The first such Declaration in Europe, the document gives expression to a set of underlying values, principles and commitments co-created with delegates from the UNIC European University of Post Industrial Transitions. A signing ceremony, involving university, municipality and civil society delegates, took place in Oulu, Finland on June 15th 2022. This Declaration indicates and makes highly visible our collective commitment to Engaged Research

Engaged Research is an overarching term that describes a wide range of comprehensive research approaches and methodologies that share a common interest in collaborative engagement ‘with’ and ‘within’ society. Fundamentally committed to academic freedom and the public good, Engaged Research aims to improve, understand, or investigate issues of public interest where societal partners are active collaborative participants in the research process.


Democratic Purpose

We believe that research, now more than ever, requires its application and endeavour to be rooted in the social and the ethical, so that it may assist in the collaborative solving of the societal challenges of our times. In our collective strategies and plans, we commit to promoting societal engagement, recognising that research mobility and collaboration across our universities and cities has this resolutely democratic purpose.

Caring for All People

We are committed to fostering equitable and agentic communities where all people are encouraged to participate as active members engaged in the shaping of flourishing, compassionate, enlightened societies and sustainable economies, informed by the power of research and evidence. Our responsibility is to developing people as ‘life-wide’ cooperative makers of the democratic communities in which they live and work.

Caring for Place

We recognise the importance of ‘emplacing’ research in local contexts through deep engagement with stakeholders over time. We will contribute to the resilience and renaissance of Europe’s post- industrial cities, regions and communities through actively prioritising and addressing urban challenges.

Caring for Our Planet

We believe that research plays a significant role in addressing almost all the grand challenges we face, from the existential threat of the climate crisis to the related issues of environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, global north/south disparity, systemic inequity, among others.

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