HISTORY OF THE ASSOCIATION
Hikma originated from an idea, an ambition, and a necessity.
The idea was to organize a Summit of International Politics, an opportunity for the students to meet experts and explore with them the topics we deal with in our degree programme. We also had the ambition to make this event a national benchmark, that stands out for the excellent quality of the speakers and the contents. This emerged from the necessity to integrate the italian academic method, combining the Alma Mater Studiorum's great quality of education with a concrete project, thought and realized entirely by students, that would allow them to put into practice what they study and test their competences.
The project began in February 2019, when the two founders Francesco Nobili e Federico Martelli had the occasion to take part to Warwick Economic Summit. They immediately had the idea to propose the same format in the Campus of Forlì, the heart of international studies at the faculty of Political Science in the University of Bologna, the perfect place to host a Festival of international relations.
Federico and Francesco decided to implement this idea, so they started to take their first steps into University of Bologna to understand what procedures they had to go into to realize their project.
After a useful discussion with the professors of the Campus of Forlì, it became clear that Alma Mater Studiorium, a well-known University, could not invest resources a priori in an abstract idea, seen by the administration as a dream that could become reality just if the people working on the project had the right amount of reliability and competence. Once they proved they had these characteristics, and the determination to put them into practice, they gained full support of the Athenaeum.
To involve other students, the two founders decided to demonstrate their commitment first, so the 13th of May 2019, with the support of the association Koinè, they organized their first conference: “Central Asia in the international arena” that hosted the ambassador Stefano Ravagnan and the professor Stefano Bianchini.
After this first event, Hikma grew into a team that included the more motivated students of Forlì. Moreover, Mr. Bianchini is constantly supporting us since then, and we have the honor to call him, one of the most important professors of our University, our supervisor.
Hikma was initially composed by 8 people, and we immediately started working on the Summit, our ultimate goal, that defines the nature of our associations. However, we knew we had to move forward step by step. In fact, it cannot be taken for granted that a group of students, even if every member is highly motivated, has the ability to face such a challenge. We needed to test ourselves. That's the reason why we decided to plan the Academy of International Politics, on the 27th September 2019, to confront ourselves with the organization of a complete and complex event, consolidate our team, and to find out weather the students and the professors were interested in this kind of activities or not. The event has been a success, more than 700 students took part to the 4 conferences and, during the lunch, they had a chance to have a horizontal comparison with the speakers. The Academy of International Politics was a watershed in the history of our association, that confirmed us the skills of our work team. Since then, we never questioned again the concrete possibility to make the Summit. From September 2019, our journey constantly improved. To make big things we needed a big team, so we opened our doors to other people so they could join us. Hikma gave itself a branched out structure and hierarchical. The founders became coordinators, and created the various teams, each of them led by a team leader. November was a month of growth for Hikma. Not only we welcomed new force, becoming a group of 40 working people, but also we have matured and we estabilished as a cultural association. The formalization of the status of a student association took place with the registration in the Register of the associations recognised by the University of Bologna.
The commitment of every team to the making of the Summit developed simultaneously to our willingness to keep active in our Campus in the meantime. Therefore, on one hand we estabilished the name of the Summit and the topics to be addressed, and we obtained a Scientific Council composed by distinguished teachers of Political Science in our University, on the other hand we organized two events where we had the chance to listen to great experts analyzing fundamental international news. On 12 November 2019 we arranged a two-voice debate, where Sir Michael Leigh, Johns Hopkins University Professor and former Enlargement Director-General of the European Commission, and Gabriele Pastrello, economist, essayist and professor at University of Trieste, analysed the complex phenomenum of Brexit, and cleared the student's doubts. The winter season ended with a special meeting with Lucio Caracciolo, expert of geopolitics and director of the monthly Limes. The knowledge and energy of Doctor Caracciolo made the 5th of December an unforgettable day. We were lucky enough to offer our best students a meet the speaker with him, interview him ourselves, and explore with him the current geopolitical role of the European Continent.
2020 has started with many positive signs for Hikma. We finally defined the Summit Programme, we obtained professors from the most eminent universities and former Heads of State, we strengthen the relationship with the City of Forlì and other realities on the ground. In particular, the Centro Studi Melandri of Doctor Raffaele Schiavo. The Centro Studi, is an institution operating in the city area, and, thanks to it, Hikma was able to came into contact with other important subjects in Forlì, like the Circolo della Scranna, who bet on a young, energetic and promising project like Hikma Summit of International Relations.
In the meantime, an important italian publishing house, Il Mulino, and local buisness like Serinar and Studio 69 decided to invest in the Summit, reinforcing the University's economic support, and therefore guaranteeing us a full coverage to realise the event.
On 20 Febbruary 2020 we opened up the summer semester with a World Cafe, held by the Alma Mater Studiorum's Professor Rodolfo Lewanski. The cafè, an interactive workshop used as participatory model in many countries, was a further demonstration of our belief that confrontation and interaction are the key to make events that are not only lectures, but real academic dialogues.
In the end of February Hikma, together with the most responsible national and international organizations, decided to reconsider its plans. In accordance with ministerial guidelines, we suspended all the events we planned for March and April 2020. Unfortunately, we had to postpone the Hikma Summit of International Relations, that will be in September 2020, entirely virtually.