Summer Summit 2018 Lugano, Switzerland
16 - 24 August 2018
The Seminar is addressed to young change-makers from the MEM region between the ages of 25 and 35 who are currently working for public and private institutions, non-profit organisations, social enterprises, media, art and culture. The programme is designed to empower participants to meet, discuss, learn and ultimately develop a vision for their common future. The Seminar approaches its participants as innovators and is built on the belief that learning is about shared experiences, active participation and social encounters. The Seminar seeks to:
- Facilitate discussions and exchange of ideas among the participants, by providing an unburdened environment and guidance to think outside the box
- Find common grounds, explore solutions beyond national boundaries
- Pose challenging questions to provoke bold answers
- Ensure the quality of debate by emphasising mutual respect and self-reflection
The Seminar’s official languages are English and French.
The Seminar constitutes the first section of the MEM Summer Summit, which will take place from the 16 to 24 August at the USI University Lugano Campus.
The Seminar Programme
The programme consists of a series of plenary session and workshops, thematically separated into three streams:
Course coordinated by Prof. Gilles Kepel and Prof. Hela Ouardi
- The Geopolitics of the MEM Region: International, Regional and Domestic Implications
- The Political Economy of the MEM Region
- Social Networks: Friend or Foe?
- Can Entrepreneurs Succeed?
- Mapping the Middle East Mediterranean Crises
- Women’s Empowerment: What is at Stake?
- Cultural Policies in Question
Course coordinated by Prof. Jean-Patrick Villeneuve in collaboration with the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
- Political System and Foreign Policy Agenda of Switzerland
- Sharing Experiences, Learning from Mistakes and Best Practices
- Strengthening Compliance with Democratic Norms
- The Role of Civil Society in Governance
- Decentralisation and Local Governance
- Information Society and Government
- Public Services and Infrastructures
Course coordinated by Prof. Riccardo Bocco, Prof. Silvia and Dr. Federica Frediani
- Narrating the Middle East Mediterranean Region
- Violence, Memory and Cinema in the MEM Region
- Heritage Preservation and Cultural Memory in the MEM Region
- Exhibiting Art in and from the MEM Region
- Narratives: Identity, Memory and Diaspora
- Narratives: Past and Present through Cinema and Photography
- Cinema and Stories on Disillusionment, in Collaboration with the Locarno Festival
Professor Gilles Kepel is a French Political Scientist and Arabist, has specialised in the contemporary Middle East and Muslims in the West. He is the Director of the Middle East and Mediterranean Chair at PSL Paris Sciences et Lettres Research University, based at École Normale Supérieure. Kepel holds degrees in Arabic, English, and Philosophy, a PhD in Sociology and a Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR) in Political Science. He has specialised in contemporary islamist movements since his 1983 PhD…
Hela Ouardi is a University professor in Tunis, where she teaches French Literature and civilisation. She is also an associate member of the Laboratoire d’études sur les monothéismes [Laboratory of Studies on Religious Monotheisms] of the French National Center for Scientific Research in Paris. In addition to her numerous works in the field of literary criticism and history of ideas, she is interested in Islamology. She coordinated the new critical edition of the Chrestomathie arabe [Arabic Chrestomathy] by Antoine-Isaac Silvestre…
Silvia Naef has been a full professor at the Arabic Studies Section of the University of Geneva since 2006, where she obtained her Ph.D. in 1993 with a thesis on modern art in the Arab world (published in 1996). As a postdoctoral scholar, she worked on Shia in Iraq and Lebanon and their relation to left-wing ideologies, in Germany (Tübingen and Freiburg im Breisgau, 1993-1996) and Basel (Switzerland, 1996-2000), with grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Janggen-Pöhn Foundation (St. Gallen, Switzerland)…
Professor of Political Sociology at the Anthropology and Sociology Department of the IHEID in Geneva, his main geographical area of fieldwork for the last 35 years has been the Near East with a particular focus on Jordan, Israel/Palestine and Lebanon. He has successively worked on issues of development policies and State-building; on humanitarian aid and refugees; and monitoring the impact of international aid on civilian populations. In addition to his PhD at SciencesPo (Paris), he has degrees in cultural anthropology, development studies and Arabic language…
