Three questions with CIVICA Student Ambassadors Francesca Minetto and Júlia Cots Capell

Francesca Minetto (left) and Júlia Cots Capell at the Hertie School.

The PhD researcher and MPP student to represent the Hertie School in the European university alliance for second year in a row.

Current PhD researcher Francesca Minetto, from Italy, and second-year Master of Public Policy student Júlia Cots Capell, from Catalonia, Spain, were reappointed to represent the Hertie School in the ten-member university alliance as CIVICA Ambassadors for the Academic Year 2022/2023. As Student Ambassadors, they promote interaction and exchange within their communities, act as a first point of contact to CIVICA for their peers and initiate projects of their own. We spoke with Francesca and Júlia about their involvement with CIVICA, and what they are looking forward to as Student Ambassadors this year.

What does CIVICA mean to you?

Júlia: CIVICA represents an excellent opportunity to collaborate with students from other universities in developing policy solutions as direct users. It also means an incredible opportunity to learn directly from peers in a similar field of research but who develop it in a different context – something that can bring richness to my own research as well.

Francesca: CIVICA to me is an opportunity designed for inclusion, dialogue and knowledge-sharing. The raison d'être of the CIVICA alliance lies in the idea that current societal challenges are best researched and solved through collaboration, as well as confrontation, with others. The CIVICA network allows students, professors and researchers to gather along research interests and debate beyond the borders of one single university campus.

Francesca and Júlia were also the Hertie School's CIVICA Student Ambassadors from 2021-2022.

How is European cooperation relevant to your studies and interests?

Júlia: The coordination of social security systems and labour policies in Europe is one of my focuses of interest, as it is a relevant example of how countries have cooperated to develop national and international policies to facilitate workers’ international mobility and to improve their quality of life.

Francesca: Our societies are more interdependent than ever, and the need for collective action is so apparent. Strengthening cooperation in research means subjecting it to broader input and review, bursting bubbles of niche knowledge and making it more accessible to a wider audience. For us students and researchers, cooperation is very relevant for gaining more knowledge and building networks.

What kind of CIVICA initiatives are you interested in developing?

Júlia: I would like to make students aware of the benefits of CIVICA and take this idea online, too. Last year, we started to develop CIVICA Ambassadors' social networks on Instagram and LinkedIn and to post updates on issues related to CIVICA’s values and mission. It’s something I would like to continue.

Francesca: As one of the co-founders and managers of the FuturEU competition, I would like the competition to better reach out to all ten student communities and, with the help of CIVICA Student Ambassadors, further develop this important opportunity open to all students from the undergrad to PhD level.


Find out more information about the CIVICA Ambassadors programme and reach out to Júlia and Francesca if you want to support their mission.