Circle U. National Conference

Join us for the second Circle U. National conference, taking place on 28 and 29 November. Together with our local and national network, we will be focusing on how European university alliances can help make Europe the first climate neutral continent.


Register Now

Please register by 14 November to let us know you will attend.



Christmas lecture live on Youtube

Conference live on Zoom



Important Information



The European Green Deal is at the core of the European Commission’s strategic and political actions for the near future and is Europe’s answer to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations. In the wake of climate change the European Commission has set out to commit to transforming the European Union profoundly into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy without greenhouse gases in 2050. The aim is also to protect the health of people and nature - in Europe and beyond.

A transformation of this scale can only work with mobilizing the sectors of education, research and innovation. The European Commission must therefore address sustainability and climate change awareness as something that also plays a major role in schools, universities and lifelong learning. In this context, the European Commission assigns the European university alliances, like Circle U., an important role in this process - as a laboratory to anchor the Green Deal in the academic landscape in Europe.

The European University Alliance Circle U. (Aarhus Universitet, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, King’s College London, Université Paris Cité, Univerzitet Beogradu, Université Catholique de Louvain, Universitetet i Oslo, Università di Pisa, Universität Wien) has pledged itself to this challenge from the very start. The topics of sustainability, climate change and global health are deeply embedded in every aspect of the alliance. Academics, students and partners from civil society come together in innovative formats to help implementing the SDGs and to catalyze change by transforming the European areas of research, education and innovation.

In 2022, Circle U. pursues its mission through a variety of events, workshops, seminars and by mobilizing students, staff and faculty alike. The Circle U. National Conference invites about a hundred local, national and international intellectuals from politics, higher education and civil society to join this mission and reflect on what we have achieved so far as a European alliance.
For two days, we will discuss the potential impact of European University Alliances, in particular their role in Europe’s plan for a Green Deal.

Is the Green Deal an opportunity or a threat for Higher Education? How is a corresponding change in awareness reflected in research and teaching? What does this mean for the natural and life sciences, what for the humanities? What does a higher education policy strategy for introducing the Green Deal look like in terms of content and organization - for politics, university management, academics and students? What can we learn from each other? What can we learn from an extra-European perspective?

The Circle U. National Conference in Berlin invites you to discuss these issues with representatives of the nine Circle U. Alliance universities and prominent thinkers from international and European politics and society.



27 November Circle U. Christmas Lecture
28 November National Conference
29 November Roundtable discussions between European alliance members, and policy makers

Register Now

Please register by 14 November to let us know you will attend.





27 November 2022

National Conference Eve (live stream availible)
Tieranatomisches Theater, Philippstr. 13


Christmas Lecture + snacks and Glühwein
Poetry slam with Jesse James Lafleur and Robert Grant
plus songs by Tom Lüneburger
Presented by Anne Enderwitz and Marcel Robischon

28 November 2022

Circle U. Work Package Meetings
Humboldt-Universität, Main Building, Unter den Linden 6

09:00-12:30 Meetings of WP1, WP2, WP5, WP6, WP7 and CUSU
12:30-14:00 Joint lunch at Humboldt-Universität, main building, Unter den Linden 6

National Conference
Humboldt-Universität, Unter den Linden 6, Main Building Senate Hall

14:30 Welcome and Registration

Address of Welcome (hybrid)

  • President Julia von Blumenthal (Humboldt-Universität zum Berlin)
  • Circle U. President Svein Stølen

Moderation: Lorenzo Melchor, ("Using science for/in Diplomacy for addressing global challenges", S4D4C)


Keynote (hybrid)
Maja Göpel (political economist, sustainability scientist and co-founder of Scientists4Future, Leuphana University of Lüneburg)


Public Debate: Green Deal – What is a Green Deal at university good for? (hybrid)

  • HU President Julia von Blumenthal
  • Member of German federal parliament Ruppert Stüwe (SPD)
  • President of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Joybrato Mukherjee
  • Circle U. Chair Anne Enderwitz (Department of English and American Studies HU Berlin)

Moderation: Lorenzo Melchor ("Using science for/in Diplomacy for addressing global challenges", S4D4C)

16:50-17:10 Coffee Break
17:10-17:25 Keynote: International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) project "Anthroposcene Landscapes" (hybrid)
Juan Ignacio Chávez Salas (Department of Romance Literatures HU Berlin)

World Café: Climate Change in the University classroom? Education for sustainable development

  • Student-led Sustainability Office, HU Berlin
  • Climate Protection Management, HU Berlin
  • Environment, climate, energy Research focus, Centre Marc Bloch
  • Integrative Research Institute on Transfomation of Human-Environment Systems (IRI THESys), HU Berlin
  • Circle U. Climate Change Knowledge Hub
  • Humboldt Lab at Humboldt Forum (tbc)
  • Circle U. Student Union (tbc)
  • DeepGreenGlass

Moderation: Lorenzo Melchor ("Using science for/in Diplomacy for addressing global challenges", S4D4C)

  Plenary Session: Open Discussion
  Conclusion & Outlook Vice President for Academic Affairs Niels Pinkwart (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)



Joint walk to Humboldt Forum

Reception with Buffet & Live Music

  • Opening address by Circle U. President Svein Stølen and President's Representative of International and European Affairs Yoan Vilain (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
  • Optional guided tours through the exhibitions at Humboldt Forum

