On July 29-30, 2024, the Academics at Risk e.V. association hosted a “Network Meeting and Retreat,” drawing significant participation from the academic community. Over the course of the event, around eighty professors attended regularly, with daily visitors boosting the final day’s attendance to nearly 100.

Attendees expressed high satisfaction with the retreat, highlighting moments of deep emotional resonance. Several professors took the stage spontaneously to share their gratitude, reminiscing about how long it had been since they last wore a name badge and how much they had missed it. They reflected on how the event had rekindled their sense of identity as academics. Numerous appreciative messages were received following the event’s conclusion.

The first day of the program featured presentations by professors working at German universities. The opening session focused on prospects for academic careers, followed by discussions on career opportunities in industry. Participants explored the potential for startup projects within and outside academia. A subsequent presentation addressed artificial intelligence, its applications in academia, and ways academics can leverage this technology.

On the second day, the “How Did I Succeed?” session featured three successful professors who had relocated to Germany, completed their language and equivalence processes, and secured employment. They shared their experiences and answered questions from the audience. This was followed by a panel discussion on “Integration and Our Future in Germany,” featuring three distinguished professors. The discussion covered various pertinent issues, including the importance of integration and assimilation, and strategies to combat right-wing extremism and xenophobia through enhanced dialogue.

Coinciding with the anniversary of a beloved teacher’s passing, the 2023 A@R e.V. Prof. Dr. Haluk Savaş awards were presented. Awards included the Academic Freedom and Human Rights Award, the Incentive Award for Young Academics, and the Academic Publication Award. Notably, one of the award recipients was a former classmate of the late professor.

Later, disciplinary groups conducted workshops to discuss their specific agendas, which proved highly productive. The heads of these groups then presented their notes, proposals, and requests to the association’s management, who took these into consideration.

The event concluded with an interactive evaluation using the “Mentimeter” application, allowing participants to contribute feedback in real-time via their mobile phones.

The association extends its heartfelt gratitude to all contributors, organizers, and participants for making the event a success.