Life as a CIVICA ambassadorOUTGOING AMBASSADOR AT BOCCONI, DANIEL TALKS ABOUT HIS EXPERIENCE AND INCOMING BIANCA ABOUT WHAT SHE IS LOOKING FORWARD TO
Being a CIVICA Ambassador is an exciting opportunity for students of the alliance - from undergraduate to postdoctoral researchers - with the chance to promote interaction and exchange within the alliance's communities, initiate bottom-up projects and be a first point of contact to CIVICA for peers.
At Bocconi it is a time of change, with Daniel Eid leaving the post and Bianca Da Silva Inocêncio joining as one of the three new Bocconi ambassadors for academic year 2022/23. We talked to Daniel to hear about his experience and to Bianca about what she is looking forward to…
Why did you choose to be an ambassador? How is European cooperation relevant to your studies and interests?
Daniel: I fell in love with CIVICA’s mission after attending the “CIVICA week 2021”: joining forces between leading universities and helping to generate solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. Furthermore, I wanted to run because of a sense of civic responsibility as a European. I really enjoy representing people, as I do at my university, because I want to be an active player of positive change. And living in a period of rising populism and most urgently an ongoing war at our borders, we all need to increase cooperation, starting from also from the education sector.
Bianca: I am particularly interested in the topic of transport and logistics and Europe has become a global reference, with some of the most well-developed train networks of the world. Recently, Germany launched the world's first hydrogen train fleet, a major step towards green transport. Understanding not only how to create and make these innovations feasible, but also how to spread them, is paramount for my field of interest.
How can you and your colleagues/peers benefit from your university's participation in the CIVICA alliance?
Bianca: Bocconi is international at its core and promotes initiatives that lead to cooperation amid different nationalities. I believe the University environment can benefit a lot from exposing students to projects and debates focused on civic engagement and European cooperation with other campuses.
Daniel: The main benefit is the cross-country collaboration: working on research projects and attending events or webinars with students from different countries and backgrounds can really bring to the table new ideas and help expand your horizons. The bottom line is that diversity is always an added value.
What does CIVICA mean to you?
Bianca: CIVICA represents to me how powerful educational platforms are - it illustrates how we can use the field of social sciences not only as a tool to passively understand the world, but also to interact with and change it. Promoting knowledge and opportunities revolutionizes peoples' lives, and is fundamental for the construction of the future society we envision.
Daniel: CIVICA represents to me an innovative university model, thriving on synergies between European Universities and pioneering a new type of research placing students, researchers, NGOs, and civil society at its heart. Universities will educate the next generations of Europeans and I believe CIVICA can become a pillar for Europe’s future as it embodies the European motto: “United in diversity”.
Daniel, what were your main activities as ambassador and what was the highlight?
Daniel: My main activities included attending meetings with the ambassadors from the other universities of the alliance to brainstorm new ideas and discuss next steps; promote CIVICA’s mission and initiatives among my peers; and work on cross-universities projects.
The highlight was definitely the participation to the European Student Assembly. In fact, after contributing to the proposals for the Conference on the Future of Europe, we were invited to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where we finalized the policy paper about key challenges of the EU. I experienced first-hand how us, students, can play a role and have a concrete impact on our future. And after that, with another panelist, I was invited as guest speaker at Viva Technology conference in Paris. There, we had the privilege to present our proposals about cybersecurity, just a few hours after President Macron had their speech..an amazing experience.
Bianca, what will be some of your priorities as a CIVICA Ambassador and what initiatives would you like to pursue?
Bianca: My mission is to promote CIVICA's values and initiatives, honoring its opportunity-sharing character. Furthermore, I aim to bring as much cultural diversity as possible to our discussions and to develop a project regarding sustainability.
I would love to take part in a next European Student Assembly and bond with students from all over European. Regarding new projects, as a student highly interested in Logistics/Transportation and Supply Chain Management, I believe one focused on climate change and sustainability would be of huge relevance.
by Tomaso Eridani