Sustainable University Day 2022


Institutional Communication Service

Date: 29 April 2022

USI campus and SUPSI campus, Mendrisio

#USI #SustainableUniversityDay #SUD #SUD2022 #sustainability

Higher education institutions and the Agenda 2030: what role do social challenges, dialogue with the territory and student engagement play? For the 2022 edition, SUD will take place in Mendrisio on the campuses of USI and SUPSI on Friday 29 April.



In the context of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), global sustainable development issues have gained political importance and the thematisation of these issues during studies has become even more important. For this reason, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, through the U Change programme, organise Sustainable University Day (SUD) - an event at which students, researchers, lecturers, university staff and all interested individuals can join and take part in various activities within an interactive and varied programme, in collaboration with research and academic partners, non-profit organisations and local associations.



Participation is free and open to all interested parties upon registration by 22 April 2022.




Morning Mendrisio, SUPSI Campus  
9.00 Welcome Coffee    
9.30 Welcome    
- 11.00
Parallel workshops
First session

Tyres Meet Theatre. A Sustainable Adventure between Entrepreneurship and Art
Prof. Demis Quadri, Susanna Lotz, Emmanuel Pouilly (Accademia Teatro Dimitri)

This lecture-workshop aims to present an innovative collaboration between a university of applied arts specialising in physical theatre and a leading company in the tyre industry, to generate a positive impact on society.

Language: Italian.



Priority themes for sustainability research
Dr. Christian Pohl, (ETH Zurich and president of the U Change board of Directors), Dr. Gabriela Wülser (Sustainability Research Initiative, SCNAT), Peter Edwards (ETH Zurich and president of the Sustainability Research Initiative, SCNAT)

In a recent report, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences outlined Switzerland’s most urgent research needs in order to meet the UN SDGs. In this workshop, the overarching priority themes will be critically discussed. Join us and contribute your perspective on key open sustainability questions that need to be put on the scientific agenda.

Language: English.



The lean, mean greenwashing Machine
Prof. Peter Seele (USI)

When words do not live up to deeds in sustainability issues, we call this greenwashing. And greenwashing spreads to many more domains beyond environmental issues. In the meeting we present examples and definitions and discuss why it is worthwhile to claim for more credibility.

Language: English. Simultaneous translation service: French / Italian. 


Parallel workshops
Second session

Viavai di culture. Theatre workshops for the prevention of racism and the development of critical thinking
Prof. Demis Quadri, Veronica Provenzale, Shahaf Michaeli, Kate Weinrieb (Accademia Teatro Dimitri)

The meeting explores the collaborative process of developing pathways to address the issue of racism by means of theatre and human rights perspectives in primary schools and more generally in society.

Language: Italian, English. 



Meet an expert! Climate change: from monitoring to decarbonisation
Dr. Cristian Scapozza (SUPSI-IST), Dr. Nicola Storelli (SUPSI-IM), Francesca Cellina (SUPSI-ISAAC), Luca Morici (SUPSI-IDe)

Environmental monitoring on the ground shows clear evidence of ongoing climate change. Experienced researchers help us understand the data and processes involved and explore mitigation strategies and practices at the level of individual behaviour.

Language: Italian. Simultaneous translation service: French / German. 



The role of each individual and the role of U Change: jointly finding strategies to move higher education institutions forward
Yves Gärtner and Lucrezia Oberli (U Change, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences)

What does the higher education institutions of the future look like? What is missing to achieve this vision and how can we support everyone’s contribution to this change? The answers to these questions will be explored through this participatory workshop.

Language: French, German, Italian. 


12.00 Lunch break    
Afternoon Mendrisio, USI Campus  
Workshop paralleli
Third session

Students for Sustainability: Creating Connections (dalle 13:00)
Annuscha Wassmann-Tomura e Michelle Studer (Focus Sustainability)

In an interactive World Café format, students and higher education institution repre- sentatives develop creative ideas on how student engagement with sustainability can be promoted across Switzerland. The exchange of ideas and required competencies offers the opportunity for networking. The results of this workshop will be incorporat- ed into the work of the national centre Focus Sustainability.

Language: English.



The ethical dilemmas of artificial intelligence
Dr. Alessandro Facchini (IDSIA USI-SUPSI), Prof. Luca Maria Gambardella (USI Faculty of Informatics; IDSIA USI-SUPSI)

Artificial intelligence permeates many areas of our lives. In this workshop we analyze what contributions it brings in favor of sustainability and what ethical dilemmas we must face. A meeting-debate to analyze the opportunities of this technology and to reflect critically on its diffusion, led by experts in the field.

Language: Italian. Simultaneous translation service: French / German. 


Parallel workshops
Fourth session

Solar: just a blunder or the energy of the future?
Cristina Gianella, Dr. Giovanni Pellegri (L’ideatorio, USI), Claudio Caccia (Swissolar)

Can photovoltaics ensure the energy transition and compensate for the abandonment of fossil fuels and nuclear power? What are the challenges ahead? What do you think about it? Come and discuss it with an expert.

Language: Italian.



Jointly engaged for more sustainability: discussion round with actors from the academic and student world
Yves Gärtner (Head of project, U Change, Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences)

The goal is clear, but the way to achieve it is not: higher education institutions should become more sustainable! In a moderated discussion with people from the academic and student world, and with the opportunity for everyone to participate, possible partnerships and appropriate fields of action will be explored. In the end, a call to action with concrete starting points should result from the discussion.

Language: French, German, Italian.



Call to action and final message

16.00 Performance 

Site specific performance by the Master students of the Accademia Teatro Dimitri. Open Discussion with Prof. Riccardo Blumer (USI Academy of Architecture)

17.00 Aperitif    


Marketplace of projects: 13.00-15.30, Palazzo Canavée. Click here for details.