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SWPS University - Main page

HumanTech Meetings II: The Future of Universities and Universities of the Future

HumanTech Meetings II: The Future of Universities and Universities of the Future

In a rapidly changing world marked by significant technological progress, environmental concerns, and challenges facing democracy, universities are also undergoing a transformative journey. Join us for the upcoming HumanTech Meetings, where we will delve into the crucial tasks that lie ahead for the universities of the future and discuss their evolving role and mission.

June 28, 2023
17:30–20:30 CEST (UTC+2)
Warsaw / online

Shaping the Future: The Mission of Universities

In the 21st century, universities are undergoing significant transformations driven by technological advancements and globalization. As higher education institutions grapple with this new reality, they face the crucial task of adapting to meet the evolving demands of the modern world. However, the influential role universities play in shaping the future should not be underestimated.

The key question is: How can universities shape their path forward? How can they effectively translate brilliant ideas from scientists, young startups, business representatives, and NGOs into tangible social impact? The challenge lies in the seamless transfer of knowledge, forging robust partnerships with businesses and communities, and empowering innovative solutions that serve the greater good while upholding the principles of modernity and scientific integrity through an evidence-based approach.

These topics will take center stage during our upcoming HumanTech Meeting. We will have the privilege of hosting Professor Riccardo Pietrabissa, Rector of the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia, and Iwona Gawrycka, Director of SWPS University's Center for Knowledge Transfer. Dr. Konrad Maj, Head of the Center for Social and Technological Innovation HumanTech at SWPS University, will host the meeting. The lectures will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Małgorzata Mroczkowska-Horne from PwC Poland.

Lectures will be held in Polish and English and will be translated simultaneously. In-person attendees are advised to bring phones and headphones to access the translation.

The event is held under the auspices of Strefa Technologii (Technology Zone) of SWPS University

HumanTech Meetings

We live in an era of innovation, technological progress and digitalization. This current innovation drive may lead to unpredictable psychological and social outcomes. Therefore, it is crucial to establish collaborations between engineers, programmers, IT specialists and social scientists during initial phases of any new projects related to development of new technologies or services. Such collaborations may help to avoid mistakes and can support better development of new ideas.

The project is planned as a series of meetings, gathering academics and professionals from the technology sector from Poland and other countries. Each meeting will include two lectures, one delivered by a speaker from Poland and one presented by a guest from another country. The lectures will be followed by panel discussions, where panelists will represent different approaches to innovation and technology.

HumanTech Meetings is a project of SWPS University's Center for Social and Technological Innovation.

  1. Iwona Gawrycka: Centers of Technology Transfer and Social Mission of Universities

    Technology transfer centers are an integral part of most Polish universities, dedicated to the commercialization of scientific research outcomes. In Poland, these centers have long been assessed based on various metrics, such as the number of patents and utility models acquired, as well as the revenue generated from research and development (R&D) results and contracted research. However, a recent scientific evaluation conducted in Poland in 2022 introduced a new criterion: the impact of scientific activities on both society and the economy. This shift raises important questions about the activities of technology transfer centers and their ability to effectively balance their profit-driven goals with the social mission of universities.

  2. Riccardo Pietrabissa: Is there a third mission for universities?

    Recently, with the introduction of evaluation criteria, the University has been assigned multiple missions. One of these primary responsibilities, referred to as the "third mission," is to engage with society to generate impact. However, it's worth questioning whether there are genuinely multiple missions and what exactly is meant by social impact. Research contribution lies at the core of university policies, involving autonomy, responsibility, defined roles, economic support, and the power to shape the future. This meeting aims to spark a thoughtful discussion on the diverse roles of the University, with a particular focus on its mission for progress and development.

Keynote Speakers

Portrait photo of Professor Riccardo Pietrabissa, keynote speaker at HumanTech Meeting hosted by SWPS University
Riccardo Pietrabissa
Is a distinguished Full Professor of Industrial Bioengineering and currently serves as the Rector of the University School for Advanced Studies IUSS Pavia. His research focuses on mathematical and experimental methods in biomechanics. From 1990 to 2019, he held various academic positions at Politecnico di Milano, where he founded the Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics (LABS) and established the patent office and technology transfer office. He also served as Vice-Rector of the Politecnico di Milano Lecco Campus from 2005 to 2010. Throughout his career, Professor Pietrabissa held various leadership positions at the National Research Council of Italy, including serving as Director of the ICT Department and the Production Systems Department. He co-founded the Netval Research Universities Network in 2002 and held the position of President until 2013. Since 2016, he has held the esteemed position of President of the Eucentre Foundation in Pavia. He was recently appointed the Conference of Italian University Rectors' delegate for Research Valorization and Technology Transfer.
Portrait photo of Iwona Gawrycka
Iwona Gawrycka
As the Director of SWPS University’s Center for Knowledge Transfer, she focuses on facilitating the advancement of innovations by leveraging research findings from the humanities and social sciences. Additionally, she manages the knowledge transfer processes and the commercialization of research outcomes. For several years, she has been co-teaching classes for doctoral students on knowledge transfer, with a focus on integrating research into the socio-economic landscape. With over 18 years of experience in the R&D sector, she has worked in both public administration and scientific institutions, successfully overseeing diverse implementation projects.


