from April 26, 2022 to April 27, 2022
Published on June 8, 2022 Updated on May 2, 2024

The BeEUTOPIAn Student-led Conference again proves to be a remarkable experience!

Under the motto "The New Possible, At Hand", the 2022 Be EUTOPIAn Student-led Conference aimed to reclaim a space for discussion, exchange of knowledge, and networking for students of EUTOPIA, after two years of hardships due to COVID. It did exactly that, and more.

The conference was structured in two days following different themes. The first day focused on youth mental health and the sustained impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on emotional vitality amongst young people, and took some time discussing how Artificial Intelligence can be both a risk and an opportunity when searching for human affection in the post-pandemic era. This day welcomed David Gosar (PhD and PsyD at University of Ljubljana) and Oliver Mairesse (associate professor at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the VUB) as guest speakers.

The second day focused on student engagement in our time, and on how student associations have been changed by the pandemic. The day was full of interventions by engaged students and representatives making a positive impact across the EUTOPIA Alliance, from Aïssatou Jalloh who presented the "Decolonize VUB" initiative to Bernat Paya and Carlota Ropero, the EUTOPIA Student Representative and Student Career Ambassador from the UPF. The day was topped off by a workshop where students formed teams to come up with creative, student-grown solutions to global problems like student poverty and unpaid internships.


The conference was a wonderful experience for attending students, but it was even more of a learning experience for the organizing team! Here is some of their feedback from the conference:

Matías Díaz Roqueta (EUSTT Head of Events and student of the UPF):

"At the BeEUTOPIAn Student Conference, I had the chance to exchange with students from many of the EUTOPIA universities across Europe and we had the chance to engage in discussions about pressing issues for us the young. It was thrilling to actually be a part of an example of intercultural and inter-ideological dialogue in practice.

The BeEUTOPIAn Student Conference was also special for me as the EUTOPIA Student Think Tank Head of Events, since it was the first event I organised. I must say it was not easy, and the way ahead was not always obvious. Sometimes getting the speakers or arranging the logistics was an uphill road. However, I truly have to thank the BeEUTOPIAn Organising Team, and our hosts at VUB, because their dedication and availability were essential to getting the conference to the finish line.

I can now say that the conference was a success and an excellent learning opportunity, plus at the EUSTT we have been able to recruit new people from the BeEUTOPIAn pool of talent and identify possible partnerships with other EUTOPIAn organisations and engaged students."

Sílvia Teixeira (EUSTT Representative at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa):

"I had the great pleasure to be a part of the Communications Team of the Organizational Committee for the student-led BeEUTOPIAN Conference that took place at Vrije Universiteit Brussel from 25th to 26th of April 2022, and it was an incredible experience. Organizing a conference with a group of people that I’ve never met in a country that I have never been to might sound like a challenge but it was a fun one, and very rewarding too! I got to meet and speak with students from all different places with very different stories.

On the second day of the conference we had a workshop called “The Changemakers Workshop”. We were divided into groups of four and each group had a topic (For example, housing, unpaid internships), and then we had to research that topic and find solutions. In just 20 minutes each group was able to find at least two solutions and present them to the rest of the audience. If we could do that in 20 minutes, imagine what we could do if we could connect more often.

I can’t wait to see again all the wonderful people I met because of EUTOPIA, I really think it’s a great project and couldn’t be more proud to be a part of it."

Miša Glišič (EUSTT Representative at Univeristy of Ljubljana):

It was a pleasure organizing the BeEUTOPIAn conference this year and participating as a speaker as well. There were some struggles with the agenda as with any public event, but we overcame obstacles with excellent networking between the Partner Universities. The effort was priceless with adding a human note to every aspect of the conference. Our colleagues from Vrije Universiteit Brussel made everyone feel welcome and assured hospitality, friendship, and good times.

It was a one-of-a-kind feeling to form a unique and intercultural student group and share our worldviews. Thanks to the BeEUTIPAn Team for giving me the opportunity to speak about Cultural Awareness and the Importance of Transculturally on a global scale. I enjoyed every minute, discussing global challenges and political matters with brilliant young minds.

The conference was a big success. Together, United in Diversity, we will continue to work for a Brighter Future for Young Talents in the Framework of the EUTIOPIA Student Think Thank!

Antara Islam (Student from the University of Gothenburg):

I was part of the communication team and was responsible to create Instagram content and a programme brochure along with my fellow team members. Not only did the final conference integrate the concept of hybridity, but a significant portion of the conference preparation was also held online using collaborative tools. It was amazing to see how students from different European universities sitting remotely can share their expertise and work together to achieve a common goal – organizing BeEUTOPIAn 2022 conference successfully. I had a new role during the conference as logistics support. At the same time, I also participated in the ‘Wall of Post-Pandemic Emotions’ and was amazed to see how similar we are in our lockdown and post lockdown experiences. In the ‘Changemaker’ session on the second day, I had a chance to brainstorm and present recommendations on rising housing prices and their impact on students.

During the event, Matías Díaz Roqueta, the EUSTT’s Head of Events, played an important role to make the participants feel comfortable. Students from universities of different European countries traveled to Brussels to attend this conference. A shared interest in bringing a positive change in European universities bonded these students from diverse educational and ethnic backgrounds.

We have indeed spent two days exploring 'The New Possible, At Hand'

Giulia Quadraccia (Student from Ca'Foscari University of Venice):

The 2022 BeEUTOPIAn Conference was the first project in two years that I have seen growing, developing, and finally getting to experience in person and not beyond a screen. All this would not have been possible without my teammates, only by helping each other did we manage to make the conference a success, and at the same time, we created a strong bond between us. We aimed to do the same with the public: we wanted the public to be as active as possible to make it feel connected with the speakers, with the organizational team, and with other participants as well, so as to strengthen the EUTOPIA community.