2nd edition: 2021

Organize locally to respond globally

2nd EDITION. DECEMBER 9 and 10. 2021

On December 9 and 10, the second annual UniverCity Conference will be held at Bilbao AS Fabrik. The conference, organized by the degree program in Global Digital Humanities (GDH), will be take place under the slogan Organize locally to respond globally and, among others, will welcome Otto Scharmer, creator of Theory U.

In a world marked by the centrality of cities and increasing urbanization, the UniverCity seminar aims to offer a place to reflect on the relationship between universities and their environment. UniverCity was born as an initiative to study the educational potential of cities, with the aims of forging involvement among the academic world, social agents and public authorities, and of exploring channels for social innovation, with the local and international participation it has enjoyed since its first year.

This second year of UniverCity is marked by several overlapping crises that have joined the COVID pandemic: climate change, migration, the global trade crisis, violence against women, increasing outbreaks of homophobia, racial tension, the weakness of democracy and humanitarian emergencies have all shaken our society. This second year of the international UniverCity seminar encourages reflection on all this under the slogan Organize locally to respond globally. To do this, it will have representatives from seven local and international organizations (including Otto Scharmer, creator of Theory U and director of the Presencing Institute at MIT), who address social change from a systemic perspective. The seminar will promote conversation about possible alternatives that start locally to influence the global crisis. Throughout the seminar, key ideas will be exchanged among students in the Global Digital Humanities degree program at Mondragon University, representatives from the Bilbao AS Fabrik urban laboratory, and the invited expert.


December 9

  • 9.00-9.20: Registration
  • 9.20-9.30: UniverCity Team: Welcome
  • 9.30-10.00: Igor Calzada (Wiserd) – Citizenship: Local and/or Global?
  • 10.00-10.30: Mille Bojer (Reos Partners) – What Type of Future Do We Want?
  • 10.30-11.00: Coffee break
  • 11.00-11.30: Auxkin Galarraga (Eusko Ikaskuntza) – Steps from SocialLAB to Society (online)
  • 11.30-12.00: Sharam Yalda (Human Nation) – Systemic Change, Why and What For?
  • 12.00-12.30: Gorka Espiau (Agirre Lehendakari Center) – Large Scale Transformations: New Ways of Tackling the Challenges of the 21st Century.
  • 12.30-13.00: Luis Berasategi (Mondragon University – HiriLab) –It's All about Ecosystems 13.00-14.30: Lunch Break
  • 14.30-15.00: Naiara Goia (Arantzazulab) – What Is Up? Innovative Approaches to Respond to Current Social Challenges (from Social Innovation and New Governance Models) (online)
  • 15.00-15.30: Lorea Agirre (Jakin) – Situated Knowledges: A Key to Think and to Act
  • 15.30-16.00: Group: organization and space allocation

December 10

  • 9.00-10.30: Workshop I: Student group + 1 speaker: “How can we act locally to respond globally?”
  • 10.30-11.00: Coffee Break
  • 11.00-12.00: Workshop II: Students work on their presentations
  • 12.00-13.30: Lunch Break
  • 13.30-15.15: Workshop III: Students give their presentations
  • 15.30-16.15: Otto Scharmer (Presencing Institute) – Theory U: Emerging Futures (Online: registration)
  • 16.15-16.30: Concluding remarks (AUDITORIUM)



  • Otto Scharmer (Presencing Institute.) Senior Lecturer in the MIT Management Sloan School. Co-founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT Ideas program.
  • Mille Bojer (Reos Partners). BA in Political Science (focused on international development), Cornell University MA in Political Science, University of Copenhagen. Director of Reos Partners’ office in Geneva.
  • Igor Calzada (Cardiff University, WISERD), PhD and MBA. Senior Researcher since 2021 at Cardiff University, WISERD; since 2012, University of Oxford, Future of Cities and Urban Transformations ESRC Programmes; he currently serves as Senior Advisor for UN-Habitat, People-Centered Smart Cities flagship programme and as scientific adviser of the Basque Government. He served as Senior Scientist at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Italy, Centre for Advanced Studies and Digital Economy Unit (DigiTranScope and AI Watch). His recent book entitled 'Smart City Citizenship' has been published by Elsevier. For a decade, he worked in Mondragon group and was director in the Basque Government and Fellow at Ikerbasque.
  • Gorka Espiau (Agirre Lehendakaria Center). Director of the "Agirre Lehendakaria Center for Social and Political Studies". Espiau is also a Senior Fellow of the Michael Young Foundation, a founding partner of the Koop Social Innovation Laboratory (SILK) and scientific director of the Work4Progress initiative, promoted by the La Caixa Foundation. He had previously served as an advisor to the Presidency of the Basque Government.
  • Naiara Goia (Arantzazulab). Managing Director of the Arantzazulab Social Innovation Laboratory. Expert in innovation and coordination of international strategic projects, she has a degree in Telecommunications Engineering and a MBA in Business. She has spent the last years in the Mondragon Corporation, leading initiatives to promote innovation in the cooperatives and promoting business and social transformation strategies. She collaborates with different universities in the Basque Country.
  • Sharam Yalda (Human Nation) works Regenerative Innovation, Design & Strategies for Business and Leadership: Humanity, Circularity, Decarbonization, Technology-4-good. Founder and CEO of HumanNation.
  • Auxkin Galarraga (Eusko Ikaskuntza-Basque Studies Society). Doctor in Sociology from the UPV / EHU. He is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Work at the UPV / EHU. He is a member of InnoLab, a high performance research group part of the Basque university system on Innovation, Change and Complexity. He has participated in projects on social change, social innovation and socio-productive systems. He is Scientific Director of GizarteLAB (Eusko Ikaskuntza-Basque Studies Society).
  • Luis Berasategi (Mondragon University). Industrial Engineer (UPV-EHU). Researcher and project manager in the Strategic Innovation Area (Ikerlan). Senior researcher in the area of Advanced Strategies and coordinator of Bilbao Berrikuntza Faktoria (BBF): the urban ecosystem of learning, innovation, and entrepreneurship in Bilbao. Currently, the coordinator of the Bilbao AS Fabrik (BAF) Urban Laboratories: the new ecosystem in Zorrotzaurre.
  • Lorea Agirre (Jakin). PhD in Information Science and Anthropology (UPV-EHU). Writer, journalist, and researcher on minorized languages, culture, and gender. Currently the director and manager at Jakin Fundazioa.


Organizing committee

  • Beñat Flores (Mondragon University).
  • Monika Madinabeitia (Mondragon University).
  • Aitor Zuberogoitia (Mondragon University).
  • Administration: Oihana Mata and Nerea Zubia.


Scientific board

  • Egaña, Txema: PhD in Education and Communication (Mondragon Unibertsitatea). International Coordinatoor (Mondragon Unibertsitatea).
  • Eizagirre, Andoni: Degree in Political and Administrative Sciences. PhD in Philosophy (EHU). Lecturer and Researcher (HUHEZI,Mondragon Unibertsitatea).
  • Greenwood, Davydd: PhD in Anthropology (University of Pittsburgh). Professor Emeritus (Cornell University).
  • Ipiña, Nagore: PhD in Education (Mondragon Unibertsitatea). Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education (Mondragon Unibertsitatea).
  • Wright, Susan: PhD in Social Anthropology (University of Oxford). Professor at Danish University of Education.


Aitor Zuberogoitia

Txema Egaña

Oier Imaz



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