IE University welcomes CIVICA to kick off the partnerships strategy of the alliance


On 28 February, IE University hosted the launch of the new phase of "CIVICA Global Partnerships & Outreach" at the IE Tower, its vertical, sustainable and technological campus in Madrid.

Members of CIVICA - the European University for Social Sciences, met at the IE Tower for a kick-off meeting of IE University’s role on Global Partnerships & Outreach. Gathering more than twenty colleagues coming from the 10 partner universities, the event served to present a strategy for developing a CIVICA global footprint, start identifying strategic partners, as well as launching new activities and collaborations.

IE University joined CIVICA in 2022 for the second phase of the alliance. The institution is represented by Manuel Muñiz, Provost and Dean of IE School of Politics, Economics and Global Affairs, on the President's Committee, Maria-Eugenia Marin, Vice Provost for Global Academic Partnerships and Alliances, on the Steering Committee, and Krystina Dos Santos, Director for International Partnerships and Development, on the CIVICA Management Committee.

The meeting was kicked off by introducing the CIVICA members to an immersive virtual reality experience called “Eye in the Storm”, developed by IE University and presented by Isabela de Alcázar, Head of Sustainability, to generate awareness about climate change. This experience showcased some of the main values of IE University, such as innovation and technology, and opened a dialogue on the role of immersive technologies in the future of higher education.

Manuel Muñiz welcomed the members of the European alliance by emphasising the high speed of global changes affecting the world, and its impact on societies and higher education. “Our institution is not looking back, it is looking forward,” he said. “We need to train global citizens that can navigate this complex world, and I do not know how we can do this without academic, institutional and corporate partnerships.” 

“IE University is extremely well positioned to lead the CIVICA work package on global partnerships & outreach due to its strong international focus, its highly innovative spirit, and commitment to playing an important role in building a more sustainable world through education,” Maria-Eugenia Marín explained.

“Through impactful global outreach activities and the building of strategic partnerships, CIVICA will create a global footprint and pave the way for renewed thinking on the role of universities in society” she added, highlighting that this alliance is uniquely positioned to become a global reference in the social sciences.

IE University CIVICA team presented the four strategic areas for developing a CIVICA Global Footprint and set the stage for the next steps moving forward: environmental sustainability, social innovation, emerging technologies, and diversity and inclusion. “These four areas are necessary to co-create a sustainable world,” Maria-Eugenia Marín said.  She also emphasized that the creation of knowledge through research needs to be at the core of initiatives in these areas.

Concepción Galdon, Head of Social Innovation at IE University, pointed out the importance of looking for alliances with purpose. “Sustainability has three parts interconnected: social, environmental and economic. This is why sustainability is a complex matter. We need partners to navigate these interconnections. The most important variable of sustainability is time. We want to be successful over time and in order to achieve that we need to break frontiers from CIVICA. What kind of sustainability are we looking for? CIVICA´s goal must be to create alliances that ensure sustainability.”

All representatives from CIVICA member universities worked in focus groups to begin identifying the main challenges facing their institutions, but also how their strengths could be leveraged by the alliance to impulse each of these four areas, as well as identify non-academic partners that could contribute towards the mission of the alliance.

Written by Rosa Arranda Barrio (IE University)

Focus group working on "Diversity and Inclusion"
Focus group working on "Social Innovation"

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