Collaborate or compete? It depends on the challenge. If the challenge is to win the final of the Portuguese Cup, in football, you expect competition - fair and clean, but strong competition. If the challenge is one of those currently on the European and global sustainability agenda, and if the modality of the challenge is in the modality of contributing knowledge to train people who are prepared to contribute positively to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or, more directly, in the modality of creating knowledge that contributes to the SDGs, then the watchword is collaboration. All of us, institutions and people, working together will not be too much to successfully address the complexity, depth and scope of these SDGs.
The EU has designed a specific and exciting form of collaboration to increase the best knowledge transmitted and produced in Europe: the European University Alliances. The underlying desideratum is to create, from European universities of excellence, meta-universities resulting from continuous and deep strategic collaboration at all levels of the allied universities.
There are currently 41 alliances bringing together more than 300 European universities. NOVA is part of the EUTOPIA Alliance - centred on sustainability in its many facets and on training for it, but also on the creation of new knowledge and its impact on communities and society in general. In time, let's say in less than 10 years, if all goes well, it will be as if NOVA had 10 campuses spread across Europe where it could carry out its activities in an organic way.
This month, from the 19th to the 23rd of June, NOVA is organising the "EUTOPIA Week", which will take place mainly on the Campolide campus. If you can, participate and be active: we can easily shorten the 10 years I mentioned above, and by a lot, if we all commit ourselves more to knowing and participating in the EUTOPIA Alliance.