Mini Track on Universities and community impact


Resilience and economic intelligence through digitalization and big data analytics

10-11 June 2021, Bucharest, Romania

Mini Track Chairs

  • Magdalena IORDACHE-PLATIS, University of Bucharest, Romania

  • Vasileios NTOUROS, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Universities have always been preoccupied to increase their capacity to innovate in their region. Not only theoretical approaches developed around the concept of civic university and its impact, but also practical challenges for universities contributed to new institutional process development. In 2017, EU leaders proposed new approaches in the field of education and culture revealing the importance of strengthening strategic partnership. Therefore, European Commission launched a European University Initiative under ERASMUS+ framework to enhance university cooperation at international level while addressing to societal challenges in local regions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that deeper cooperation across borders, disciplines and cultures is the only way to recover from the crisis and to build a resilient society.” (Commissioner Maryia Gabriel,

As a result of the European calls, several alliances have been established and started to implement new and innovative projects. This proved a tremendous interest of universities to explore their potential to develop towards the benefit of students, professors and societies. The university impact is no longer built only on research based societal impact or research result exploitation but get different forms of active engagement. Open labs and civic engagement working groups or task force demonstrate that learning from other institutional practices while directly addressing to the local needs is a great way to increase the community impact through innovative solutions.

The main topics covered by the hereby call for papers are related (but not limited) to:

  • Civic engagement of higher education institutions

  • Open Labs and community impact
  • Sustainable university initiatives
  • Strategic partnerships for civic universities
  • Innovative projects for societal transformation
  • Role of students in civic universities
  • Universities’ responses to crises
  • Role of university spin-off companies in the societal development


is full professor at the University of Bucharest with 30 years of experience, teaching Marketing, Micro and Macroeconomics, Leadership in the knowledge society context, vice-rector for Quality Management, Social Responsibility and Relationship with Social Partners. She is an external reviewer on quality assurance for higher education at foreign quality assurance agencies and reviewer at different international journals, as well as a member of the Society for Business Excellence. She was a member of the Thematic Peer Group of EUA Teaching & Learning Initiative (2017): Empowering students for their future professional life and civic engagement and mini-track chair at several editions of the European Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance – ACPI (2016, 2017, 2019, 2021). She was the country manager in the Horizon 2020 project called Students Achieving Valuable Energy Savings (SAVES 2) during 2018-2021. Under the CIVIS project (ERASMUS+) she is the institutional coordinator of the Open Lab group aiming to cooperate with different stakeholders in the process of identifying and addressing to local challenges. She is also the institutional representative in the University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN). Main areas of interest include: academic leadership and university rankings, civic engagement of academic community, university-industry cooperation, stakeholder commitment and student participation.

Vasileios NTOUROS

is a Researcher at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He holds a MSc in Environmental Physics and his expertise is on Physics of the Built Environment. He has participated in several innovative EU funded projects (i.e. SmartGems, Quantum, SAVES2) focusing on the public’s engagement with the projects’ outputs. In his most recent position, Vasileios was the monitoring and evaluation lead of the EU-nominated SAVES2 H2020 project (2017-2021) quantifying the impact the participating universities had on the behavioral change of their students as well as the energy savings achieved in university dormitories through tailor made informative campaigns.
Vasileios has also worked for university spin off companies as a visiting researcher (i.e Consorzio Arca, Palermo, IT) seconded from his institution, to disseminate knowledge generated in universities to the wider public and thus increase the impact university research has to society. Lately, he acts as an advisor, supporting the actions and initiatives of other EU funded projects particularly in driving behavioral changes and civic involvement based on campaigns, training and serious games. The main research topics he attends are energy poverty, energy efficiency, students’ energy habits and behaviour change while his research interest expands to sustainable development, decarbonization as well as climate change mitigation strategies.