SOCIN’24 Conference Wrap-Up: Celebrating Social Innovations for a Transformative Society

Vilnius, Lithuania – The 4th European Reform University Alliance (ERUA) Summit, themed SOCIN’24: Social Innovations for Transformative Society has successfully concluded, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts to build an University Alliance that strives to enhance higher education and foster social innovation across Europe. Held at Mykolas Romeris University (MRU), the summit brought together 219 participants who delivered more than 100 presentations on diverse topics related to social transformation.

The topics of the Conference were targeted at highlighting a comprehensive approach to addressing social transformation. The topics Each presentation contributed to a deeper understanding of how various disciplines can intersect and collaborate to drive meaningful societal change. The SOCIN’24 conference stands as a testament to the power of collective knowledge and innovation in shaping a transformative future for society.



During the Summit, we explored how universities and competitions can foster social innovation and resilience. Speakers highlighted transformative approaches in academic governance and research administration, emphasizing the pivotal role of higher education institutions in driving societal change.

Focusing on one of the more prominent contemporary challenges, presenters also discussed effective strategies for managing migration, countering misinformation, and supporting refugee integration. The sessions dedicated to that topic underscored the importance of inclusive policies and robust support systems in fostering cohesive societies.



Environmental sustainability was also a prominent theme of exploration, with discussions on renewable energy solutions for urban development, the innovative concept of 15-minute city planning, and pressing issues like climate justice and space debris management. These sessions highlighted the need for sustainable practices to ensure a resilient future.

Speakers examined the transformative role of digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI) in education and sustainable well-being. Topics included the ethical and practical dilemmas of using large language models in medical decision-making and the application of information and communication technologies in social work.

Strategies for increasing public trust in science were thoroughly discussed, focusing on effective science communication methods, navigating the post-truth landscape, and frameworks for enhancing public understanding and trust in scientific research.



As one of the main highlights of the SOCIN’24 Conference, we also looked at identifying sustainable economic practices to foster inclusive growth and development. Presentations explored innovative strategies for socio-economic transformation, including the potential of universal basic income as a socio-economic model and university-business-society partnerships for social business transformation.

Driven by the understanding that “This summit is a testament to our collective belief in the power of social innovation to address pressing issues and improve the quality of life globally,” we reconfirmed ERUA’s role in transcending geographic and disciplinary boundaries to foster community building and collaborative growth. On the final day, Prof. Dr. Inga Zaleniene, Rector of MRU, emphasized the need for practical steps and solutions to the challenges faced by the alliance. She highlighted the importance of structural, strategic, and sustainable cooperation, allowing students to obtain degrees by combining studies in several European countries.




The 4th Annual Summit marked an important step in the process of community building within the alliance. To mark that important transition the Board of Rectors announced that December 12th will be celebrated as ERUA Day, commemorating the anniversary of the Alliance’s official start in 2023. This decision was made during the Board of Rectors’ meeting, underscoring the importance of fostering deeper connections within the alliance.

The 4th ERUA Summit has set a clear and ambitious roadmap for the future, focusing on collaboration, strategic execution, and impactful reforms in European higher education. The next steps include finalizing governance structures, enhancing partnerships, and actively seeking funding opportunities to support the alliance’s initiatives.


Photo credit: Lucas Kodis

More Articles