This weekend marked the true inauguration of STEAR at our official Launch Event on Saturday! The board was very happy to see so many of you attend, and some very interesting questions came up during the Q&A portion of the event. We wrote down some of our impressions of the event, in case you were not able to make it or wanted a recap of everything that happened!
Our Co-President Luke first welcomed all attendees before introducing the concepts behind STEAR’s founding, as well as the values and ideas on which it is built. He then introduced our first guest speaker, namely Ambassador Morikawa Toru.
Ambassador Morikawa, who is the Executive Director at the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), briefly introduced the work that ASEF does and noted that there could be opportunities for cooperation with STEAR in the future. He stressed the importance of mutual understanding between the two continents and the potential of education and cultural exchange in achieving this understanding, and presented the engagement of young people with issues affecting both Asia and Europe as crucial to the future of Europe-Asia relations.
The next guest speaker was Ambassador Nicolas Chapuis, who is currently head of the EU delegation to China but has worked in other diplomatic functions for many years prior. Ambassador Chapuis stated that young voices in the dialogue between Europe and Asia matter, and encouraged all attendees to think about EU-China relations in a way which avoids binary simplifications to what is such a complex relationship.
Both speakers reiterated their belief in the importance of culture as well, which can be of just as much relevance to Europe-Asia relations as trade or geopolitics, helping us find common ground and achieve harmony in intercontinental relationships. Our audience was reminded that cultural conceptions contain values, dreams, and projections about the future that vary greatly per country, and we acknowledge that it is crucial going forward that STEAR continues to include a variety of voices, backgrounds, and opinions when it comes to these matters.
After the inspiring speeches and Q&A session that followed, the STEAR board and all attendees were split into different breakout rooms in order to give potential applicants a chance to ask specific questions. We were happy to note that the audience was very diverse, with a variety of countries and academic disciplines represented at the event.The attendees asked great questions pertaining to both the work of STEAR in general and particular vacancies in the different portfolios that are recruiting at the moment. Additionally, we spotted a few familiar faces from early applications, and we were happy to see these attendees as well - thank you for showing interest in this event!
As we stated during the event as well, we would be happy to answer any questions that you might have regarding STEAR or our recruitment. You can find more information about our recruitment campaign and the specifics of each vacancy on our website, but we can answer more specific questions for you as well; the contact information of each portfolio can be found on our website as well, and we are active on social media too - either way, please reach out with whatever question, comment, suggestion, or concern you have! We hope to hear from you if we haven’t already.