2nd Annual EPICUR Forum & Festival November 24-26, 2021 Thessaloniki

EPICUR > 2nd Annual EPICUR Forum & Festival November 24-26, 2021 Thessaloniki

The programme of the 2nd Annual EPICUR Forum and Festival

Wednesday 24 November 2021

09:30 am – 11:00 am  (CET)

Opening Session
Welcome – Address Speeches
&
Keynote Speech
« From Epicurus to the New European Identity »
Prof Georgios Zografidis

School of Philosophy and Education,
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

11:00 am – 11:30 am CET)

Break

11:30 am – 13:30 pm (CET)

Thematic Session 1:
Health Technological Innovations

Recent advances in Medicine and public health have re-emphasised the importance of the holistic approach to the terms “health and disease” and have highlighted the pivotal role of technological innovations and a deeper understanding of biological systems. What started as “Personalised Medicine” and continued later as “Precision Medicine”, is now recognised as a facet of “Digital Medicine”, which is perplexed with wider European efforts for the digital transformation of health and their translational power in shaping up care and clinical practice. On the other hand, the capacity of health care systems to deliver more (digitally enabled) personalised and effective health care is admittedly linked with the concepts of the wider (regional) ecosystem which inevitably employs contemporary ideas of citizen science. A set of five (5) distinguished speakers will stimulate lively discussions over the above ideas.

Moderator:
Panagiotis BamidisLab of Medical Physics, School of Medicine of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Speakers:
Prof. dr. Caroline Nevejan Chief Science Officer, City of Amsterdam & Chair Designing Urban Experience, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Citizen Science in Regional Urban Research Ecologies
Prof. Maged N. KAMEL BOULOS Professor of Digital Health Systems, Sun Yat-sen University, China & Member of the World Health Organization Digital Health Technical Advisory Group–DHTAG Experts
Digital twins: from personalised medicine to precision public health
Prof. Stavroula Mougiakakou Associate Professor in Biomedical Engineering, AI in Health and Nutrition, University of Bern, ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, Bern, Switzerland
Digitalization and AI in diabetes
Prof. Ioannis Mitroulis Assist. Professor of Internal Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
Immune regulation of hematopoiesis in health and disease
Prof. Aristidis Moustakas Professor of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology Uppsala University, Sweden
Understanding cancer metastasis

13:30 pm – 14:30 pm (CET)

Break

14:30 pm – 16:30 pm (CET)

Thematic Session 2 (1/2):
Inclusion in Higher Education: Promoting youth resilience and social understanding in the post-COVID Higher Education
Students’ Workshop: Listening to EPICUR students’ voices

At times of global change and uncertainty like the ones we currently experience including the disruption of education due to the pandemic, university students, especially those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and those with migrant/refugee background, are more likely to experience difficulties and obstacles during their University studies and are at risk for falling behind successful adaptation, disengagement, poor academic outcomes, drop out, future limited access to educational and work opportunities, life adversities and social exclusion. Higher Education institutions should meet students’ multiple needs (academic, personal, social, and emotional), especially the needs of those students who are more vulnerable, in order to better contribute to sustainable learning and development. Within this theoretical framework, Session 3 will discuss ideas along the following three axes: (a) The development of competencies required by the twenty-first century citizens to actively participate and contribute to their society, but also to social progress, peace, and sustainability. (b) Raising awareness and promotion of civil rights and citizenship, of intercultural dialogue and open technologies via Peer-to-Peer Learning (P2P) models. (c) How Universities and especially coalitions as EPICUR can further explore e-learning practices, hybrid/online forms of learning and the use of new technologies towards more inclusive societies where the least represented are given opportunities for learning and development. The above issues will be discussed in a workshop for students and in an expert panel session so that students’ voices to be heard and discussed by the experts using the current theoretical and evidence-based approaches.

Moderators:
Prof Eleftheria N. Gonida, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Prof Domna Kakana, School of early childhood education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Prof Christos Fragkonikolopoulos, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

A workshop with students from all partner universities will discuss the theme of Session 3 (Inclusion, Resilience, and Innovation).

