden of Africa, aims to create a sacred space to keep alive the memory of migrants drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. Nameless corpses are buried in this place, in Tunisia, that wants to be a Garden of Eden for the “forgotten ones”. An artistic and politic project that is an invitation to rethink relationships between Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe.

Nour Nasreldin ideated and directed a short film on her experience of lockdown in Cairo, on the unusual silence in such a noisy city and on the role of new generations to envision and foster change.

 

In the previous editions, film-screenings of selected films were organised in collaboration with the Locarno Film Festival. The exhibition Broken cities. A virtual journey from Syria to Iraq – an imaginary route to four cities laid waste by conflicts whose violence has turned them into theatres of war in recent years – was set up in collaboration with e-REAL Logosnet and Iconem. A multimedia installation by the Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr and the photo Exhibition Journeys through our Fragile Heritage, several concerts and a conference on Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa cuisine made up the cultural dimension and framework during the MEM Summer Summit 2018.

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