FestiWell Event Series in the 2nd year of EUniWell

22/06/2022 | by EUniWell

The second annual FestiWell, from 2 to 13 May 2022, offered a diverse programme  under the title “Towards global sustainable well-being”. We invite you to look back with us on the many inspiring events!

This year, from 2 to 13 May 2022, the second annual FestiWell took place under the title “Towards global sustainable well-being”. Over the course of nine days, the event series offered a diverse programme, which explored one of the great challenges of the present: how to set the course for a sustainable future in which we can live together with well-being.

The joint FestiWell ‘22 programme

EUniWell partner universities organised one FestiWell day each as part of the joint programme. All events were organised around sustainability and well-being as an interconnected core theme. Sessions asked, among other things, about climate justice and the social dimensions of an effective sustainability transition, about the connection between cities and rural areas or how education and training systems can contribute to sustainable development.

FestiWell Opening Day

FestiWell ‘22 was launched by EUniWell Chief Development Officer, Professor Beatrix Busse. She welcomed and introduced the new additions to the Alliance: Chief Student Officer, Lotte Nagelhout, Managing Director, Dr Graham Harrisson, and Director of Integration, Dr Karen Buchanan. Together with Professor Senena Corbalan, Vice-Rector for Research at the University of Murcia, they reflected on well-being and sustainability in the university context and how to foster global sustainable well-being in the future.  Professor Corbalan also  gave an introduction to the University of Murcia, who joined EUniWell in March 2022, and its steps towards sustainability. The audience enjoyed a musical performance by students from Linnaeus University and the session ended with EUniTea - a well-known EUniWell concept of enjoying a beverage and an exchange of ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. FestiWell 2022 had begun!

Linnaeus University

Linnaeus University’s FestiWell programme was a mix of onsite, hybrid and online events in the spirit of well-being and engaged faculty, staff and students from across the university.

Together with researchers from Linnaeus, Nantes and Florence, we learned how to create well-being through the New European Bauhaus. Another session visualised what happens when art and science meet, and students got to workshop around mental and physical well-being, with results feeding into a EUniWell seed funding project.

 Audiences online and on-site could listen to a research project on how to make recycling more fun, as well as relaxing to a lunch concert with students from our music programme. There was also a panel debate on how to co-create knowledge towards global sustainable well-being.

Campus activities were offered to our students to draw their attention to EUniWell. The students could spread their positive vibes to other students through a mood board, take part in games and win prizes and – a must when you are in Sweden – take a fika break with free coffee and sweets.

University of Birmingham

To celebrate FestiWell at the University of Birmingham we teamed up with the international conference, Forum for Global Challenges, to deliver a session on urban well-being and better quality of life. The panel explored the policies and practices of well-being in cities and evidence-based ways to support and promote urban well-being.  

This was followed by virtual and in-person events on the University of Birmingham campus including:

  • Open to Sharing, an event which explored how sharing knowledge through open educational resources can increase inclusivity and well-being in our universities.
  • Embedding Sustainable Well-being in the Workplace which highlighted research and best practices in relation to ways to enhancing employee & organisational well-being.
  • The Universityof Birmingham Sports Centre led a fully inclusive and body positive yoga session for students and staff as a welcome lunchtime break to promote well-being. 
  • The University’s on-site museum offered a beautifully illustrated map featuring a self-guided well-being walk around the grounds of Winterbourne House and Gardens.

Nantes Université

Nantes Université hosted its FestiWell festivities under the motto “Well-being and sustainable development, compatible goals?”. The event, open to EUniWell partners through live broadcasting, brought together a variety of stakeholders, all engaged on sustainability issues in their daily work. FestiWell was held in the premises of Halle 6 Ouest, a symbolic building of Nantes Université, which is designed as a place for innovative projects at the intersection of disciplines, with a focus on user experience.

A few highlights : Lise Patron, PhD student, questioned health and environmental considerations in urban projects. Virginie Langlois and Nicolas Gripon, teachers in La-Roche-sur-Yon campus, presented the “green campus”, a hands-on project which brings together students, staff and the local community (gardening, composting, a seed library and many more activities pave this unique campus project). And, last but not least, our students about to start their Erasmus+ mobility in EUniWell partner universities received their “EUniWell ambassadors’ kit” !

Europe Day

The second week of FestiWell began with a joint Europe Day programme. Europe Day on 9 May marks the founding declaration by Robert Schuman that launched the European project. This year, the day took on a particular meaning against the backdrop of the ongoing war in Ukraine. For this reason, sessions focussed on themes of peace and unity within Europe as well as introducing the EUniWell universities and mobility opportunities.

The day opened with a conversation between representatives from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU) and EUniWell Chief Development Officer Professor Beatrix Busse about the significance of the concept of well-being and the perceptions of Ukraine's integration into European higher education in times of war and the question what can we do now to deepen our ties even in this time of conflict. The event was supported by a musical message of peace from EUniWell students.

The Opening Session was followed by contributions on “Inner Development Goals for sustainable peace and well-being”, “Decolonizing Academia” and “Early career guidance and self-directed guidance for social justice and sustainability within the framework of European strategies for social inclusion”. 

Europe Das was concluded by introductions to the EUniWell universities and mobility opportunities.

University of Cologne

As part of the programme day at the University of Cologne on 10 May and the joint events on the occasion of Europe Day on 9 May, a total of 12 individual events were held at and with the University of Cologne.

