http://www.guninetwork.org/frontpage_utils/images/Guni6thigrficaok3MARGINS.png/image_large6th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education "Let’s Build Transformative Knowledge to Drive Social Change", May 13-15 2013, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Campus Nord, Vértex building, Pl. Eusebi Güell, 6 - 08034 Barcelona.
This edition is focused on Knowledge, Engagement & Higher Education. The Conference will provide visibility and will critically examine one of the most significant trends: the growth of the theory and practice of engagement as a key feature in the evolution of higher education.
In the Conference, GUNi aims to approach the challenge of engagements by higher education institutions in the larger society in an integrated manner: it will explore ways in which engagement enhances teaching, learning and research; it will approach engagement in ways that accept the multiple sites and epistemologies of knowledge, as well as the reciprocity and mutuality in learning and education through engagement.
In exploring this contemporary issue, the Conference will attempt to describe how university-community engagement is evolving nowadays and will propose to go beyond by offering new visions and ways for the future. GUNi invites the international academic community to jointly analyze how to build transformative knowledge to drive social change. You are cordially invited to attend Conference or nominate the member(s) of your institution. In this space you can find information regarding the conference, as well as details of its programme and contents.
Presentation
The 6th International Barcelona Conference on Higher Education and the 5th GUNi Report are focused on Knowledge, Engagement & Higher Education. They will analyze how to build transformative knowledge to drive social change. In exploring this contemporary issue, the Report and the Conference will attempt to describe how it is evolving nowadays, and will propose to go beyond the narrow and compartmentalized approach to engagements of higher education by offering new visions and ways for the future.
In the Conference, GUNi aims to approach the challenge of engagements by higher education institutions in the larger society in an integrated manner: it will explore ways in which engagement enhances teaching, learning and research; it will approach engagement in ways that accept the multiple sites and epistemologies of knowledge,
as well as the reciprocity and mutuality in learning
and education through engagement.
The Conference will look at our changing understanding about who the agents of knowledge creation are, and how the creation, distribution and use of knowledge are linked to our aspirations for a better world.  It will offer us elements of a vision for a renewed and socially responsible relationship between higher education (HE), knowledge, and society. It will also take into account the current conceptualization of the role of higher education in the process of knowledge production.
In this sense, one aim of the Conference is to call upon policy-makers, leaders and practitioners of HEIs around the world to ‘rethink’ social responsibilities of higher education and to become a part of a hub of societal innovation. We aim to move towards a more just, equitable and sustainable planet over the next decades. Thus, the Conference hopes to present experiences and ideas that suggest directions for transformation of higher education (and its diverse institutions) to exercise its social responsibility to citizens and societies locally and globally.
The other aim of the Conference is to provide visibility and to critically examine one of the most significant trends in higher education over the past 10-15 years: the growth of the theory and practice of engagement as a key feature in the evolution of higher education.
Facilitating socially engaged universities is paramount to the necessary creation of knowledge. The practices and structures of engagement are rich and continually evolving. Some scholars speak of a Community-University Engagement movement (Talloires; Holland, 2005), of service learning (Campus Compact; McIlraath and Mac labhrainn, 2007), of community-based research (Strand et al, 2003a/b), of engaged scholarship (Boyer, 1996; Fitzgerald et al, 2012), of community-university research partnerships (Hart et al, 2007; Hall, 2011), and of knowledge mobilization and its variants, such as knowledge translation, impact or utilization (Levesque, 2010, blog).
GUNi invites the international academic community to actively participate in the Conference in an open space to share and learn together, with the conviction that it is by taking action that we can improve real changes in education and enlarge the transformative awareness of our societies.
References

Boyer, E. L. (1996) The Scholarship of engagement, Bulletin of the American Arts and Sciences, 49(7), pp 18-33.
Campus Compact web site http://www.compact.org/.
Fitzgerald, Hiram, Karen Bruns, Steven T. Sonka, Andrew Furco,  Louis Swanson (2012) “The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education” in Journal of Higher EducationOutreach and Engagement, 2012, 16(3).
Hall, B. et al (2011) “Towards a Knowledge Democracy Movement: Contemporary Trends in Community University Research Partnerships” in Special Issue of Rizoma Freireano on “Global Developments in Community University Research Partnerships. Vol 9.
Hart, A., Maddisson, E. and Wolff, D. (2007) Community-university partnerships in practice. Leicester, UK: National Institute for Adult and Continuing Education.
Holland, B. (2005) Scholarship and Mission in the 21st Century University: The Role of Engagement Keynote Address to the Australian Universities Quality Agency.
Forum, 5 July, Sydney Australia.
Levesque (2010) knowledge Mobilization (Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/zbPyME).
McIlrath, L. & Mac Labhrainn, I. (Eds.) (2007) Higher Education and Civic Engagement: International Perspectives. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.
Talloires Network web site - http://www.tufts.edu/talloiresnetwork/.
Side events
COPERNICUS Alliance/United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU IAS)

“The People’s Sustainability Treaty on Higher Education:  Engaging communities of learning in social change for sustainability”
A side event which will bring together COPERNICUS Alliance members, signatories of the People’s Sustainability Treaty on Higher Education and Regional Centres of Expertise in exploring innovative practices to engage higher education communities in social change for sustainability. Six months after the official launch of the People’s Sustainability Treaty on Higher Education in Rio+20, COPERNICUS Alliance and UNU IAS are delighted to co-host this side event which will set the track for progress and propose ways forward to facilitate the implementation of the Treaty. COPERNICUS Alliance members, signatories of the Treaty and Regional Centres of Expertise will come together to share their learning, challenges and successes in engaging higher education communities in social change for sustainability. The outcome of the event will be a publication which will provide key insights, frameworks and approaches on community engagement for sustainability in higher education and will showcase innovative experiences in this area.