The Second International Conference on T&I Interdisciplinarity was held in Shanghai on November 3rd and 4th

The conference was convened by Shanghai International Studies University (SISU) and was arranged by the Graduate Institute of Interpretationand Translation (GIIT) of SISU. The two-day conference was then followed by a week’s workshop on a range of subjects from an interdisciplinary perspective, including cognitive linguistics, psychology, neurosciences, cross-cultural communication, economics, management, artificial intelligence, etc. Doctor Florika FINK-HOOIJER, Director-General of DG-interpretation (SCIC) of the European Commission and Professor LI Zhengren, Chief of the Interpretation Service of Conference Management of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), among others, were invited. They also had official meetings with the SISU leadership including Doctor JIANG Feng, Chairman of the University Board and Doctor LI Yansong, President of the University.

President LI Yansong received Doctor FINK-HOOIJER soon after her arrival in Shanghai on the afternoon of 2nd November. The two sides affirmed the comprehensive cooperation between SISU and the EU. The friendly relations has now more than ten years of history and both SISU and the EU have been benefiting from the expert exchange and student internship arrangements. President LI pointed out that SISU has long been proudly known for its linguistic capabilities. SISU is now embarking on a new journey of improving themselves jointly with other disciplines not limited to language and literature. Doctor FINK-HOOIJER emphasized the fact that both the EU and SISU are facing similar challenges and it’s urgent to adapt to the new era and to be able to recruit the new generation of talents up to this era’s requirements. The two sides also exchanged views on topics of artificial intelligence, the MTI programme, international organizations and private public partnership.

On the morning of 3rd November, the conference had its official opening before which Chairman JIANG had an official meeting with Doctor FINK-HOOIJER and Professor LI Zhengren as well as other overseas guests. Appreciation was expressed towards Dean ZHANG and Professor LEE-JAHNKE for setting up the platform to facilitate dialogue and cooperation among different stakeholders. Chairman JIANG stated that GIIT has been a stellar example of SISU in benchmarking international standards and has achieved great recognition in the past decade. Excellence has always been the goal SISU strives for. Chairman JIANG and Doctor FINK-HOOIJER agreed that interdisciplinarity is a useful approach with which the two sides can jointly address many issues.

Also present at the meetings were:
Irene ZHANG, Dean of GIIT, Co-founder of GIIT Interdisciplinarity Centre
Hannelore LEE-JAHNKE, Co-founder of GIIT Interdisciplinarity Centre, former Dean of ETI of University of Geneva
Harry DAI, Vice Dean of GIIT
Felix MOESNER, CEO of Swissnex China, Science Consul General of Switzerland in Shanghai,
Gary MASSEY, Director of IUED Institute of Translation and Interpreting of Zurich University of Applied Sciences,
Bernard MORARD, former Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of University of Geneva,
Martin FORSTNER, former Secretary General of CIUTI, professor of Mainz University,
Francois Massion, Director of D.O.G Dokumentation ohne Grenzen GmbH
Mingjiong CHAI, honorary Dean of GIIT,
Paul Brennan, China Desk of SCIC DG Interpretation.

The opening ceremony was moderated by Dean ZHANG. Chairman JIANG, Doctor FINK-HOOIJER, Professor LI Zhengren, Mr. MOESNER and Professor LEE-JAHNKE made opening remarks. Doctor FINK-HOOIJER then gave her keynote speech in which she explained the importance of multilingualism as was enshrined in EU treaties. She also talked about how the EU is adjusting to new technologies and new market demands. EU has already rolled out a plan to launch a knowledge centre through which SCIC will use its convening power to nudge new ideas by pooling resources both within the EU and beyond. In the afternoon, Doctor FINK-HOOIJER joined Vice Dean Professor DAI and Mr. Brennan for a demonstration of interpreting teaching with the participation of students from the Conference Interpreting Programme.

The brief but successful visit of DG Doctor FINK-HOOIJER was a result of the great support by the leadership of the University and the thoughtful planning of GIIT. DG Doctor FINK-HOOIJER issued a letter of appreciation to SISU and GIIT upon her return to Brussels. It is hopeful that the two sides will further sustain the friendship and will deepen cooperation in more formats.

By WANG Yinying Photos courtesy of LU Haihong