Founder, Atassi Foundation, Abu Dhabi
Director, Atassi Foundation, Abu Dhabi
Basel Institute for Governance, Switzerland
Professor, Hoover Institution, The Washington Institute, USA-France
Head of Fiction Programme, FIFDH – International Film Festival and Forum on Human Rights, Switzerland
ESSMA BEN HAMIDA
Founder, Enda Inter-Arabe, Tunisia
Associate Professor, Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies, Sweden
Professor, Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland
WOLFGANG AMADEUS BRÜLHART
Assistant State Secretary and Director General, Head Middle East and North Africa Division, Swiss Foreign Ministry, Switzerland
Scientific director of Agence France-Muséums, France
Deputy Director, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, France
PSL – Paris Sciences et Lettres, and Columbia University, France-USA
Professor, Institute for Public Communication, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
Cofounder Yogosha Bug Bounty; Startupper, creative technologist, Teacher, Sciences Po, France
Associate Professor, Art History and Visual Communication, Franklin University Switzerland, Switzerland
Ph.D. Senior Researcher, Educational Program Manager MEM Freethinking Platform, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
Founder, Procivis AG, Switzerland
ABIR HAJ IBRAHIM
Modaberoon Network, Syria
Ph.D. Student, Institute for Public Communication, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
Writer, Journalist, Food Blogger, UK-Italy
Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAE), Switzerland
Professor and Head of Department of Applied Informatics in Management, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland
CEO, Deutsche Bahn Italia S.r.l., Italy
Chairman and CEO, Capital African Partners Bank (CAP Bank), Tunisia
Post-Doc Research Fellow, Ecole Normale Supérieure, France
Professor, PLS Paris Sciences et Lettres-École Normale Supérieure, Paris, France
Film Director, Writer, Belgium
Professor and Director, Institut de hautes études en administration publique, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland
Lecturer in Comparative Literature, Mount Holyoke College, USA
Associate Partner, IDEAS Centre Geneva, Switzerland-China
Artist, Saudi Arabia
Professor, Université de Genève, Switzerland
Swisspeace, Geneva, Switzerland
Artist, Darb 1718, Egypt
Executive Director and Founder, Syrian Legal Development Programme, Syria
Professor, Université de Tunis, Tunisia
Head, Think-Tank Middle-East and North Africa, Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
GHADA SAYEGH RAHAL
Institut d’Etudes Scéniques, Audiovisuelles et Cinématographiques, Université Saint-Joseph Beyrouth, Lebanon
Senior Consultant, The World Bank, Switzerland
Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Professor, Hanken School of Economics, Finland
Professor and Vice-Director, Institute for Public Communication, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
Film Critic, Artistic Director, Switzerland
It is better to debate a question without settling it, than to settle a question without debating it.
Applications for the Seminar are closed.
We are happy to welcome 150 participants from over 25 countries to join us for constructive and exciting discussions at the MEM Summer Summit.
USI Lugano Campus, Università della Svizzera italiana
The MEM Seminar 2018 will take place at the USI University Campus in Lugano. Both the city centre and Lake Lugano, with the beautiful Ciani Park on the shore, are within a short walking distance of the University.
The Campus hosts the USI Faculties of Communication Sciences, Economics and Informatics, as well as the University central administrative offices and library.
- The nucleus of the Lugano Campus is an ancient neoclassical building. The central block with a cafeteria on the second floor and the auditorium on the third floor
- The “Red building” with lecture halls and seminar rooms
- The informatics building
- The Aula Magna
- The library
- The LAB/ “Glass building”
- Lambertenghi building
- Maderno building
By train: Lugano is one of the principal stops on the main European North-South route and can be reached from many cities in the northern and southern part of Europe by direct day or night train connections. Check trains and updated departure times from/to Lugano here.