The contributions submitted as part of the successful open call resulted in a diverse programme carried out by researchers, teachers as well as students. The lectures, discussions, workshops and creative contributions were organised by a number of university institutions, including the International Office, University Health Management, the Department Gender & Diversity Management and UniSport, as well as numerous faculties and academic departments, such as Medicine and Social and Cultural Anthropology. The FestiWell day at the University of Cologne was also part of the “European Universities Week” of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) under the patronage of Germany’s Federal Minister of Education Bettina Stark-Watzinger.

A particular highlight this year were the on-campus events: The interactive workshop “Caring scores - artistic research as a counter-apocalyptic strategy” by the student artists’ collective PANEO, which invited participants to observe and confront signs of the “nearing apocalypse” in their everyday environment, and a networking event for (student) initiatives on sustainability and well-being, which provided a highly sought-after opportunity to get to know each other and discover new synergies.

University of Florence

On 11 May, the FestiWell took place in Florence, with the participation of young researchers as well as professors and staff from the university. The events highlighted the many aspects of well-being and showed the unique perspectives of all parties involved, who also had the opportunity to discuss them with the students.

The first event consisted of a webinar where four young researchers, Dr Giovanna Potestà, Dr Antonella Gori, Dr Francesco La Fata, and Dr Caterina Ferraro shared their work on well-being. The topics of their contributions ranged from urbanity, reforestation of urban areas, NFT technologies and depopulation of the European periphery to lean mindset and gamification.  These interesting perspectives were followed by a presentation by Professors Bardazzi, Bozzo and Pazienza on the Ukraine conflict and the energy transition in Europe and how the two are linked, both from a geopolitical and well-being perspective. Finally, the afternoon saw the contribution of Valentina Taglietti, Alice Pomiato, and Luigi Vella. While Mss. Taglietti and Pomiato focused on the importance of nutrition and how the One Health approach can be a multi-problem solution, Mr. Vella highlighted the steps that the Tuscany Region and the University are taking towards a more sustainable canteen system. This last presentation particularly sparked the interest of the students present, allowing them to discover a “behind the scenes” aspect of their lives as members of the university community.

To conclude this interesting day, students and other participants joined us at AltroSpazio cinema for the screening of the Soyalism documentary, where we were able to further reflect on the topics of health, nutrition, consumption and well-being.

Semmelweis University

12 May, the 8th day of FestiWell, hosted by Semmelweis University, primarily focused on the sustainability of healthcare and how it affects the well-being of university members and the wider population. The event was opened by Dr. Miklós Kellermayer, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and the University’s project leader of EUniWell, followed by the keynote speech of Dr. Miklós Szócska, former State Secretary for Health, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Public Administration, Member of the Presidential Committee for Sustainable Development of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, about the Sustainability Challenges of Health Systems. 

The keynote presentation was followed by an introduction of the Green University Project, an outstandingly successful initiative of the Students’ Union, including various workshops and an elective subject on sustainability, with the goal of raising environmental awareness of students and other university members. The FestiWell day of Semmelweis University also featured an Open Lecture Series event, presented by Professor Pierre-Antoine Gourraud, on “Soli-Data-Rity” - use of data for personalised medicine, organised by Nantes Université and live-streamed from Leiden. Providing an international outlook beyond healthcare, the UNICA Webinar (Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe) involving Semmelweis University, the Universities of Helsinki, Warsaw and Cyprus showcased European Universities' approach to the concept of well-being in an urban context. 

The day was closed by a large-scale Sustainability in Healthcare Session, highlighting sustainability challenges of healthcare, including the introduction of the new elective international course, Sustainability in HC by Gabriella Sódar, presentations on the links between ecology, well-being and sustainability by Professor György Purebl, the impact of climate change and other recent challenges on adolescent mental health and well-being by Dr. Bea Pászthy, Planetary Health and Cardio-meteorology by Dr. Nóra Boussoussou; and an interesting study exploring dentists’ attitudes towards sustainability by Dr. Fanni Andrea Vass. As a satellite event, various interactive student activities focusing on well-being and sustainability, including quiz games and DIY workshops were organised by the Students Union’s Green University Project on campus.

Leiden University

Friday 13 May was Leiden’s FestiWell day and students and staff had the opprotunity to meet up in PLNT and take part in various sessions such as ‘Student, how are you doing (for real)?’ In an interactive workshop, they could also evaluate how well the University is doing at supporting student mental health. EUniWell Chief Student Officer, Lotte Nagelhout, was also in attendance. In a hybrid session, Dr Kate Kirk explained about inclusive lifelong learning and talked about how to inspire individuals and groups to use the knowledge produced in universities to build a sustainable and healthy society. Then it was up to the participants to try and solve an escape room that challenged them to see diversity and social inclusion from a different perspective. “Challenging”, “confronting”, “fun”, “very interesting” and “great to work together” were some of the enthusiastic responses from participants. The in-person part of the day was rounded off with a networking lunch.

The online participants were not short of things to do either. They could attend the session by Maryse Wiewel and her students on ‘Population Health Management: the key to sustainable healthcare’ and Esther Kentin shared her experiences of a project in The Hague with a unique approach to plastic pollution. Here, students from secondary schools in The Hague worked with the municipality to solve an environmental problem: cigarette butts polluting the streets of The Hague. Then there was the roundtable discussion on Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) where Madi Ditmars spoke to different students who participated in this innovative virtual global classroom.

Thank you!

This diverse 9-day FestiWell programme would not have been possible without the time, commitment and enthusiasm of numerous supporters. A heartfelt thank-you goes out to everyone who actively supported and helped shape FestiWell this year. Thank you for making our second FestiWell such a vibrant and varied event - we look forward to next year already!

Stay in touch & up-to-date!

Follow us on our social media channels:


And subscribe to our EUniWell newsletter for regular highlights and save-the-dates to upcoming EUniWell events delivered straight to your inbox: