Second UPSKILLS Multiplier Event in Switzerland

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General Details

The event is hosted by the UPSKILLS Movetia teams, the University of Geneva (Margherita Pallottino, Genoveva Puskas) & the University of Zurich (Tanja Samardžić, Marie Berthouzoz). The event is under the sponsorship of CLARIN-CH. Contact details: and
Date: 21-22 Aprile 2023
Venue: University of Geneva


The Geneva multiplier event is the second event organized in Switzerland by the UPSKILLS project. Its goal is to bring together members of academia and companies across Switzerland to work on improving employability of language and linguistics students.
Many companies, including technology giants, work with language data and the demand for research skills in language-related domains is constantly growing. Language and Linguistics students, however, are generally excluded from this lively job market due to the fact that the relevant University curricula do not provide adequate formation in a narrow range of technical domains. After the identification of these gaps in the educational system, the UPSKILLS project created an open source repository of didactic material designed to bridge the mismatch between what the job market needs and what is currently offered to Language and Linguistics students.

The event will present the needs analysis that led to the planification and design of the didactic material and an overview of the contents and games created by UPSKILLS consortium. The event will revolve around several social moments to favor informal exchanges between guests from the industry world and the academic community.


The application is free of charge and is now available here. Kindly note that there are limited places for on-site participation and, therefore, a selection might need to be done among the applicants.


21 April 2023

13:00 – 14:00   Registration (University of Geneva, building TBA)

14:00 – 15:15   Welcome session

Presentation of the Upskills Project and of the program of the event, by Genoveva Puskas and Margherita Pallottino, University of Geneva.

Presentation of the needs analysis: language, technology and the future of linguistic professions, by Tanja Samardžić, University of Zurich.

15:15 – 15:45   Coffee break

15:45 – 17:15   Serious Games: talks and activities

The DSI gaming at the University of Zurich, by Hiloko Kato.

An UPSKILLS re-adaptation of 'Lives in Transit', by Lela Feiner.

Be serious, let’s play! A hands-on didactic activity, by Margherita Pallottino, Marie Berthouzoz and Tanja Smardžić.

17:15 – 17:30   Coffee break

17:30  18:30   Talk 'Breaking into industry with a non-STEM degree', by Caterina Bonan.

19:00   Social dinner (the venue will be announced at the meeting)

22 April 2023

08:30 – 09:00   Introduction to the UPSKILLS learning material and how to use it, by Genoveva Puskas, University of Geneva.

09:00 – 10:00   Presentation of the learning blocks 1/2

'Start programming with Python in 10 steps', by Marie Berthouzoz, University of Zurich.

'Collecting data from human participants', by Marko Simonovich, University of Graz.

10:00  10:30   Coffee break

10:30 – 11:30   Presentation of the learning blocks 2/2

'The essence of machine learning for linguists in tech', by Marie Berthouzoz, University of Zurich.

'Upskilling your Introduction to Language variation course', by Margherita Pallottino, University of Geneva.

11:30 – 12:30   CLARIN @UPSKILLS, by Cristina Grisot from CLARIN-CH and Iulianna Van der Lek from CLARIN-EU.

12:30 – 13:30   Lunch break

13:30 – 14:30   Talk  'From theoretical linguistics to ML engineering', by Aleksandra Vercauteren, Head of , METAMAZE.

14:30 – 15:30   Round table: What does it take to work in tech today?

Participants: Effi Georgala, Manager II NLP Research at Nuance Communications; Janine Aeberhard, Linguistic Director, TextShuttle; Lonneke Van der Plas, Group Leader at IDIAP, Associate Professor at UM.

Moderator: Caterina Bonan

15:30 – 16:00   Chats and goodbyes