Mini Track on Service Learning, Civic Engagement and Sustainable Education


Geopolitical perspectives and technological challenges for sustainable growth in the 21st century

15-16 June 2023, Bucharest, Romania

Mini Track Chairs

  • Magdalena IORDACHE-PLATIS, University of Bucharest, Romania

  • Dumitru MIRON, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania

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

Higher education institutions have the capacity to meet global challenges in the current global context. Areas, such as health, climate, environment, energy, digitalization, society, crisis have been considered priorities for education, research and social responsibility actions of educational leaders. Societal challenges made all institutions to work together to raise awareness and take action in joint approaches.  In this context, higher education institutions, alliances of universities and networks of different stakeholders promoted knowledge, skills and competences together with civic engagement of staff and students towards responsible citizenship and community development. Therefore, sustainability has become a priority for academic leadership and higher education institutions have increased their role in coping with societal challenges, concrete actions being identified at individual, institutional and social level.

“Higher education will be a key actor in meeting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. We commit to supporting our higher education institutions in bringing their educational, research and innovation capacities to bear on these fundamental global objectives and to deploying resources to ensure that our higher education systems contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.(Rome Ministerial Communiqué, November 2020 p.4,

New innovative pedagogies, such as service learning prove the tremendous higher education capacity of response not only to the global challenges, but also to the stakeholders needs. In other words, addressing the current complexity and dynamism of initiatives based on innovation, entrepreneurial and civic approach transforms higher education institutions in effective contributors to the achievement of the SDGs.

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

  • Service learning and challenges for universities
  • SDGs challenges and university practices

  • Civic engagement and community impact
  • Sustainable university initiatives
  • Strategic partnerships for civic universities
  • Innovative pedagogies for sustainable education
  • Social entrepreneurship and students’ initiatives
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship and university support
  • Strategies for sustainability and educational leaders’ efforts
  • Transnational interaction and cooperation with stakeholders
  • Inclusiveness, innovativeness and interconnection in academic environment


is full professor at the University of Bucharest with over 30 years of experience, teaching Marketing, Micro and Macroeconomics, 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. 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) and the institutional manager of the KA2 project: “Service-Learning: Intersectoral Collaboration Practices for the development of students´ soft skills and socially engaged universities”. Main areas of interest include: academic leadership and university rankings, civic engagement of academic community, university-industry cooperation, stakeholder commitment and student participation.

Dumitru MIRON

is a Full Professor at the Department of International Business and Economics. Having a university career of more than 40 years, he has as areas of professional and scientific concern: The Economics of European Union; European Business Environment (holds a Jean Monet course); International Trade and Trade Policies; Entrepreneurship and Business Development; Global Economic Governance. He has published 26 books as the sole author, coordinator or co-author, is author of over 55 scientific papers published in specialized journals in the country and abroad where the main challenges faced by the institutional environment business in Romania, Europe and other regions of the planet. He was project manager for 3 projects, member of implementation teams or expert in 12 other projects funded by the Structural and Cohesion Funds of the European Union. He is one of the members of „Team Europe„ Romania, in which he contributes to the promotion of the contingent problems with the European affairs in the Romanian society. Between 2005 and 2008, he served as Secretary of State for Higher Education and European Integration at the Ministry of National Education, where he represented Romania at the Bologna Follow-Up Group. He was vice-Dean of the Faculty of International Business and Economics during the period 1991-2000; vice-rector of the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest during the period 2000-2012; Dean of the Faculty of International Business and Economics in 2012-2016 and since 22nd of January 2020 was elected as President of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies Senate..

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 focusing on the public’s engagement with the projects’ outputs. Vasileios has also worked for university spin off companies as a visiting researcher 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. In his most recent position, Vasileios is involved in developing sophisticated university training programmes for professionals of the built environment in order for sustainable practices to be followed in the construction industry. Throughout his career, he works for inclusive, innovative and interconnected academic environments and he is a strong supporter of students’ initiatives and entrepreneurship. The main research topics he attends are energy efficiency, industrial decarbonization and behavioral change while his research interest expands to sustainable development, circular economy and climate change mitigation strategies.