PASCAL Observatory Annual Conference: Connecting Cities and Universities at Strategic Frontiers

October 7-9, 2015
Full day event (agenda TBC)
University of Catania, Catania, Italy

UBDC Director, Professor Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah will be a keynote speaker at the PASCAL Observatory 12th Annual Conference in Catania, Italy from 7-9 October 2015.

The 12th PASCAL conference will be hosted by one of Italy’s leading institutions, the University of Catania in the beautiful island of Sicily. The theme of the conference concerns how cities and their regions are connected to their universities at strategic frontiers. These include knowledge and political frontiers, and each is linked to global challenges that include employment, migration, health, food security, culture and climate change.

It is appropriate that the conference is taking place in Sicily, hosted by the University of Catania and supported by the city of Catania, at one frontier of Europe, where issues of migration and job security during a time of global economic decline are at the forefront of local thinking. Southern Italy exemplifies new challenges and fault-lines confronting Europe. Austerity and immigration, political, ideological- religious-cultural, economic, social and other strategic issues intensify and interweave.

Conference strands include:

  • Creating and securing jobs for regions
  • The challenges of migration and multi-cultural societies
  • Engaging communities with universities
  • Sustainable and healthy city development
  • Cultural engagement

The conference will be of interest to city and regional administrators, national, regional and local government policy-makers, all organisations concerned with regional development, academics and post- graduate students. There are opportunities to propose short practice papers, Big Ideas for debate as well as traditional academic papers.

Keynote Speakers include:

  • Professor Piyushimita Thakuriah, Director, UK ESRC Urban Big Data Centre, Halcrow Chair of Transport, Professor of Urban Studies and Affiliated Professor of School of Engineering, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Professor Paolo Federighi, Chair of Adult Learning and Head of Department of Education and Psychology at the University of Florence

In addition to the conference, delegates will be able to enjoy many of the attractions of the island, including Mount Etna and the city of Syracuse.