Parallel Sessions

Thematic Session 3:
Supporting the transition towards sustainable
agri-food systems

Sustainable management of agricultural ecosystems has the goal of transforming food systems towards a balance between ecological soundness, economic viability and social justice. It is therefore essential to improve management of crops, livestock and fisheries – using natural resources more efficiently – to restore land and water resources and enhance resilience of agri-food systems (capacity to recover from disturbances including extreme weather events, pests and hazards). The ultimate goal is to ensure food security and access to high-quality healthy food for all. To achieve this, change is needed in all parts of the agri-food system, from the soil to the table.

Sustainable use of agricultural ecosystems is relevant to achieving most of the SDGs. This includes several ecosystem services central to food production (SDG 2), like pest control and soil nutrient cycling. It also includes nutritious food (SDG 3), fuel (SDG 7), regulating of water flows (SDG 6) and carbon sequestration (SDG 13), providing security from natural hazards, climate change mitigation, and habitat for both wild and functional biodiversity (SDG 14 & 15).

Moderators:
Assoc Prof Stefanos KoundourasSchool of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Assoc Prof Dr Nina Eisenmenger,Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, BOKU Vienna
Prof Christos Dordas, Head of School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Assoc Prof Dimitrios Karpouzos, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Prof Kostas Koutsoumanis, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

 Speakers:
Introductory speech 1
Prof Dimitrios Koveos, AUTh Vice Rector, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Sustainable Agriculture: Integrated and Organic Agriculture in Greece and the role of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Introductory speech 2
Assoc Prof Helmut Haberl, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Global sustainability challenges of agri-food systems.

Subtopic 1: Resilient agricultural production systems
Prof Alexandra Magro, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Formation de l’Enseignement Agricole de Toulouse-Auzeville:
Agriculture and biodiversity: divorce or happy marriage?
Dr Lorna Cole, Scotland’s Rural College:
Designing agricultural landscapes for insect pollinators.
Prof Abdul Mouazen, Ghent University:
Potential of multi-sensor data fusion for precision application of farming input resources.

Subtopic 2: Natural resources
Dr Vicente Bodas, Agronomic Director of AgriSat Iberia s.l.:
Healthy soils through conservation agriculture
Assoc Prof Thomas Kotsopoulos, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki:
Sustainable energy solutions in agriculture for climate change mitigation.
Prof Simone Gingrich, Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna:
Biomass in the sustainability transition: potentials and limitations.

Subtopic 3: Nutrition and public health
Assoc Prof Alexandra Michailidou, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki:
The concept of the Mediterranean diet as “a driver of sustainable food systems” to tackle the Global Syndemic of obesity, undernutrition, and climate change.
Senior Lecturer Iona Huang, Harper Adams University, UK:
Consumer food waste – what retailers do and can do more to influence consumer behavior.
Dr Lisa Kaufmann, Institute of Social Ecology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
Demand-side strategies and their effects on greenhouse gas emissions and the land footprint of urban food systems – the case of Vienna.

16:45 pm -18:00pm (CET)

EPICUR FESTIVAL

“Traditional music, songs and dances of Hellenism”
Choir of the School of Music Studies – Faculty of Fine Arts, AUTh
Music Direction: Erifyli Damianou

Traditional Dances Group – School of Physical Education and Sports Science – Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, AUTh
Direction: Professor St. Douka – Assoc. Professor G. Lykesas

A journey in Greece through traditional music, songs and dances of Hellenism will be presented by the students of the AUTh Schools of Music Studies and Physical Education & Sports Science. From Thrace, Macedonia and Epirus to the southern capes of Peloponnese, from the Ionian Sea to the Aegean islands, Crete, Asia Minor and Pontus, traditional music has been an integral part of people’s daily lives, expressing their joy, sorrow, pain optimism and zeal. The variety of sound colors, the melodic and rhythmic richness of Greek music, the lyricism and pragmatism of the lyrics still touch human souls, keeping this music alive to this day.

