Università della Svizzera italiana

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The Seminar

Overview

The aim of the Seminar, exclusively devoted to the young change-makers, is to facilitate discussions and exchange of ideas among young participants considered to be innovators, by providing a favourable environment and neutral guidance for thinking outside the box, finding common grounds, and exploring solutions beyond national boundaries. Challenging questions are posed to prompt bold answers and the quality of debate is ensured by emphasising mutual respect and self-reflection. Learning is believed to be about sharing experiences, active participation and social encounters.

The Seminar offers a series of plenary lectures, participatory workshops, brainstorming sessions, film screenings, and cultural activities. Participants are encouraged to reflect on and discuss topics from the following three streams, into which the main area is divided:

This stream aims to give an overview of the complex geopolitical situation and the challenges facing the Middle East Mediterranean region, focusing on topics of current relevance. The analysis ranges from the Levant ravaged by continuing conflicts and torn apart by protests, to North Africa, where the political systems of countries affected by the 2011 uprising have dissolved, and new ones have emerged.

This stream familiarises participants with diverse traditions of state administration, providing an overview of analytical patterns and practical dynamics. It also focuses on complex issues that affect the Middle East Mediterranean region in terms of administration and governance. It introduces participants to the Swiss political system and to the Swiss government’s foreign policy agenda, programmes and activities as a regional partner.

This stream explores the role of narratives in capturing various realities in the Middle East Mediterranean region as well as the emergence of new expressions in the figurative arts, cinema, and literature, and the concern for cultural heritage. Creativity and culture are powerful instruments to develop new narratives and achieve a better understanding of Middle East Mediterranean societies. They are also socio-economic driving forces.

A fourth stream, called ‘Horizontal Stream’, engages young change-makers to work, with the support of a team of facilitators, on project-proposals with a cross-borders approach. In the past two years, the main areas of these project-proposals included: education, culture, political participation, the refugee crisis, job creation, social cohesion, mental health. For more information, see the Lugano Initiative document. and (The Lugano Initiative – MEM Summer Summit 2019 and The Lugano Initiative – MEM Summer Summit 2018).

"A change-maker is someone who wills to accept untraditional and unorthodox ways to see problems and to adopt a holistic approach, also sacrificing the individual level."
Majd Nassaralah, Palestinian Territories
"We are the future because the youth make 60% of the MENA population and are a great potential for change."
Hatim El Otmani, Morocco
"A change-maker is being a good citizen and a good servant to your community."
Khadija El Alami, Morocco
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Seminar Programme

Full programme of the Seminar 2020 will be available soon. 

Course coordinated by Prof Gilles Kepel, Prof Hela Ouardi, and Dr Federica Frediani

Course coordinated by Prof Jean-Patrick Villeneuve in collaboration with the Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)

Course coordinated by Prof Riccardo Bocco, Prof Silvia Naef, and Dr Federica Frediani

The Università della Svizzera Italiana endorses the MEM Summer Summit Code of Conduct, which is applicable to all individuals participating in the MEM Summer Summit.

MEM Summer Summit Code of Conduct 2019

Participants

The MEM Summer Summit welcomes 100 young people from 25 countries of the Middle East Mediterranean region.

Seminar Speakers

Photo credit: Miguel Bueno

CAROLINE ABU SA’DA

President, ONG SOS Méditerranée, France

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EMILIANO ALBANESE

Professor, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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ANNA ANTONIOS

Programme Officer, Swisspeace, Switzerland

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FABRICE BALANCHE

Associate Professor, University of Lyon, France

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SALEH BARAKAT

Art Expert, Gallery Owner and Curator, Gallery Agial/Saleh Barakat, Lebanon

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SOUHAÏL BELHADJ

Research Associate, Graduate Institute, Switzerland

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RICCARDO BOCCO

Professor, Graduate Institute, Switzerland

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ADHAM DARAWSHA

Assessor for Cultures and Democratic Participation, Municipality of Palermo, Italy

