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a collaboration between young academics

Welcome to the blog of the Young Academics of the Association of the European Schools of Planning. It has a rich history. We welcome your contributions and you can find information on how to contribute and the guidelines here.

Experience as a chair of the YA Coordination Team (2022-2023)

AESOP YAN General Assembly AESOP YAN General Assembly at 18th AESOP Young Academics Conference, organized by DAStU - Politecnico di Milano ​in March 2024

Dear fellow young academics, future CT members and friends,

I am Ceren, an urban planner and postdoctoral researcher based in Bratislava, Slovakia. Since 2022, I have been an elected member of the Young Academics (YA) Coordination Team (CT), and since June 2023 I am the elected Chair of the YA network and AESOP ExCo member. I wanted to take a moment to share a glimpse into my journey within the AESOP Young Academics Network and why I believe you should consider joining us as a CT member.

My involvement with the AESOP Young Academics Network started with a simple curiosity and a desire to engage with fellow young planners in the 11th AESOP Young Academics Conference in 2017, themed "Planning and Entrepreneurship" hosted by The Chair of Urban Development at the Architecture Department of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provided the platform for me, a first-year PhD student, to present my research. It was a key moment when I received feedback from Prof. Klaus Kunzmann, one of the founders and honorary members of AESOP.

Two years later, I had the opportunity to present my research again, this time at the 13th AESOP Young Academics Conference in 2019, themed "Planning Inclusive Spaces - An Inter- And Transdisciplinary Approach" hosted by the Graduate School of Urban Studies (URBANgrad) at the Technical University of Darmstadt, this conference not only facilitated fruitful discussions but also allowed me to have lasting connections with colleagues who have since become close friends and research collaborators. 

13th AESOP Young Academics Conference in 2019, themed "Planning Inclusive Spaces - An Inter- And Transdisciplinary Approach" hosted by the Graduate School of Urban Studies (URBANgrad) at the Technical University of Darmstadt

In 2022, within the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of young and ambitious master's and PhD students from Turkey - Yildiz Technical University and Middle East Technical University, co-organized the 16th AESOP Young Academics Conference, themed "In Search of Well-Being in Liminality", this conference marked a significant milestone as it brought us together after two years of virtual interactions. Having the privilege to chair one of the sessions, I witnessed firsthand the success of the conference and the resurgence of the dialogues between young scholars.

16th AESOP Young Academics Conference, themed "In Search of Well-Being in Liminality", co-organized by master's and PhD students from Turkey - Yildiz Technical University and Middle East Technical University

These enriching experiences as both presenter and participant motivated me to take a more active role within the AESOP Young Academics Network. In June 2022, I was elected as a CT member and my candidacy motivation was: "to be accessible to researchers at different levels of research on planning-related issues, to be in contact with them, and to ensure that their needs and wishes are heard". Since then, I believe that I fulfilled this goal, advocating for the interests of young academics and fostering a supportive and inclusive environment within the YA network.

The Coordination Team (CT) serves as the representative body of the Young Academics (YA) network, comprising six elected members and a Senior Advisor. The current team for 2023-2024 includes Asma Mehan, Ruya Erkan-Ocek, Rumeysa Ceylan, SaeBom Song, Sophie Leemans, and myself as the Chair, alongside Milan Husar, the Senior Advisor and former Chair. To address the growing demands of the YA Network, we are pleased to announce the addition of four new members this year. 

YA CT working on new projects in CT Weekend in Milano after 18th AESOP Young Academics Conference, organized by DAStU - Politecnico di Milano

In case you want to know our specific tasks, responsibilities, and day-to-day management in more detail, you might want to read more below - the updated version of insights into the CT's work which quoted previous chair and senior advisor Pinar Dörder's blog post from 2020.

Starting with the Coordination Team (CT) itself, which is an elected team of six people who are working on transforming your needs and wishes into projects. They are elected for a period of two years. The CT is chaired by one member who is in his/her/their second year of being on the team. CT has monthly online meetings with 80% compulsory participation in a year (except serious personal issues) but the team stays in touch via messaging at all times. The CT is a very active, motivated and friendly group of young academics who do this job voluntarily in order to run the organization of the AESOP Young Academics Network.

As this is a voluntary position, you might wonder how much time and effort you'd have to devote for the CT. There are peaks and low times during the year. Peaks are usually before our events where a lot of organization and emailing has to be done. But, there are all people involved in managing all activities and we are making sure to have two people assigned for each project so one can step in if the other has a lot on the plate already! It is all a matter of organizing your time and openly communicating with the team!

What are the specific tasks for the CT members? These tasks are not limited but changing between CT members on prior agreement and evolving for responding to the growing needs of the YAN. Some tasks and roles CT Members have: Executive Committee Representative (Chair), AESOP Congress, AESOP PhD workshop, YA Blog, Booklet Series, Social Media accounts management, Newsletter, Website and YAN Membership management, PlaNext - YAN Journal, UTH workshop, YA Conference organization, Best Published Paper Award Committee, Excellence in Teaching Award Committee. 

Sophie, SaeBom and me hosting the AESOP YAN General Assembly at 18th AESOP Young Academics Conference, organized by DAStU - Politecnico di Milano in March 2024

The YA General Assembly is another fun event, where the CT members give an overview of the projects and upcoming events and deadlines and we open the floor for discussion and brainstorming for new project ideas. And let us not forget our social events! We organize social events both during YA Conferences and AESOP Annual Congresses. CT is an active, motivated, and friendly group of YAs who work voluntarily to run the YA network. We like to see you on board! This year's election period will be as follows:

- Enrolment of candidates: 10 April 2024 - 21 April 2024 23:59 CET via this Google Form 

- Elections: 22 April 2024 - 5 May 2024 23:59 CET

- Announcement of results: 15 May 2024

- Start of your term: in the monthly online CT meeting, early June 2024

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 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We are committed to serve the interests of young planning scholars and professionals in Europe and beyond!

Kind regards,

Sila Ceren Varis Husar, Ph.D.
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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Sunday, 23 June 2024