29 November 2022

National Conference – Workshops in Closed Session (by separate invitation only)
Humboldt-Universität, Main Building, Unter den Linden 6, Senate Hall


Address of Welcome

  • Circle U. Seceretary General Kevin Guillaume
  • President's Representative of International and European Affairs Yoan Vilain (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Workshop 1: Research & Innovation in the European University Alliances

Moderation: Jan Palmowski (The Guild)

Introduction: Toma Susi (science policy expert, Universität Wien)

Open Discussion:

  • Representatives of Circle U. partner universities
    • MB Board Members & Porject Coordinators
    • CUSU Representatives & WP Members

Workshop 2: Public Engagement in the European University Alliances

Moderation: (tbc)


  • Mhairi Stewart (Berlin School of Public Engagement, Berlin)
  • Maria Ollesch (Advisor to the President for Science and Society, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Open Discussion:

  • Representatives of Circle U. partner universities
    • MB Board Members & Porject Coordinators
    • CUSU Representatives & WP Members

Farewell Reception





Julia von Blumenthal
Julia von Blumenthal is President of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as of 2022. She is a professor of political science with a focus on domestic politics of the Federal Republic of Germany and has taught at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and various other universities. From 2018 to 2022, von Blumenthal was President of the Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt Oder. (Photo: Julia Baier)

Svein Stølen
Svein Stølen is Rector of the University of Oslo since 2017 and president of Circle U. since the founding of the alliance in 2020. As a professor of chemistry, his research has focused on inorganic materials, especially on relationships between structure and properties.
(Photo: Jarli & Jordan/UiO)

Maja Göpel
Maja Göpel is a political economist and sustainability scientist with a focus on transdisciplinary work. She is a co-founder of the Scientists for Future initiative and, as a speaker and author, specialises in science communication. Maja Göpel is an honorary professor at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. (Photo: Anja Weber)


Ruppert Stüwe
Ruppert Stüwe is a politician with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) and has been a member of the German federal parliament since 2021. As such, he is a member of the Committee for Education, Research and Technology Assessment. Stüwe also advocates for a fair and ecological mobility transition. (Photo: Photothek)


Joybrato Mukherjee
Joybrato Mukherjee is President of the University of Giessen and, since 2020, of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). He is particularly committed to the promotion of cooperation within the academic community, the internationalisation of academic research and gender equality. Mukherjee is a professor of English linguistics. (Photo: Jonas Ratermann)

Anne Enderwitz
Since 2021, Anne Enderwitz has been a Circle U. Academic Chair in the Think and Do Tank on the Future of Higher Education. She is a professor of English literature at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, with research interests ranging from early modern theatre to contemporary fiction and from literature and economics to climate narratives. (Photo: Luca Adrian)


Juan Ignacio Chávez Salas
Juan Ignacio Chávez Salas is part of the International Virtual Academic Collaboration project “IVAC Berlin – Bielefeld – Guadalajara – La Plata”, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service. He has been on the production team of the project’s podcast “Anthroposcene Landscapes – Paisajes del Anthropoceno”. Cháves Salas is a PhD candidate at Humboldt-Universität’s Department of Romance Literature and Linguistics. (Photo: Juan Ignacio Chávez Salas)

Lorenzo Melchor
Lorenzo Melchor is a Science for Policy Analyst at the European Commission. He holds a PhD in molecular and cellular biology and is an expert in designing and animate different formats bringing together scientific knowledge and public policy. (Photo: Lorenzo Melchor)

Niels Pinkwart
Niels Pinkwart has been Vice President for Academic Affairs at Humboldt-Universität since 2021. A professor of computer science, he heads the research group Computer Science Education / Computer Science and Society at Humboldt-Universität. His research interests lie at the intersection of digitalisation, education and societal and organisational change. (Photo: Niels Pinkwart)

Kevin Guillaume
Kevin Guillaume has been Secretary General of Circle U. since 2021. He holds degrees in political science from UCLouvain and political economics from KU Leuven and started his career at the Ministry of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation. Guillaume has also worked for the Academy of Research and Higher Education in the French-speaking Belgium. (Photo: Kevin Guillaume)




Important Information

Hybrid Elements
The Christmas lecture on 27 November as well as the address of welcome, keynote and public debate on 28 November will be accessible online. The online audience will be able to take part in the debate.

Getting here
In the spirit of sustainability, we recommend you use Berlin’s public transport to travel to the university (U-Bahn station Unter den Linden; S- and U-Bahn station Friedrichstraße).

Plan your trip within Berlin

Getting in touch
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
International Department
Unter den Linden 6
10117 Berlin

Corona disclaimer
This Circle U. National Conference takes place in accordance with the city of Berlin’s hygiene regulations. Changes in our programme may occur due to the current situation and will be communicated in a timely manner.



Here is a list of hotels within walking distance to the main building of Humboldt-Universität. Apart from that, there are also many other accommmodation options nearby.

Arcotel John F
(7 min walk to Humboldt Universität)

Classic Hotel Hackescher Markt
(12 min walk to Humboldt-Universität)

Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte
(13 min walk to Humboldt Universität)

Hotel Albrechtshof
(16 min walk to Humboldt Universität)