By plane: The quickest way to get to Lugano from most places abroad, will be through a number of airports listed below:
- From Milano Malpensa: There are frequent direct bus connections to Lugano (travel time 1hr). These are the main providers operating from Malpensa Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 2: GiosyTours, LuganoServizi, and JetBus.
- From Milano Linate and from the city centre of Milano, you can take one of the frequent trains to Lugano (about 1h from Milano Centrale Station).
- Lugano Airport is served by Swiss (Zurich). From the airport, you can take a shuttle to the centre of the city (Shuttle Bus) or a taxi.
- Zurich Airport: As an alternative you might consider flying to Zurich and use the train to travel to Lugano (overall, a 2h journey). There is a direct, hourly train from Zurich main station to Lugano. It is a chance to experience the longest train tunnel in Europe by passing under the Gottardo.
By car: The University is located in Via Giuseppe Buffi 13 and can be easily reached by car. The underground University parking lot is passed the second traffic light after the Glass building (The LAB) on your right. If you need to reach the University entrance instead, keep going straight passed the parking lot entrance and turn second right onto via Fusoni. Turn second right onto Via Lambertenghi and keep going straight until the end of the road until you see the University main building in front of you.
By bus from the train station: Go to the bus stop across the street from the train station and take the Nr. 6 bus towards Cornaredo and get off at “Università” (3 stops).
By bus from downtown Lugano: At the bus terminal, take the Nr. 5 bus towards “Viganello” and get off at “Università” (3 stops).
On foot (around 20-25 minutes): Reach the city centre by taking the pedestrian bridge across the street from the train station and follow the road downhill. From Piazza Cioccaro head south to Piazza Dante. Walk across the square and turn left onto Via Pretorio. Cross Via Pretorio to get to the bus terminal. Walk pass the bus terminal and keep heading straight onto Corso Pestalozzi until you reach a big underground car park and the entrance of the Ciani Park. Turn left onto Via Lucchini and keep walking straight until you reach the University main building (Via Lucchini eventually becomes Via Lambertenghi).
Lugano has an effective bus system connecting different parts of the city. Tickets must be purchased at the bus stop. All destinations in the city centre can also be easily reached on foot.
Student Volunteer Programme
Call for student volunteers
The Università della Svizzera italiana is looking for enthusiastic students who are interested in volunteering for the MEM Summer Summit 2018.
The international event will gather young change-makers, leaders from the public and private sector, artists, and intellectuals in the south of Switzerland to address recent developments and persisting problems in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries.
Volunteers can get involved in either the Seminar, the Forum or the entire Summit. The selected students volunteering for the Forum will be granted a complimentary registration. Please note that costs related to accommodation and travel are the students’ responsibility.
- Be currently enrolled in a Swiss university
- Have a very good command of English. People with additional language skills are encouraged to apply
- Have experience in the field of event management, hospitality and communication
- Preferably, have a keen interest in politics, society and culture of the Middle East Mediterranean region
Benefit from the programme
- Join cutting-edge discussions and meet interesting figures from the region
- Work in a dynamic and cooperative team of professionals
- Have a great opportunity to show your potential
- Enrich your CV with an exciting experience
- Receive a working certificate at the end of the event
When not on duty, student volunteers can attend programme sessions, as well as lunches and coffee breaks. If there are specific sessions that volunteers would particularly like to attend, we kindly invite them to inform us, and we will do our best to accommodate their request.
Choose your volunteer experience
- Communications volunteer: support our social media team or join on-site communication booths.
Be on the radar!
- Hospitality volunteer: assist high-level guests during the Forum – from politicians to business executives.
- Event-management volunteer: find solutions, provide answers, and connect people and events.
Be in charge!
- Tech Team volunteer: help with audio/visual issues that may crop up.
If you are interested in applying for the Student Volunteer Program, please contact us at MEM@usi.ch and indicate “MEM VOLUNTEER” in the subject of the email.
We look forward to receiving applications by 30 June 2018!