Thursady April 6


9.15_Opening Plenary

Domenico Schillaci


Gianfranco Rizzo

Councillor for Innovation and Energy
Municipality of Palermo

Maurizio Carta

Dean of the Polytechnic School

10.00_Urban Lab  

The speakers present innovative projects and ideas applicable in Palermo. The speeches last 10 minutes.

Mariana Brilhante



Mariana is a late co-founder of SPEAK, a social tech startup that connects migrants & refugees with locals through a language and culture exchange program. After spending her first working years in 4 different continents doing investment guides for developing economies, Mariana decided to do something that contributed to a positive change in the world, that was when she moved back to Portugal and joined IES Social Business School, where she helped companies to develop a strategy for sustainability. Mariana is also an MBA student at The Lisbon MBA.


SPEAK offers a service whereby anyone can learn a new language and culture and at the same time meet new people and build friendships. In 2015, 244 million people lived outside their country of origin. Migrants, such as refugees, expats, students and guest workers face many challenges when arriving to a new country: not being able to speak the language, being judged by the color of their skin, race or religion and not having a network of support. These problems lead to the social exclusion of the migrant population and in communities that are not cohesive and do not accept diversity. SPEAK aims to address some of these problems, facilitating the integration process, the knowledge exchange as well as the personal enrichment.

Emanuela Saporito



Emanuela is an architect and a community urban planner. She has studied citizens’ participation in collaborative urban practices since 2008, when she graduated in Architecture from the Polytechnic School of Turin. She pursued her research interest in the Doctoral School of Polytechnic of Milan, where she studied the relationship between civic initiatives and public decision-making processes, being also Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Kennedy School of Government. In 2013, together with Elena Carmagnani, she founded OrtiAlti, a social innovation project aimed at regenerating the urban environment by building community rooftop gardens. In 2015 Emanuela won the Women for Expo first prize and in 2016 she completed OrtiAlti’s pilot project. She is now professor of urban design at the Polytechnic School of Turin.


OrtiAlti was born as a direct experience of urban regeneration aimed at creating community hanging gardens as tools for physical, environmental and social regeneration of cities. The ortoalto has a dual nature: on one hand, it is a physical solution for the reuse and enhancement of urban areas, which integrates nature and architecture; at the same time it is a collaborative model of action, aimed at generating changes in urban resources management from a social innovation perspective. In 2016 OrtiAlti realised in Turin the first community hanging garden: Ortoalto Le Fonderie Ozanam. It is a hanging garden of 300 square meters available for the citizens: a physical and environmental intervention that is strictly linked to the social inclusion theme. The pilot project also represented an opportunity to initiate a reflection on local regulatory instruments, even at a municipal level, to foster a more sustainable and collaborative concept of urban development.

Marco Terranova



Marco is an architect and wood craftsman. His professional life is devoted to the practice of sustainability through projects, construction sites and training activities within Studiodeda, a multidisciplinary network of professionals and artisans. In 2012 he decided to start building with his own hands what he designs; using wood and natural materials. The focus shifts thus from the conventional construction site to a participated one. He coordinates sites in different parts of Italy and abroad: Sicily, Milan, Germany, France, Netherlands and Spain experiencing the transition from “learning by doing” to “design by doing”. Together with the Catalan association LEMUR he is developing a methodology to bring children at the center of regeneration processes in schools and urban spaces.


Recovering the ability to live in, to physically (re)build your own living space, the space where you express yourselves and build relationships. From children. From the transformation of learning spaces, school courtyards. Through an “analogue”, inclusive and collective process, where the whole community educates, including the district and its inhabitants. The school as a public space, porous and open to the city. The proposal consists of an organized path-inter-related process in consecutive phases, according to the principle of learning by doing, using the methodology of participatory design, body consciousness and living education. He starts by exploring the senses of educational spaces as a necessary condition for children’s overall well-being and of adults accompanying them. The tool consists in activating corporal conscience through the game. The body is put at the center of a reading, design, construction, living and vision process, recognizing its value as a source of information and intelligence, as an experience tool to realize needs and be aware of the influence of the characteristics of the surroundings, of criticalities and potentials. Project, construction and living returned to their collective dimension contributing to strengthen mutual bonds, sense of community and place identity.

Giacomo Crescenzi



Giacomo is an Italian social entrepreneur/artist. In 2009 he was selected for the United Nations Volunteer programme and he moved to Egypt, a place which has become a second home to him over the years. The events of 2011 and the growing passion for art inspired Giacomo to dedicate himself to the empowerment of creatives. In 2013 he co-founds AlQomrah with the idea of developing the creative talent and human capital of visual artists. Giacomo strongly believes that we can brake barriers by sustaining creative productions that preserve diversity, stimulate critical thinking and bridge differences between people and cultures.


