The 1st Erasmus Mundus Conference at CEU a Big Success!

The 1st Erasmus Mundus Conference at CEU a Big Success!

Many of you could not make it to Budapest last week, however, I would like to let you know that the first Erasmus Mundus Conference on Climate Change and Higher Education has taken place there as planned and I consider it a big success. 


A detailed conference report will follow soon, but to give you an overview of the conference: it started with a welcome session and plenary session delivered by selected keynote speakers (distinguished professors from various EMMCs and an EM alumni representative linking the EM programme, higher education and climate change). Then the conference was divided into four breakout sessions, each focusing on 1) agricultural, ecology, forestry and climate change, 2) energy, technological progress and climate change, 3) public policy and legal response to climate change, and 4) socio-cultural and economic aspects of climate change. A social event – dinner and a boat tour on the Danube River was organized on the first day evening. 


There were very many inspiriting and interesting presentations delivered by the keynote speakers as well as the EMA members: from the far-reaching implications of the changing climate (its causes and impacts), to the available options that our world may have in order to respond to mitigating and adapting to a changing climate. As a climate change professional, I saw the conference as a comprehensive and academic one that covers almost all the most important issues linked with the human society in front of the climate change issue. I was also very much inspired by the great diversity of knowledge and experience brought by the participants coming from various fields. 


This conference has marked a milestone in the history of EMA: it was the first of its kind large-scale inter-disciplinary conference with a thematic focus organized by the EMA; it discussed one of the major challenges the humans face today - climate change; it brought together scholars and EMA members and offered a platform for exchange of information and knowledge and thus building up a strong network among EMA community; it further proves that the wide spectrum of disciplines covered by the EM programme can offer a unique multidisciplinary approach to tackling complex issues facing the human being - Erasmus Mundus as a programme of excellence in international higher education made all of this possible! 


The conference also saw the establishment of the Erasmus Mundus Climate Change Forum – a communication and networking platform set up for interested EMA members to enhance their life-long networking and interpersonal connections that can lead to a positive collective response to the climate change issue from the EMA community. An Ad Hoc Task Force has been set up to facilitate further development and progress of the forum, which is the first thematic interest group established with the EMA umbrella. The conference has proven itself as one of the best means to gather EMA members and strengthen the EMA network.


Dear friends, the conference has marked a very important step in organizing meaningful EMA conference and networking events. We have learned a lot in the area of how to organize a thematic conference accommodating the needs of such a large community.  Thanks to you all, we made it!!  Let's carry on with the good work!!!