Thursday 25 November 2021

09.00 am -11.00 am (CET) 

Thematic Session 2 (2/2):
Inclusion in Higher Education: Promoting youth resilience and social understanding in the post-COVID Higher Education
Expert Panel Discussion

At times of global change and uncertainty like the ones we currently experience including the disruption of education due to the pandemic, university students, especially those from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds and those with migrant/refugee background, are more likely to experience difficulties and obstacles during their University studies and are at risk for falling behind successful adaptation, disengagement, poor academic outcomes, drop out, future limited access to educational and work opportunities, life adversities and social exclusion. Higher Education institutions should meet students’ multiple needs (academic, personal, social, and emotional), especially the needs of those students who are more vulnerable, in order to better contribute to sustainable learning and development. Within this theoretical framework, Session 3 will discuss ideas along the following three axes: (a) The development of competencies required by the twenty-first century citizens to actively participate and contribute to their society, but also to social progress, peace, and sustainability. (b) Raising awareness and promotion of civil rights and citizenship, of intercultural dialogue and open technologies via Peer-to-Peer Learning (P2P) models. (c) How Universities and especially coalitions as EPICUR can further explore e-learning practices, hybrid/online forms of learning and the use of new technologies towards more inclusive societies where the least represented are given opportunities for learning and development. The above issues will be discussed in a workshop for students and in an expert panel session so that students’ voices to be heard and discussed by the experts using the current theoretical and evidence-based approaches.

Moderators:
Prof. Eleftheria N. Gonida, School of Psychology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Prof. Christos Frangkonikolopoulos

Speakers:
Prof. Dr. Adar Ben Eliyahu, Haifa University, Israel
Sustainable Learning in Education
Prof. Dr. Vassilis Kostakis, Tallin University & Harvard University, Estonia & USA
Technology won’t bring about an inclusive society, but here’s something that can.
Prof. Dr. Maria Daniella Marouda, Panteion, University of Athens, Greece
Teaching critical dialogue as a means to ensure an inclusive school environment
Sarah Gangl, EPICUR Student Representative (Member of the European Partnership for an Innovative Campus Unifying Regions (EPICUR) Student Board as representative for the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences-BOKU).
Presentation of the results of the Students’ Workshop: Listening to EPICUR students’ voices; Inclusion in Higher Education: Promoting youth resilience and social understanding in the post-COVID Higher Education

Parallel Sessions

Thematic Session 4:
The new digital and physical University Reality.
Mobility without borders.

The main objective of this session to present solutions towards the development of the European Education Area, thereby deploying lines of action presented in the Digital Education Action Plan 2021-2027 and underpinning the philosophy outlined in the Open Source Software Strategy ‘Think Open’ by providing sound, proactive and sustainable frameworks and tools supporting all stakeholders (i.e. teaching staff, students, admin staff) in navigating a responsible transition of their universities in the context of the global digital society.
According to the above new generation digital learning services should be developed to support flexible student mobilities and hybrid learning formats and.
New interactive technologies, as well as data science and artificial intelligence could create a robust infrastructure towards the creation of the New Digital and Physical University.

This session could discuss many human/user related, technical and governance challenges of these technologies and services concerning their openness, security, effectiveness, and sustainability.

Moderators:
Asc. Prof.  Thrasyvoulos Tsiatsos. Department of Informatics of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Prof. Athena Vakali. Department of Informatics of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Speakers:
Introductory speech 1:
Georgi Dimitrov. Head of Unit “Digital Education”.
Challenges of European Digital Platforms. EU perspectives on digital education including the issue of digital education platforms.

Introductory speech 2:
Prof. Dimitrios Koveos, Vice Rector for Academic and Student Affairs of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Thrasyvoulos Tsiatsos, Assoc. Prof., Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
EPICUR Solutions towards an inter-university campus. EPICUR Solutions towards an inter-university campus.

Dialogue in Subtopic 1: University COVID-19 resilience.

Moderators:
Gerben Groeneveld, University of Amsterdam.
Brief showcase Hybrid Learning Theatre.
Yiannis Salmatzidis, IT Manager of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.
AUTh tools and solutions during Covid19 period.

Contributing panelists:
Natalie Pareja Roblin, Teaching and Learning Centre of the University of Amsterdam.
What have UvA teachers and students learned from online education during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Sexauer Andreas, Dipl.-Ing (FH), KIT.
Teaching tools established at KIT during COVID-19 to be preserved for virtual mobility.

Dialogue in Subtopic 2: Cross-border and avantgarde Mobility

Moderators:
Anouk Tso, Director of International Affairs at the University of Amsterdam.
EPICUR flipped mobility concept.
Stavros Demetriadis, Professor in the Department of Informatics of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Conversational Agents in MOOCs.

