Hosted by the Technische Universität Berlin, the 2016 Symposium brought together 140 participants (70 students and 70 staff) from 10 member universities and 2 additional non-member universities for a week long symposium designed to address cultural, environmental and political issues relating to world cities. The theme for the Symposium was ‘Universities as Urban Actors: Towards the New Urban Agenda’. This agenda and the role of cities and the universities within them in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provided the Symposium with an overarching framework and several sessions, including one on the relationship between the WC2 network and the SDGs were woven into the week’s programme.
The opening morning consisted of a number of keynote speeches followed by an introduction to and panel discussion on the New Urban Agenda. This discussion highlighted the importance of the interplay between city government agencies and universities as collaborative urban actors. For the remainder of the Symposium, participants followed a programme in one of the five theme areas. Led by and with input from staff from member institutions, each programme consisted of presentations, seminars, exercises and excursions. Students undertook preparatory work in advance of and worked within groups during the Symposium to develop a wide range of outputs including a model eco-campus; an analysis of global health data; films; games and a website.
To encourage the involvement and representation of Global South perspectives and expertise, the Technische Universität Berlin successfully applied for funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research to support participation from the Global South by assisting with travel costs. This funding was available to students and early career academics from Global South WC2 member institutions and students and post doctorate academics from outside the WC2 network.
Download the meeting agenda here.
Read the press release here.