Call for Abstracts

AESOP Young Academics sessions at ‘City as a Service’

Urban Thinker Campus 2015 in Palermo (

Palermo, October 8-10, 2015

The AESOP Young Academics network ( is happy to announce its participation to the Urban Thinker Campus (an initiative of UN-Habitat) that will be held in Palermo during October 2015, and organised by the no-profit civic start-up PUSH (

Please check the event’s website for all details at

The YA network will organise 2 tracks for critical debate around the overarching theme ‘City as a service’. Proposals for presentation, in the form of abstracts (more details below) shall be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by July 31, 2015.

The Urban Thinker Campus

The Urban Thinker Campus ( makes part of the World Urban Campaign (, the UN program devoted to urban settlements. The event, hosted by different cities around the world, has the aim of sensitizing and creating awareness among citizens on urban issues, and prepare the contents to be presented during the conference Habitat III ‘The city we need’ (Quito 2016). The Campus is designed as an open space for workshops and seminars, an opportunity to share and promote urban transformations. 

Topic: City as a service

The forum to be held in Palermo aims to investigate different ideas and solutions, offering an integrated approach, giving voice to the various stakeholders in order to bring the civil society, administration, cities, companies, experts and government together in order to identify and overcome obstacles towards a ‘smart’ development. The city is a service, and this model of ‘smart city’ should ensure the access to comprehensive, customized, real-time, data and information. Services and solutions have to improve the lives of citizens. Governments and institutions, in an ideal setting, are there to help citizens, trying to drive values in society, giving access to OpenData, attracting actors and actions that improve cities and make public policies more effective. The use of technology and new models in the sharing economy, in this kind of contexts, is fundamental to ensure direct participation of citizens and communities in a clear bottom-up approach, for building new and intelligent solutions.

Topics for YA sessions

The YA network invites students, early-career academics, young practitioner and activists to engage with the overarching themes, and especially on the technological dimension of urban governance, management, and cohabitation. Contributions are expected to consider the role, for future urban development, of civil society, business and research, and public administration. We seek engaged, critical contributions from all the disciplines related to urban themes. Topics encompass, but are not limited to:

  • Critical debates of ‘smart’ cities and developments;
  • ICTs and urban futures;
  • Public government, urban governance, and technological developments;
  • Bottom-up organisation and the use of technology;
  • Potentialities and risks stemming from the spreading of technology in the urban space;
  • Open data, big data and public policy;
  • Values, power relationships and affect in networked societies.

Submission, timeline, and participation

Proposal in the form of abstracts (max 250 words) shall be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by July 31, 2015. Please include in the abstract your full name, affiliation (if any) and a short biography (less than 100 words).

The YA Coordination Team will screen the proposals in agreement with the event’s scientific committee and inform successful applicants by August 31, 2015. Priority will be given to members of the YA Network. 

No full paper is required, however, participants will be asked to submit an extended abstract (1000 words) of their presentation by September 30, 2015. Some of the contributions will be invited to submit a full paper to the YA OA, peer-reviewed journal plaNext.

The participation to the Urban Thinker Campus is free of fee, but travel and lodgement costs will not be covered by the organisation.

About PUSH

It’s an innovation laboratory based in Palermo; its aim is pushing communities, governments and local authorities to become an active part of the process of urban renewal, through social innovation. PUSH researches and proposes creative and technologic solutions for community and cities, through the approach of design thinking.