Contributing panelists:
Panagiotis Bamidis, Professor, School of Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Living Labs.
Anna Rutz, Rector’s Plenipotentiary for Persons with Disabilities Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
Inclusive learning formats.
Jagoda Górecka, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.
Inclusive learning formats (student perspective).

Dialogue in Subtopic 3: Sustainable, Interoperable and Secure Digital University.

 Moderators:
João Bacelar, Executive Manager of the European University Foundation (EUF).
Challenges pertaining to weaving together university systems.

Contributing panelists:
Mairead Nic Giolla Mhichil, Dublin City University, ECIU Alliance.
Micro-credential implementation at institutional and cross-institutional level.
Ioannis Stamelos, Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
Blockademic: Blockchain based Certification in Education.

 Dialogue in Subtopic 4: Data and AI as drivers of the next generation University.

Contributing panelists:
Athina Vakali, Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
DS&AI support towards the creation of New University.
Nikos Isaris, Deputy Head of Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus, Directorate-General for Communication, European Commission.
Data and AI as drivers of the next generation University; how the University of the future will comply with EU and global challenges.

11:00 am – 12:00 am (CET)

Break

12:00 am – 13.00 pm (CET)

Keynote Speech
Linking global warming levels with climate change and its impacts in  the Mediterranean region
Prodromos Zanis,
Department of Meteorology and Climatology School of Geology, Faculty of Sciences Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

 

13:00 pm – 15:00 pm (CET)

Thematic Session 5: Environmental Technological Innovations SDG based post-COVID recovery
plan: Challenges and opportunities

The Sustainable Development Goals pave the way to our common future. The COVID pandemic has changed the global priorities. The “new normal” post-pandemic recovery needs to set the implementation of the SDGs back on track. An interdisciplinary discussion on the various aspects related to the under-formulation recovery plan, can highlight new ideas, new perspectives, new challenges, and new opportunities emphasizing in new and innovative technologies.

Moderator:
Prof. Nicolaos Theodossiou Division of Hydraulics and Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh).

Speakers:
Prof. Nicolas Moussiopoulos School of Mechanical Engineering of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Synthetic fuels as a means for storing renewable energy in order to ensure energy supply
Dr Lydia S. Vamvakeridou-Lyroudia. KWR Water Research Institute, The Netherlands
H2020-Climate resilient-regions through systemic solutions and innovations – ARSINOE project
Prof. Phoebe Koundouri, “Climate-KIC | The EU’s main climate
innovation initiative”. Athens University of Economics and Business, SDSN Greece and SDSN Europe
H2020-Climate resilient-regions through systemic solutions and innovations – ARSINOE project
Prof Om P. Rajora, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management. Canada
Population Genetics and Genomics for Biodiversity Conservation and Protection.

15:00 pm – 17:00 pm (CET)

Virtual Fair – Spatial chat

We are delighted to invite you to our Virtual Fair which uses a special networking tool (SpatialChat). This enables a 1 on 1 dialogue between all participants. The feeling is similar to actually being there next to another participant! All Student Groups, EPICUR courses Teachers, EPICUR colleagues, WP leaders, Working group personnel and FORUM session organisers /speakers are invited to create their own virtual room during the two days of the Virtual Fair.

Each interested person can present themselves in their own room and – as far as the technical possibilities may allow – and design the room according to their own wishes. We hope this will allow for some helpful 1:1 unstructured engagement and “real life” dissemination of what’s happening in EPICUR during the past two years. More details will follow as regards the design of the rooms. Grab your real coffee and join us in the Virtual Fair Hall. 

17:00 pm – 19:00 pm (CET)

EPICUR FESTIVAL
Interactive event designed by students for students

Have you ever thought that you are just another name in your university’s students list? We are here to change that thought!

You are actually very lucky, because you are part of the EPICURIOUS family! Your University is part of a multicultural, creative and powerful alliance. 8 universities from 6 different European countries have already forged the first step for a European University. And believe us, that gives you so many opportunities just from your couch. Multicultural meetings, scientific innovations, and courses are the opportunity to meet new people from different countries. If these lines engage your attention you already have to join us in our online EPICUR forum, 24-26 November 2021.

P.S. It is not one more online meeting 😉 We have prepared a remarkable evening full of experiences, games, and discussions.

