For Romanian speakers BIP is the onomatopoeic representation of a digitally produced call for attention from our smart phones. However, in English it may have numerous other meanings as, for example, Blended Intensive Programme. Which is a programme under the larger ERASMUS+ umbrella. A BIP is made up of “short, intensive programmes that use innovative ways of learning and teaching, including the use of online cooperation”.

The Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication in our university organized such a BIP aiming at improving academic communication with a focus on the latest developments in the digital age and networking. More details on the programme are here.

What I am going to highlight here, however, are the things that are not usually seen, but without which no programme can come into existence and also the interactions that go beyond the usual bureaucratic ticking of activities on an evaluation form.

What I mean is that beyond the institutions and departments involved there is usually an engine, a power force, to drive such programmes into existence, to make them happen in a meaningful way, to draw people together and show them the benefits of participating in such events. This power force is in this case Professor Laura Mureșan to whom we all have to be grateful for her extraordinary energy and commitment to make things come into being in professional and relevant ways to all the participants. Besides our university, the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, the organizer of the BIP, the following universities were partners in this BIP: University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain; University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland; University of Technology and Economics (UTH), Warsaw, Poland and University of Saints Cyril and Methodius in Trnava, Slovakia.

Some pictures from the event are here.

I was happy to be invited by Laura to share my experience of digital communication with the rest of the participants. I accepted and I almost immediately regretted it having seen the range of topics and expertise that the programme rallied during this week. And particularly since my presentation came after that of Professor Carmen Pérez-Llantada who offered us a state-of-the-art review of Digital Genres and Practices in which she gave us an accurate survey of the theoretical issues in the field as well as of the pedagogical implications that they incur.

Well, as it very often happens personal inputs, especially our anxieties and even struggles, are usually appreciated because they show we all have to deal with trial and error, impostor syndrome and almost nothing comes easy in research and in teaching. I therefore ended up being happy for participating in this worthwhile event, seeing my former colleagues and meeting new people. The joy of participation and listening to other researchers’ endeavours is so important to our own development. This is why I always like to learn about what happens in the world around me.

As very often in this type of situations I am amazed at the humility of the really great iconic figures of a field of study, such as applied linguistics, and the discipline and good conference manners that they have. Carmen Pérez-Llantada is such an extraordinary person who generously encourages people (young or not so young) to approach the field and to advance the construction of knowledge in our D VUCA-D times. It is both a great opportunity and a pleasure to listen to her sense making of a world that seems crazy, of the creative ways researchers generate and communicate knowledge, how they build new identities and how they evaluate research and pedagogical outputs. It is also a great learning experience to listen and reflect on the wise questions she raises.