The 12th PASCAL conference will be hosted by one of Italy’s leading institutions, the University of Catania in the beautiful island of Sicily. The theme of the conference concerns how cities and their regions are connected to their universities at strategic frontiers. These include knowledge and political frontiers, and each is linked to global challenges that include employment, migration, health, food security, culture and climate change.
It is appropriate that the conference is taking place in Sicily, hosted by the University of Catania and supported by the city of Catania, at one frontier of Europe, where issues of migration and job security during a time of global economic decline are at the forefront of local thinking. Southern Italy exemplifies new challenges and fault-lines confronting Europe. Austerity and immigration, political, ideological-religious-cultural, economic, social and other strategic issues intensify and interweave.