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Middle East Mediterranean Summer Summit


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The Middle East Mediterranean region is characterised by high political tension, conflicting interests, ruins, climate challenges, and forced migration.

This is how the region tends to be portrayed. A closer look, however, can uncover a different story, of technological innovation and, at the same time, of memory. It is a laboratory for new models of citizenship based on a rich heritage of plural identities, for a peaceful coexistence and a better future together.

The MEM Summer Summit offers a platform for young leaders and change-makers to lay out a vision for their common future. Coming from public and private institutions, non-profit organisations, social enterprises, media, art and culture, they evaluate, innovate and develop novel approaches to tackle persisting problems.

The Summit is designed as an intellectual and human exchange across borders, cultures and languages. It seeks to create friendships, enduring networks, and ideas. It is composed of two parts: an eight-day Seminar and a two-day Forum.





The aim of the Seminar is to facilitate discussions and exchange amongst young participants considered to be innovators, by providing a favourable environment and neutral guidance for thinking outside the box, finding common grounds, and exploring solutions beyond national boundaries. Challenging questions are posed to provoke bold answers and the quality of debate is ensured by emphasising mutual respect and self-reflection. Learning is believed to be about sharing experiences, active participation and social encounters.

Through a series of plenary lectures, participatory workshops, brainstorming sessions, film screenings, and cultural activities, participants are encouraged to reflect, and discuss topics from the following main areas:

  • New Dynamics of the Middle East Mediterranean Region
  • Governance, Administration, and Policy Making
  • Representations, Narratives, and Images




The Forum is the culmination of the MEM Summer Summit. The high-profile two-day event brings together leaders, decision-makers, and intellectuals to discuss pressing issues of the region, ranging from infrastructure to migration. Young change-makers have a unique opportunity for an exchange of views with senior representatives and presenting their ideas. Forum attendees include high-level political authorities, experts, intellectuals, and entrepreneurs of the Middle East Mediterranean region. The programme consists of keynote speeches, discussion panels, bilateral meetings, and opportunities for networking.



The cultural programme offers an informal framework within which to address existing assumptions and help develop mutual perspectives through art, literature, cinema, and music. Culture contributes to identifying new narratives and to providing unconventional and non-stereotypical representations of the region, offering innovative models and examples.


Application process

The MEM Summer Summit welcomes applications from candidates:

  • aged between 25 and 35
  • from the Middle East Mediterranean region and/or with a demonstrated interest in the region
  • with diverse educational backgrounds and work experience (professionals with careers in business, media, human rights and non-governmental work as well as artists, intellectuals, students and researchers)
  • with interest in intercultural dialogue
  • with the ability to work as part of a team
  • with the will to collaborate and actively interact positively with all participants
  • with a working knowledge of English and French

Closing date for application: Sunday, 31 March 2019.
Applications will be evaluated by a Committee of experts. The successful applicants will be notified via email by Tuesday, 14 May 2019.
Applications can only be made through the online application tool. By submitting an application, the applicant confirms having read and accepted the General Regulations for Young Change-Makers.

To apply click here: https://ycm2019.mem-summersummit.ch


-Tuition fees for participation in the MEM Summer Summit 2019 are 2’300 CHF / 2’000 EUR.
-Tuition fees include: plenary sessions and workshops of the Seminar, access to the two-day Forum, and all activities during the Summit, lunches and coffee breaks.
-Tuition fees do NOT include: accommodation, visas, health insurance, travel costs and dinners.

-Successful applicants will be required to pay 10% of the tuition fee (230 CHF / 200 EUR) as an administrative fee in order to confirm their participation in the MEM Summer Summit 2019.
-The 10% administrative fee must be paid within 2 weeks after their application has been approved.
-Full payment of tuition fees is due no later than Monday, 1 July 2019.
-It is only upon reception of the full tuition payment that an applicant is considered formally enrolled and their place in the MEM Summer Summit 2019 is secured.
-If payment is not made in due time, Università della Svizzera italiana reserves the right to cancel the admission and attribute the place to another candidate.
-Precise payment instructions will be given to the applicants by email after their application has been approved.
-In case of cancellations applicants should refer to the General Regulations for Young Change-Makers and contact the MEM Summer Summit organisers at MEM@usi.ch.


The MEM Summer Summit organisers are offering a limited number of partial or full grants for participation in the MEM Summer Summit 2019.

  • Eligibility depends on the application and motivation letter for a grant.
  • Priority will be given to covering the expenses of citizens from low-income countries or with proven financial needs

    A grant may be requested by sending a motivation letter via email to MEM@usi.ch (subject: “MEM Summer Summit – Grant Request”) by Sunday, 31 March 2019.

Application Process