“Digital Transformation of Cultural and Educational Institutions” | International Symposium “Slove Muscelene” | 14th edition, 14-15 July 2022

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The Romanian Academy of Scientists, through the Institute for Advanced Interdisciplinary Research “Constantin Angelescu” (ICAI), together with the institutional partners “Carol I” Central University Library, the National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics ICI Bucharest, the National Museum of Romanian Literature, the “George Barițiu” County Library of Brasov, the “Carol I” University Foundation and the DigiLib Muscel Association organized the 14th edition of the international symposium “Slove muscelene” with theme Digital transformation of institutions in culture and education.

The symposium “Slove muscelene”, initiated and organized by Prof. univ. dr. eng. Doina Banciu(Vice President of AOSR and Director General of ICAI) in 2009, has been held, since its debut, in Câmpulung Muscel, with the support of local authorities, and since 2021 in hybrid format, in the Aula of the Central University Library “Carol I” in Bucharest, this year benefiting from the online presence of several personalities from the country and abroad, guests from France, Croatia, Cyprus and Sweden.

Digital Transformation, between technology and human resources management

The official opening of the symposium took place on Thursday, 14 July 2022, at 10.00 am, in the Aula of the Central University Library “Carol I” in Bucharest, in the presence of academics, university professors, researchers, historians, directors of major libraries, who stressed the importance of Digital Transformation and analyzed the means to achieve it in Romania.

Ms Doina Banciu, Vice President of AOSR and Director General of ICAI, in her triple role as host, moderator and organiser, wanted to encourage specialists, researchers and younger people entering the multidisciplinary field of Digital Transformation to pay more attention to the management of human resources in this particularly challenging issue. As the human factor plays an important role in the success of digital transformation processes, public administration authorities, as well as the legislative power, together with academia and the private sector, must define a new social pact that places people at the heart of Digital Transformation. Digital Transformation needs to be understood and applied as a strategic component of human factor transformation management in organisations, first and foremost, and then as a technological, ICT component.

During the debates of the symposium “Slove muscelene” participated physically and online Miss Simona Bucura-Oprescu – MP, Chair of the Committee for Public Administration and Spatial Planning, Romanian Parliament, Mr. Dragoș Cristian Vlad – President, Authority for the Digitization of Romania, Prof. univ. dr. ing Tudor Prisecaru – Secretary of State, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitization, Academician Florin Gheorghe Filip – Romanian Academy, Prof. univ. dr. ing. Dumitru Popescu – President of the Information Science and Technology Section, Romanian Academy of Scientists, as well as officials from the Prefecture of Argeș, and other leading specialists.

AOSR President, Mr. Adrian Badea appreciated the importance of the initiative of Vice President Doina Banciu, who has dedicated no less than 14 years to a cultural event that started in Câmpulung Muscel and has become today an event with international reverberations, training professionals from several countries passionate about the phenomenon of Digital Transformation. President Badea reinforced the idea that AOSR is at the forefront of these paradigm shifts in the world of science and culture in Romania, as the work of the Academy he coordinates is focused on promoting the latest ideas in these areas of research and innovation. Moreover, AOSR has a special program dedicated to Digital Transformation, and this International Symposium is an integral part of AOSR’s vision of developing in the coming years the acceleration of the digitalization phenomenon in all fields of Romanian society.

D.na conf. Dr Mireille Rădoi, Director of the BCU, said at the opening of the symposium the importance of the topic under discussion, especially from the point of view of libraries that have to face the new institutional paradigms generated by the digital transformation.

The symposium also respected Romania’s traditional relations with France, so on the occasion of the celebration of France’s National Day (July 14) the book “Points de non-retour [Diagonale du vide], [Quais de Seine], [Thiaroye]” by the French author of Romanian origin Alexandra Badea was launched, published by L’Arche Publishing House, Paris, 2019.

The cultural event also included a unique exhibition of traditional Muscelian costumes, “Marama, an element of Muscel’s identity” by Elena Iagăr and Ion Tița-Nicolescu, including costumes from the personal collection of Mrs. Simona Bucura-Oprescu.

Officials from the Ministries of Education, Culture, Research, Innovation and Digitisation welcome the International Symposium

The select audience also benefited from the presence of officials from three key ministries particularly concerned by the Digital Transformation phenomenon, namely Mr. State Secretary Sorin Ion – Ministry of Education, Mr. Director Ioan Matei – Ministry of Culture, who also delivered messages to the relevant ministers. Mr. State Secretary Tudor Prisecaru, Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitisation and President of the Authority for the Digitisation of Romania, Mr. Dragoș Cristian Vlad expressed official views on the role of the institutions he coordinates in harmonising the digital transformation of the public sector in Romania.

Simona Bucura-Oprescu, a Member of Parliament from Muscel, gave a well documented presentation, coupled with a personal-affective involvement in the cultural phenomenon of the Muscel area, who presented the benefits of the Digital Transformation, which must be supported by an adequate legislative framework that the Romanian Parliament will provide in the next period. She stressed that the tradition of the Arges area has always been one of tolerance, of openness towards people, and the national costumes exhibited at the Symposium, some even from her personal collection, show the intellectual richness and strength of character of the local people.