Young entrepreneurs, artists and creatives in the broad sense of the term share a passion for innovation and a flavour for good quality work. Artists in particular are among the most hard working and ethically inspirational people. Artists are loyal to ideals of beauty and perseverance which make them a true engine for forward thinking to re-define styles, push barriers, bring people together around ideals and principles. Does art have the power to change one individual life? How can a community grow through art practices? why should we think of art as an approach to social change?

Luigi Piccirillo



Luigi was born 30 years ago in Isernia, Molise. He has a BA in Sociology, a MA in Euro-Mediterranean Cooperation and training in foreign trade and SROI. In 2012, together with his sister Sara and his uncle Gianni, decided to take action to tackle issues affecting his local community. In 2014 they started from Samex, a local currency system, that today has more than 600 members, more than 4 mln of euros in transactions and more than 7.000 operations. Samex was able to create an incredible relational capital so they decided to build on top of that with social innovation projects: CivES, a civic economy system, and WelfareInSamex, civic welfare model. He strongly believes in the exchange of social innovation good practices between local communities.


CivES aims to create the methodological, social, instrumental and procedural conditions to facilitate the interaction among the three pillars of the new civil welfare model (institutions, business community, third sector) in order to achieve five objectives: 1. promoting an economic development that is inclusive, supportive and socially sustainable by creating or strengthening the network of civic-oriented enterprises; 2. encouraging citizens to a proximity consume that is civically responsible and is able to generate a socially sustainable economic development and greater social cohesion; 3. stimulating and engaging the business community in the activity of co-creating a new civil welfare model; 4. designing and implementing innovative ways to find the financial resources necessary to build and sustain a civil welfare system through the use of civic crowdfunding platforms; 5. assist non-profits in their business growth and in their activity of protection of the territory and integration with the other pillars of the civil welfare.


Sara holds a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Economic of Development. Dissertation fieldwork in Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro oriented her academic and professional path towards the fight against urban poverty and socio-spatial segregation through inclusive planning, monitoring of urban policies and community engagement. She pursued her interest in Brussels, where she studied evidence-based urban policy-making, and in Rio de Janeiro, where she collaborated with Stanford University on the impact evaluation of the Agencia de Redes para a Juventude, an innovative organisation working with urban slum youth. In September, she will attend an MSc in Urbanisation and Development at the London School of Economics.


The proposal aims to fight poverty and youth unemployment, promoting the integration of young immigrants in the local community and urban regeneration. Inspired by the experience of Agencia de Redes para a Juventude in Rio de Janeiro, the idea is to create a training program and a stimulus to youth social entrepreneurship, to be implemented with local young people and immigrants living in slums. Participants are accompanied in creating projects based on their interests and skills, and capable at the same time to generate profit and meet the needs of the neighborhood under discussion. The stimulus to the multicultural dialogue and mutual learning among local youth and immigrants and the incentive to create ethnically mixed groups foster the emergence of innovative proposals, which will benefit from the variety of viewpoints and experiences of participants and promote development urban, economic and cultural. An external commission evaluates the proposals and selects the most valuable, whose execution is carried out through a micro-credit system and under the supervision of tutors. These proposals are also included in a digital platform, aimed at giving visibility to emerging social enterprises and acting as an intermediary with those who want to contribute as volunteers, experts or through private fundings.

11.30_Coffee Break

12.00_Urban Thinkers Session

After the speeches, there will be a moment for speakers and participants to discuss the ideas that emerged during the Urban Lab.
The debate is moderated by PUSH and Sara D’Agati [Repubblica].



Three workshops, inspired by the Global Service Jam format, to co-design the future of our city.
Participants (citizens, employees of the municipality and local stakeholders) work in groups with the aim of providing concrete solutions on the selected topics.
Attendance is free. The workshops will take place simultaneously, therefore you can take part in only one.

Roundtable #1 – Cultural and artistic heritage  

The purpose of the workshop is to focus on the lesser-known cultural heritage sites of the City of Palermo and showcase different and creative ways to raise awareness and valorize them.

Roundtable #2 – Community living  

The roundtable will focus on more collaborative approach on the issues of housing and service delivery for citizens in vibrant and diverse communities around the City of Palermo.

Roundtable #3 – Public spaces  

The roundtable will target participatory processes that will involve citizens and socio-economical actors in proposing creative and concrete solutions to regenerate and create a local identity in some selected public spaces.

15.00_Partner Group Sessions

Moment of discussion among the 16 World Urban Campaign partner groups.


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