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Moving forward? Envisioning Societal Outreach for the Fifth Generation University

Between October 12-14, University of Mannheim hosted a conference dedicated to Societal Outreach, a critical element within the ENGAGE.EU alliance’s mission. This conference aimed to share the understanding, commitment, and achievements in the field and foster collaboration among universities for their third mission – Societal Outreach.

The conference commenced on the 12th of October with a warm welcome from key figures, including Thomas Puhl, the Rector of the University of Mannheim; Ursula Schlichter,’s management officer; Hiram Kümper and Julia Derkau as the Conference Chairs; and Dr. Eva Dade, the Head of European University Alliances at the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts in Baden-Württemberg.

The second day featured representatives from partner universities, including Chief Assistant Prof. Dr. Violeta Toncheva-Zlatkova, from UNWE Sofia in Bulgaria; Associate Professor Björn Schmeisser from NHH Bergen in Norway; Prof. Dr. Dike van de Mheen from Tilburg University in the Netherlands; Ana Godonoga from WU Wien in Austria; Flavio Michele Ceci from LUISS in Rome, Italy; Sergei Kopytin from Hanken Business School in Helsinki, Finland; and Julia Derkau from the University of Mannheim, Germany. They shared their visions and how they collaborate with various sectors, such as civil society, non-profit organizations, governmental stakeholders, and private companies, to fulfill their outreach missions.

The conference was completed with rich discussions and an engaging exchange of ideas with Henning Hillmann, Vice President for Research and Early-Stage Researchers at the University of Mannheim, on the bridge between Societal Outreach and the research branches of

For those interested in delving deeper into the insights shared at this conference, in 2024, our alliance plans to publish a conference book, incorporating the revised outcomes of this significant gathering. Be sure to keep an eye out for this valuable resource, which will shed more light on the critical field of Societal Outreach.