Happy reunion in Bern: workshop participants gather for a group photo

Representatives of the European University Alliance PIONEER met at BFH to plan for the future. The goal of PIONEER is to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable through long-term cooperation.

In a nutshell
  • Representatives of PIONEER Alliance met at BFH in May 2024 to plan future activities.
  • The alliance aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable through long-term cooperation.
  • The workshop provided another occasion to reinforce the cooperation between the PIONEER Alliance members and to map out the alliance’s next steps.

Representatives of the ten member institutions of the European University Alliance PIONEER met at Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH on 6 and 7 May 2024 to draw plans for the future. BFH is an associated partner of the alliance of ten European higher education institutions, which is coordinated by the Gustave Eiffel University in France.

The main ambition of the PIONEER Alliance is to address the Sustainable Development Goal 11: ‘Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’. The focus is on long-term bilateral cooperation between member institutions and stakeholders to promote the development of future cities.

Strategic planning and cooperation

The two-day workshop included intense and constructive discussions on upcoming activities and addressed the next steps to be taken in the coming year and beyond.

The planning activities revolved around project management organisation within the alliance. In addition to planning for the year ahead, descriptions for the key roles were refined in the Work Packages. Participants outlined the organisational planning within their institutions and reflected on preparing for important upcoming strategic developments in the member institutions.

The workshop was moderated by Sylvie Chevrier, Deputy Vice-president International of Université Gustave Eiffel.

On the second day of the workshop, the participants engaged again in fruitful discussions, reflecting in particular on the alliance’s strategic development.

In his address to the workshop participants, President of BFH Sebastian Wörwag welcomed the plans for the alliance’s future. He also pointed out the important achievements that have been reached so far by the alliance for the development of future cities.

BFH places emphasis on sustainable cities

BFH’s strategic positioning aligns with the alliance’s thematic focus. BFH is committed to shaping the future of a responsible society. This is mirrored in its three strategic thematic fields – Sustainable Development, Humane Digital Transformation and Caring Society –, and its strong emphasis on sustainable cities and communities in its research activities.

Vice-President Research Corina Caduff of BFH and Senior Specialist Mika Launikari of Laurea had a chance to exchange during the meeting.

BFH’s use of German, French and English in teaching activities and campus life is quite unique. As a special contribution, BFH offered the participants a glimpse into the intricacies of managing a multilingual body of students and staff in Bern, presenting itself as an official trilingual institution with its own Language Policy.

Article available here.

Author: Bern University of Applied Sciences