The blog of the Young Academics of the Association of the European Schools of Planning

Elections approaching! An invitation from your YA representative

3 min read

Guest author: Pinar Dörder (Darmstadt University, chair of the YA Coordination Team)

Dear friends,

Here is Pinar Dörder, I am an architect and urban planner based in Darmstadt, nearing the end of my doctoral studies. Since 2019 I am an elected member of the Young Academics (YA) Coordination Team (CT), and since June 2020 I am the elected Chair of the YA network.

Normally I would be having a pleasant chat with you in person at one of our regular events, perhaps while enjoying a cup of coffee or a lunch break together. Since the current climate is unfortunately very unfavorable to do so, I wanted to reach out to you through this brief blog post to talk mainly about three things: a quick story of how I got involved in the network, an overview of the YA network and the CT, and why YOU are encouraged to join us.

The 12th YA conference in Groningen “Navigating Change: Planning for societal and spatial transformations” was the very first YA event I participated. It was a fantastic experience because the extensive feedback I received from my peers gave a great momentum to my work. But more importantly, I was quite inspired by being part of such a vibrant community. My experiences in Groningen encouraged me to do something in return. So, I became a member of the Local Organizing Committee of the 13th YA conference “Planning inclusive spaces: An inter- and transdisciplinary approach,” which we hosted in Darmstadt. Upon conclusion of the event one thing became clear: I LOVE being around these people. So, I decided to run for the elections to become a member of the CT. And currently, as the “voice” of the YAs, I am committed to do my very best for this wonderful community.

The Local Organizing Committee of the 13th Young Academics Conference “Planning Inclusive Spaces: An Inter- and Transdisciplinary Approach” in Darmstadt, 2019. From left to right: Pinar Dörder, Sara Abdelaal, Marianne Halblaub Miranda, Lakshya Pandit. (See: https://www.architektur.tu-darmstadt.de/portfolio/veranstaltungen_arch/symposien/aesop_conference/index.de.jsp)

In case you are not yet a member of the YA network, don’t let the name deceive you: you neither have to be “young” nor “academic” to be considered as a “young academic.” We are open to all master’s students, PhD students, PhD candidates, Post-Docs without fixed academic positions, as well as activists and practitioners in the field of planning. Although we are an organization under AESOP - Association of European Schools of Planning, we are a global network of individuals who see value in coming together to develop their research and disseminate it within the field of academic planning through various tools at our disposal.

The CT represents the YA network and consists of an elected team of five people. The 2020-2021 team consists of Dexter Du, Lizzy Privitera, Ledio Allkja, Agnes Matoga as the Senior Advisor and former Chair, and me as the current Chair. Normally, in even years we elect two new members, and in uneven years we elect three. But this year, in order to better respond to the demands of fully digitalized working environments, the CT will grow and temporarily become a team of seven instead of the usual five, as two of the previously elected members will remain in the team for another year.

Your profile picture could be there too! The 2021-2022 CT will be a team of seven instead of the usual five. Become a member through our website and participate in the elections: you can vote for your favorite candidate and submit your candidacy to join the CT.

In case you want to know our specific tasks, responsibilities, and day-to-day management more in detail, you might want to take a look at the Insights into the CT’s work. We as the CT are an active, motivated, and friendly group of YAs who work voluntarily to run the YA network. And we are very much looking forward to having YOU on board. This year’s election period will be as follows:

  • Enrolment of candidates: April 30th – May 9th (You will need to submit a motivational statement through the website and your CV and statement via email)
  • Elections: May 10th – May 23rd
  • Announcement of results: late May / early June

We as the CT are always open to any feedback. If you have any ideas, comments or inquiries, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We are grateful to you all for being a part of this community and keeping the YA network active and vibrant no matter the circumstances. We are committed to serve the interests of young planning scholars and professionals in Europe and beyond.

Stay well & stay healthy!

Warmest wishes,


Feel free to reach me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Twitter: @pdoerder

Get in touch with the CT at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Twitter: @aesopYA

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[…] would like to inform you of the results of our YA Elections 2021 and we are very pleased to congratulate the newly elected members of the Young Academics Network […]

[…] would like to inform you of the results of our YA Elections 2021 and we are very pleased to congratulate the newly elected members of the Young Academics Network […]
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Friday, 09 December 2022