Portrait photo of prof. Roman Cieślak
Roman Cieślak

Is a psychologist and professor of social sciences. Since 2016, he has served as the Rector of SWPS University, following his previous role as Vice Rector for Educational Affairs from 2012 to 2016. He also has experience as a visiting professor and director of research at the Trauma, Health, and Hazards Center at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. His research interests encompass stress management, occupational burnout, and the impact of traumatic events on mental health. He is the founder of the StresLab team, dedicated to developing and evaluating online psychological interventions related to health and well-being. He is actively involved in the academic community, serving on the editorial boards of several international journals and holding positions on various boards of international scientific societies. Additionally, he holds the esteemed position of Chairman of the CRASP Communications and Social Responsibility Committee.

Portrait photo of Zofia Dzik, panelist at HumanTech Metting hosted by SWPS University
Zofia Dzik

Is an impact investor, innovator, C-Level manager, and a pioneer in the financial technology (fintech) market in Poland and Central and Eastern Europe. She is a long-standing member of multiple supervisory boards of listed companies and the Board of Experts of the Forum of Supervisory Boards at the Warsaw Stock Exchange. She is also the founder of the Humanites Institute, a think tank dedicated to the development of Coherent Leadership™, the international Center for Ethics of Technology, and the Academy of Leadership of Education Leaders. Zofia Dzik actively contributes to the academic and research community as a member of the Scientific Council of IDEAS NCBR, and the Social Council of Wrocław University of Science and Technology. She was included in Forbes Woman Poland's list of 10 Sustainable Development Leaders.

Portrait photo of Professor Grzegorz Mazurek, panelist at HumanTech Metting hosted by SWPS University
Grzegorz Mazurek

Is a professor of social sciences specializing in digital transformation strategies, e-commerce, and e-marketing. He holds the positions of Rector at Kozminski University and Director of the Digital Transformation Research Centre - CYBERMAN. Additionally, he serves as a member of the EFMD Advisory Board for the Central and Eastern Europe region and the Board of the Forum Management Education Association. Since 2020, he has been the President of the International Advisory Board at ISC Paris. From 2016 to 2018, he was a member of the Council for Digitalization at the Ministry of Digital Affairs from 2016 to 2018. Prof. Mazurek served as Vice Rector for Foreign Cooperation at Kozminski University from 2012 to 2020, successfully spearheading efforts in internationalization. His research focuses on the transformative effects of digitalization in the higher education sector. He has authored and co-authored numerous articles, book chapters, and books, nincluding "Digital Transformation" (PWN, 2019) and "E-marketing - planning, tools and practice" (Poltext, 2018). Prof. Mazurek's expertise has been sought after by renowned institutions worldwide, and he has collaborated with major brands such as Nokia, Michelin and IKEA.

The panel will be hosted by

Portrait photo of Małgorzata Mroczkowska-Horne, a moderator at a HumanTech Meeting at SWPS University
Małgorzata Mroczkowska-Horne

Is an attorney-at-law (radca prawna) with 20+ years of experience. She holds a partnership position at PwC Legal in Warsaw, where she leads the competition law practice. She specializes in competition and consumer protection law. Additionally, she has extensive experience in international transactions, including cross-border work in commercial and corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, as well as regulatory law. Małgorzata actively engages as a mentor to young lawyers and programmers in the prestigious Global Legal Hackathon program. She also serves as a mentor to aspiring women lawyers through her involvement with the Women in Law foundation in Warsaw. She is a member of the Competition Law Association and a non-governmental advisor to the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection in Poland on matters related to the International Competition Network. Małgorzata holds a law degree from the University of Warsaw and has successfully completed Postgraduate College Diploma studies in EC Competition Law at King’s College London, University of London.

Sign up for the meeting


Center for Social and Technological Innovation HumanTech


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Date and location

June 28, 2023 (Wednesday), 17:30–20:30 CEST (UTC+2)
SWPS University in Warsaw, Chodakowska 19/31, room S306 and online


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the colors and the national emblem of the Republic of Poland

In 2021, the HumanTech Meetings project was granted an additional PLN 250,000 (EUR 52 828,75) by the Ministry of Education and Science (MEiN), as part of the funding scheme “Społeczna odpowiedzialność nauki – Popularyzacja nauki i promocja sportu” (Social responsibility of science – Popularization of science and sport), (project no. SONP/SN/514650/2021), project duration: 2022-2023, total value: PLN 305,472 (EUR 65 251,67).


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