Mister. Secretary of State Sorin Ion declared himself a supporter and promoter of digital transformation in the education system, together with the leadership of the Ministry of Education of which he is a member, evoking the steps taken in the last three years since the acceleration of digitization, caused by the Covid 19 pandemic, in the field of education has created multiple positive experiences in the new direction of the e-learning phenomenon and “remote” education, from anywhere through digital systems.

In turn, Mr. State Secretary Tudor Prisecaru (MCID) evoked the international personalities who have their roots in Câmpulung Muscel, as well as the research elements that must underpin the digital transformation. The Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitisation, a new structure created not many years ago, could be the policy vector for the development of this new phenomenon of Digital Transformation. Both the Government and the EU have earmarked a number of funds for Digital Transformation, which must be targeted in projects to be submitted by public institutions of national public interest.

The President of the RDA, Mr. Dragoș Cristian Vlad, says that the institution he heads is at the heart of Digital Transformation in all public institutions, including libraries and other cultural institutions, and that the NRRP can create a suitable framework for both broadly useful projects and individual institutions. The new team at the RDA, also formed following recent competitions, has all the assets to ensure that the RDA’s mission is carried out successfully in the coming years, with particular emphasis on libraries being at the heart of the Digital Transformation phenomenon.

Professor Soulla Louca, Director of the Institute For the Future, University of Nicosia, from Cyprus had a very interesting and informationally consistent intervention proving that the current directions in Digital Transformation must also be based on the new strategic directions represented by blockchain, data mining and must pay particular attention to both the phenomenon of artificial intelligence and also that of cyber security, so challenging especially in the last three years.

A first book launch for Romania

The first day of the symposium at BCU also saw the Romanian premiere of three books by French-language author Alexandra Badea. The launch benefited from the presentation of three leading professionals: Prof. Liviu Lucaci, Rector of the University of Theatre and Cinema Arts Bucharest, Prof. Ioan Cristescu, Director of the National Museum of Romanian Literature and cultural diplomat Mohamed Ketata, Regional Director – Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie – Central & Eastern Europe Regional. Mister. Ketata was keen to note that Romanian playwright Alexandra Badea’s trilogy captures and enhances an important element of many French people’s existence, including her family history, the sense of identity. The documentary maker is driven by the desire to recover and as far as possible repair memories. Born in 1980, Alexandra Badea is a Romanian-born French author, director, playwright and actress whose plays, like her first novel, Zone d’amour Prioritaire, are published by L’Arche – a renowned French publishing house created in 1949 by Robert Voisin. The publishing house aims to familiarise a broad public with the fields reserved for specialists, such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, aesthetics and theatre.

UATC’s rector, Liviu Lucaciu, pointed out the personality of the author, whom he has known for at least 20 years through collaborations with Romanian theatres, underlining the director’s presence in the activity of the National Theatre of Bucharest, as well as her successes at international level, in her triple capacity as playwright, scriptwriter and even actor in her own plays.

Following the launch, the director of MNLR, Ioan Cristescu, wanted to point out that such artistic works should also be translated into Romanian, because they are important elements in the cultural links between nations and undoubtedly contribute to tolerance towards other peoples from different geographical areas.

Online conference of scientific communications – the digital dimension of quality content

The 15th of July was exclusively dedicated to scientific communications by the following specialists:
Conf. Mireille Rădoi – Academy of Economic Studies of Bucharest, Director General of the Central University Library “Carol I” | The new wave of libraries 2.0;

Ionuț Petre – National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics ICI Bucharest | Digital transformation of institutions in the context of the information society;

– Prof. univ. Dr.eng. Larisa Ivașcu, Director of the Engineering and Management Research Centre, Polytechnic University of Timisoara | The importance of digitalization in technical universities;

– Monica Barbu, Dragoș Cătălin Barbu, Dragoș Iordache – National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics ICI Bucharest | Standardization and interoperability – key elements of digital transformation;

– Dr. Arja Mäntykanyas – Senior Lecturer University of Borås, Sweden | Unique expertise in digital transformation;

Radu Marius Boncea, Carmen Rotună – National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics ICI Bucharest | Technologies supporting the future digital economy;

– Alexandru Gheorghiță – National Institute for Research and Development in Computer Science ICI Bucharest | Event-driven distributed computing architectures;

– Ionuț-Eugen Sandu, Mihail Dumitrache – National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics ICI Bucharest | The impact of the digital transformation on internet domains at national and international level;

– Alexandru Georgescu, Carmen Elena Cîrnu – National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics ICI Bucharest | Resilience in the era of cross-border interdependencies;

Prof. Dr. Sorin Ivan, Director “Tribuna Învățământului” | Tribuna Învățământului” – a space for innovative ideas for education in Romania;

Finally, Dr. Arja Mäntykanyas – Senior Lecturer University of Borås, Sweden professionally highlighted the Swedish model of Digital Transformation in cultural institutions and in the Swedish education system, one of the best performing in Europe and in the world. It focused on new concepts such as Digital Humanities and Multiple Working Places, which have already changed the paradigm in the field of education, but also of distance work through the phenomenon of virtualization, online and video communication.

Mohamed Ketata, Directeur Régional – Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie – Europe Centrale & Orientale Regional, appreciated the importance of the Symposium and declared that his institution supports the efforts of cultural and educational institutions to modernise and cooperate at international level.

The papers presented in the plenary session of the Symposium will be published in a printed volume, with abstracts in English and French, followed by a presentation of the Muscel area and its development prospects.