A look back on the International Spring Gathering 2023 in Berlin

The second edition of the International Spring Gathering took place on 24-26 May 2023 in Berlin. This exciting event is especially created for our Intensive Track Talents, 20 outstanding female, early career researchers seeking to change the world through their contributions to science, business and society.

This year, we focused on the captivating theme of Feminist Knowledge Transfer in Science and Industry, emphasizing the importance of promoting gender equality further in these fields. Topics included gender barriers, institutional change and female leadership in academia, business and foreign policy, as well as mentoring and strategies for successful career paths.

We were delighted to welcome our guest speakers Geralding Rauch (Technische Universität Berlin), Martina Schraudner (Fraunhofer IAO), Gertraud Stadler (Charité), Ingrid Hamm (Global Perspectives Initiative), Marianna Prokopi-Demetriades (RSL Revolutionary Labs Ltd), Julia Schüller (BASF), Selmin Çalışkan (human rights advocate), as well as Carri Duncan, (Karaktero),  Shuyan Liu (Charité) and Chiara Condi (Led By Her). Each of them shared inspiring insights and learnings on their respective professional journeys, while highlighting individual and collective action to empower change.

With enlightening discussions on pressing feminist issues, this gathering was a wonderful opportunity for peer exchanges, mutual learnings and meaningful connections. We thank all of our participants, speakers and partners for a successful event.

Download the full programme here.


Keynote: Feminist Knowledge Transfer in Academia

In this inaugural keynote, we invited Prof. Geraldine Rauch, mathematician and President of the Technical University of Berlin to share her perspective on Feminist Knowledge Transfer. In her talk, Prof. Rauch speaks genuinely about her successes and challenges, what it takes to become a female leader at a top ranking university, and the power of courage to foster a more inclusive academia.

Panel I: Feminist Knowledge Transfer in Academia

In this panel discussion, Prof. Martina Schraudner (Fraunhofer IAO) and Prof. Gertraud Stadler (Charité) share insights on their respective career paths and how to foster inclusive environments, drawing upon their experience at the Berlin University Alliance. Both esteemed speakers share valuable insights on leadership and institutional change, and how to reframe power relations in order to successfully promote women and underrepresented groups in research for the benefit of all. A panel discussion moderated by Flávia Sousa from the Adolphe Merkle Institute.

Panel II: Feminist Knowledge Transfer in the Industry

In this second session, Dr. Ingrid Hamm (Global Perspectives Initiative) and Dr. Marianna Prokopi-Demetriades (RSL Revolutionary Labs Ltd) share strategies to carve one’s own path as a female entrepreneur and leader. Together with our moderator Sarah Scheidmantel (University of Zürich), both speakers recount their remarkable career journeys and reveal invaluable insights on overcoming gender barriers and the risks that are worth taking.

Panel III: Feminist Knowledge Transfer and Feminist Foreign Policy

In this third session, human rights advocate Selmin Çalışkan shares insights on her remarkable career spanning over 30 years, from her involvement in anti-war and migrants’ rights movements in Germany to women’s rights organisations, international advocacy and feminist foreign policy. Çalışkan shares invaluable lessons learned throughout her journey, the significance of feminist organising and what it takes for individuals and collectives to catalyse long-term progressive change. A talk moderated by Domiziana Francescon (The Elsevier Foundation).

Panel IV: Feminist Knowledge Transfer and Multinational Production

For this closing session, we invited Dr. Julia Schüller (BASF) and Dr. Carri Duncan (Karaktero) to discuss their respective professional journeys and how they succeeded in carving a space for themselves in male-dominated industries. Together with our moderator Dr. Iris van ’t Erve (Stanford University School of Medicine), both esteemed speakers delve into their lessons learned on leadership, career path and cultural change, while casting light on the outstanding contributions of women in their respective fields.

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