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International Week

15–17 May 2024 | Västerås, Sweden

International Week aspires to be a platform for open and interesting dialogue on international collaboration for everyone interested in building a better world. The problems facing society are complex and we cannot manage them alone, we need to meet, discuss and address the challenges together.

International Week is being hosted in response to a divided world and the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. Recent evolution in different parts of the world shows that a lack of people-centred development is conducive to instability, conflicts, and democratic backsliding. We want to explore how research, innovation and technology can provide solutions.

The conference builds upon MDU's collaborative and progressive approach, drawing inspiration from a longstanding tradition of partnership between universities in Rwanda, Sweden, and across the globe. We believe that to solve the issues facing us globally we must bring people together. We wish to foster global and shared learning and responsibility – for a sustainable future.

During International Week 2024, we will bring together leaders from academia, politics, business, and civil society, to ask ourselves:

  • How do we collaborate internationally for a sustainable future?
  • What is the role of academia and research in this mission?

During the conference, we aim to:

  • Explore innovative research on AI and embedded systems and discuss the ethics of AI.
  • Discover the societal impact of technology.
  • Debate the responsibility of academia in our societies.
  • Address reconciliation in a divided world.
  • Reveal how to maximise the impact of research and science.
  • Identify current and future international partnerships.
  • Learn from ongoing business and research projects in Rwanda.
  • Create new partnerships and share ideas.

Who?

Anyone in academia, politics, business, and civil society who believes in international collaboration to build a better world.

When?

Wednesday 15 to Friday 17 May 2024.

Where?

Västerås External link. is the sixth largest city in Sweden about 100 km from Stockholm. It is located on Lake Mälaren to the west of Stockholm and is approximately an hour away from Stockholm by train.

Register today!

Please note that the conference will be held entirely in English.

Some of our speakers

Our speakers will be updated regularly.

Amina J. Mohammed


Amina J. Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General
of the United Nations External link.

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment.


Dr. Diane Gashumba

Rwandan Ambassador to the Nordic Countries

Dr. Diane Gashumba is the Rwandan ambassador to the Nordic countries, residing in Stockholm, Sweden. She has served as the Minister of Health and as Minister of Gender and Family Promotion for Rwanda. She is a seasoned global health leader and gender advocate. She is a former Board Member of Roll Back Malaria and Global Health Corps, former Co-Chair of the WHO Digital Health Advisory Group as well as the former President of the National Women Council.


Alphonse Muleefu

Acting Principal, University of Rwanda and Doctor of International Law

Alphonse Muleefu is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, and Acting Principal of the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Rwanda. He is a member of the Rwanda Bar Association, a Board Member of the Rwanda Initiative for Sustainable Development and Lead 4 Tomorrow Rwanda. Previously, Dr Muleefu worked with Gacaca Courts, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and the International Criminal Court. Dr Muleefu has specialised in International Criminal Law, International Criminal Investigations, Human Rights Law, Laws of War and Transitional Justice.


Johanna Teague

Swedish Ambassador to Rwanda

Johanna Teague is the Swedish Ambassador to Rwanda. She is dedicated to the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation, previously working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). She has worked with the UN’s Population Fund, UNFPA, in Bolivia. Learning and innovation, change management and collective intelligence are topics that have been central to Johanna's work.


Stefan Löfven

Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board

Stefan Löfven has been Chair of the SIPRI Governing Board since June 2022. Löfven was the Prime Minister of Sweden from October 2014 to November 2021 and leader of the Social Democratic Party from 2012 to 2021. His background includes extensive experience from various domestic and international assignments. In 2022, he was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to co-lead a High-level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism. He was previously the International Secretary of the Swedish trade union IF Metall and, subsequently, its Chair.


Mikael Mogren

Bishop of the Västerås Diocese and Professor of Philosophy

Mikael Mogren is the Bishop of Västerås Diocese. He was ordained in 1996 in the Diocese of Strängnäs. He has a solid academic background with theological studies from Uppsala University, Tübingen University and Harvard. He received his PhD in Philosophy from Uppsala University in 2004 and has taught at both Uppsala University and the Protestant Faculty in Paris.


Jacob Färnert

President Swedish National Union of Students

Jacob Färnert is the President of the Swedish National Union of Students, which represents student unions in Sweden. He has a background in Political Science and is an advocate for student influence in higher education.


Martin Hellström

Vice-Chancellor at Mälardalen University

Martin Hellström has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Ruhr University Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum). In 2011 he was appointed Professor of German with a specialisation in general literary studies at the University of Gothenburg. He has been Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Borås and Vice-Chancellor at University West. Martin is Vice-Chancellor at Mälardalen University since 2022.

The programme

The programme includes three days of interesting discussions, workshops, networking possibilities, visits outside campus, musical performances, mingling, a welcome banquet, coffee breaks and lunch during the three days.

 

  • Morning: Keynote speakers and refreshments

  • Noon: Lunch and Musical performance at the Västerås Concert Hall

  • Afternoon: Panel discussions and Workshops

  • Evening: Mingle, Welcome banquet and Musical performances at Västerås Castle

 

  • Morning: Workshops and activities on the following themes:
    • AI for a Sustainable Future – can the next great technological revolution realise the dream of a sustainable society?
    • Women in Science – how can we strengthen female leadership in academia across the world?
    • Health and Welfare Technology – can technology solve the welfare problems of tomorrow?
    • International Students for Freedom – what is the role of students in a free world?
    • Science Communication – how do we equip students and researchers to become leaders?
    • Conflict Management – what does reconciliation look like in a divided world?
    • The Importance of Art – for cultural exchange and understanding
  • Noon: Lunch and lunch concert with Francis Perron, associate professor, Université de Montréal Faculty of Music and vice-dean for international relations.

  • Afternoon: Company visits and round table discussions

 

  • Morning: Keynote speakers, panel discussions and refreshments
  • Noon: Lunch

Additional agenda items will be presented continuously.

Location: Mälardalen University, Västerås campus
Address: Universitetsplan 1, 722 20 Västerås, Sweden

For more information please contact: