The Virtuosi

As a part of his Jean Monnet Chair rECOncile, IES professor Harri Kalimo has launched a novel type of academic activity at the IES: the virtual reading circle “Virtuosi”. The circle hosts a group of pre- and post-doctoral scholars from universities in different countries –so far Ghent and Antwerp have joined the IES in Belgium, while Turku and Tampere universities participate from Finland, and Fordham from the United States. In addition, IES associates that work in the EU institutions, law firms and national representations take part in the discussions. All of this is possible because the seminars take place virtually as group webinars.  

The objective of the activity is to collect a community of experts – the Virtuosi -- whose work deals with the theme of value reconciliation, and to nourish a distinctly theoretical discussion on the topic. To do so, the group explores seminal works in the fragmentation literature, and portrays these writings against the practical, policy –oriented research of the participants. For example, the issue of reconciling economic and non-economic values is a topic familiar to a lawyer or policy maker dealing with WTO or EU internal market law: when should countries be allowed to ban the imports of GMO-containing food? What kind of sustainability criteria can be set for trade in biofuels? The Virtuosi group explores the ideas and theories that overarch these kinds of value questions in the modern, fragmented  societies.

Besides its substantive objectives, the Virtuosi also explore novel means of dynamic educational pathways, where the participants themselves are in an interactive manner driving the agenda of the group. The agenda development is particularly interesting, because it involves in an interdisciplinary fashion researchers with different academic backgrounds.  Interested in joining the experiment? Just contact Harri at harri.kalimo@vub.be