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FEDERICA DE ROSSA

Professor and Director, Institute of Law, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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GABRIELE DERIGHETTI

Deputy Head MENA Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland

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ISHAC DIWAN

Professor, PSL – Paris Sciences et Lettres; École normale supérieure, France

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JOLANTA DRZEWIECKA

Professor, Institute for Public Communication, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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RABIH EL CHAMMAY

Psychiatrist, Saint Joseph University, Lebanon

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MARTA FADDA

Postdoctoral Researcher, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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FEDERICA FREDIANI

Ph.D. Senior Researcher, Educational Program Manager MEM Freethinking Platform, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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SARA GRECO

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Communication Sciences, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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ABIR HAJ IBRAHIM

Co-Founder and Board Member, Modaberoon Network, Syria

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MARC-ANDRÉ HALIDMANN

Research Associate, University of Bern, Switzerland

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MARLEN HEIDE

Ph.D. Student, Institute for Public Communication, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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JEAN-JACQUES HIBLE

Policy Analyst, Public Governance Directorate, OECD, Switzerland

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JULIAN HOTTINGER

Expert and Mediator, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland

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TOMASZ JANOWSKI

Professor and Head of Department of Applied Informatics in Management, Gdańsk University of Technology, Poland; Professor, Danube University Krems, Krems, Austria

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ALEXANDRE KAZEROUNI

Associate Professor, Ecole Normale Supérieure, France

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GILLES KEPEL

Professor, PLS Paris Sciences et Lettres-École normale supérieure, France; Adjunct Professor and Scientific director of the Middle East Mediterranean Freethinking Platform, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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FYRAS MAWAZINI

Country Director for Morocco and Tunisia, Drosos Foundation, Switzerland

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DIMA MOHAMMED

Senior Researcher, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

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EL MOUHOUB MOUHOUD

Professor, University of Paris Dauphine PSL, France

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SILVIA NAEF

Professor, Université de Genève, Switzerland

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IBRAHIM OLABI

Executive Director and Founder, Syrian Legal Development Programme, Syria

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JUANITA OLAYA

Lawyer, Independent Expert; Chair, UNCAC Coalition, Germany

Hela Ouardi à Paris le 27 fevrier 2019

HELA OUARDI

Professor, Université de Tunis, Tunisia

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FRANCESCA PIANA

Historian, Université de Genève, Switzerland

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GIOVANNI PICA

Professor, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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FRANCIS PICCAND

Head, Think-Tank Middle East and North Africa, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland

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NADIA REDISSI

Training manager, Maison de l’Image, Tunisia

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ANDREA ROCCI

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Communication Sciences, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

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IBRAHIM SAÏD

Research Associate, Centre of Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP); Co-founder, Think-Ahead, Switzerland

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SAMIR

Filmmaker, Producer, Author, and Film Director, Switzerland

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MARK THATCHER

Professor, Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (LUISS) Guido Carli, Rome, Italy

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YVES UBELMANN

President and Co-founder, Iconem, France

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LUCA URECH

Swiss Career Diplomat and Syria Programme Manager, Human Security Division, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland

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LIISA VÄLIKANGAS

Professor, Hanken School of Economics, Finland

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ELINE VAN DER VLIST

Artistic Director, Darat al Funun-The Khalid Shoman Foundation, Jordan

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COSTA VAYENAS

Director, Procivis Think Tank, Switzerland

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JEAN-PATRICK VILLENEUVE

Professor and Vice-Director, Institute for Public Communication, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

Pio Wennubst

PIO WENNUBST

Vice Director General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland

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DIMITRIOS XEFTERIS

Assitant Professor, University of Cyprus, Cyprus

Practical information

Transport

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: The S50 is the train line that connects Lugano to Malpensa. Check trains and updated departure times here. Direct bus connections to Lugano are available on demand. To make a reservation contact Giosy Tours at +41 79 133 53 23. 
  • Lugano Airport is served by Swiss International Air Lines. From the airport, you can take a shuttle bus to the centre of the city 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 Gotthard.

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.

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