An official partner of the “Global Leadership for the 21st Century. Strategies for Transformative Global Leadership” international conference held between June 15th-19th 2020 at the initiative of the World Academy of Art and Science and the United Nations Office in Geneva, the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization organized a panel discussion on The Role of the Academic Environment in the Sustainable Development of the Regions on June 16th, 2020.
The debates, moderated by Emeritus Professor Dan Grigorescu, Scientific Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization, saw interventions from Professor Perikles Mitkas (President of the Black Sea Universities Network and Chairman of the Hellenic Authority for Higher Education), Professor Eden Mamut (Secretary-General of the Black Sea Universities Network), Professor Magdalena Platiș (Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bucharest), Professor Mihai Gîrțu (Vice-Chancellor of the “Ovidius” University of Constanța), Professor Monica Răileanu-Szeles (Director of the Institute for Research and Development at the “Transylvania” University of Brașov), Professor Elena Helerea (“Transylvania” University of Brașov) and Dr Oana Brânda, project manager for “The World Post-COVID-19 Pandemic: A Humanist Vision for Sustainable Development” project undertaken by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Levant Culture and Civilization.
In the broader context caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the academic environment took a step towards the implementation of “blended learning”, seen as a compromise solution that can nevertheless be capitalised upon in order to develop a series of research projects that focus on highly relevant aspects of specific regions. One such initiative is the creation of geoparks, which represent a welcome example of joint endeavours between the academic environment and local communities to highlight local specificity and values, while also creating new employment opportunities in the process.