Friday 26 November 2021

09:00 am – 11:00 am (CET)

Panel Discussion: The achievements of EPICUR European University

Currently celebrating its 2nd birthday, it is time for the EPICUR Alliance to demonstrate the highlights of its activities. During this achievement session, major EPICUR responsible actors will present you the activities on which they had a strong focus throughout the last two years and b) on which EPICUR will probably concentrate its attention as well in the years to follow. Each presentation session includes the possibility of Question & Answers, feel free to answer anything you like related to the presentations. Find out what EPICUR is really about in passionating 10 minutes pitches of EPICUR Leaders on the following fields…

  • Introduction to EPICUR
  • Multilingualism
  • Broadening Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Regional interconnection
  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Student Involvement

It does not matter if you are working for EPICUR or if you are discovering the EPICUR Alliance through this Forum, in both cases you will experience EPICUR’s achievements in short and dynamic fashion and you will be able to meet the EPICUR Leaders during the Virtual fair afterwards on Spatial Chat in order to follow the conversation on our activities!

11:00 am – 11:30 am (CET)

Break

11:30 am – 13.30 pm (CET)

Virtual Fair – Spatial chat

We are delighted to invite you to our Virtual Fair which uses a special networking tool (SpatialChat). This enables a 1 on 1 dialogue between all participants. The feeling is similar to actually being there next to another participant! All Student Groups, EPICUR courses Teachers, EPICUR colleagues, WP leaders, Working group personnel and FORUM session organisers /speakers are invited to create their own virtual room during the two days of the Virtual Fair.

Each interested person can present themselves in their own room and – as far as the technical possibilities may allow – and design the room according to their own wishes. We hope this will allow for some helpful 1:1 unstructured engagement and “real life” dissemination of what’s happening in EPICUR during the past two years. More details will follow as regards the design of the rooms. Grab your real coffee and join us in the Virtual Fair Hall. 

13.30 pm – 14:30 pm (CET)

Break

14:30 pm – 16:15 pm (CET)

Closing Plenary Session
The Future of European University Alliances.
Challenges & Perspectives of Enlargement

Currently, only 5% of all European HEI are involved as full partners (279 HEIs) and the EC ambition is to reach 10% from all European regions. Central and Eastern European universities are particularly underrepresented in European University alliances and alliances are encouraged to share the outcomes of their actions with associated partners through mutual beneficial cooperation. However, enlargement is indeed not a self-fulfilling prophecy: New partnerships aim to strengthen the standardisation of processes and the procedures on a European level, to enrich interdisciplinary, inclusive and innovative teaching & learning formats as well as develop new tools. Therefore, cooperation with external partners is key for enhancing European integration and to write a new page on the success story of the European University alliance initiative.

After an introduction by top level representatives of the European Commission as well as Michel Deneken, President of University of Strasbourg & the EPICUR Alliance, we will first experience the strategical vision behind the EPICUR Inter-University platform, key deliverable of the EPICUR Alliance, by Nikolaos Papaioannou, Rector of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and Dimitrios Koveos, Vice-Rector of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Afterwards, we will have a fruitful exchange on the effects of enlargement on the deepening and broadening of key deliverables for the European University alliances, including the possibility for the audience to answer questions.

With this in mind, EPICUR is looking forward to fruitful exchanges with senior representatives of the Directorate Generale for Education and Culture as well as other senior representatives of European University alliances.

16:15 pm – 16:30 pm (CET)

Discussion – Conclusions

16.30 pm – 17.00 pm (CET)

Break

17:00 pm – 18:00 pm (CET)

EPICUR FESTIVAL
“Emblematic Greek composers: A tribute to Mikis Theodorakis”

Choir “Yannis Mantakas” AUTh
Music Direction: Erifyli Damianou

Mikis Theodorakis is an emblematic Greek composer, globally recognized and appreciated. Through his music and songs he praised the beauty of everyday life, mourned for its difficulties, protested against injustices, set great poetry to music, captured historical events, gave joy and raised the emotion to people worldwide. He managed to make the aspects of human life a work of art, where each of us can experience “methexis” and « katharsis » as in ancient Greek Drama, by humming his songs. The choir « Yiannis Mantakas » of AUTH will honor this great creator, presenting a program with some of his representative works.

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