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 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 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 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 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.
Iris is a water expert, coordinator and advisor of various international projects at Arcadis. She is specialized in water management and urban development. As representative of the Shelter program – the partnership of UN-Habitat with Arcadis – she is organizing over 20 seminars and workshops per year worldwide focused on urban sustainability. Graduated in international relations from both the University of Oxford and the University of Amsterdam, Iris brings people and parties together to combine different interests of stakeholders in order to find sustainable urban solutions.
In many places in the world water provides the identity of cities. A combination of an attractive urban design and its functionality, such as flood protection or water retention, is key for projects in cities. Examples will be given of urban water projects worldwide, such as the waterfront project in New York and the multipurpose flood protection and water retention projects in the Netherlands.
Amit is the manager of The Library, Tel Aviv Municipality’s co-working space for urban innovation, part of the Young-Adults Unit. Amit holds a B.A. in political science, with a specialty in economics and philosophy, from Tel Aviv University. Prior to managing The Library, Amit was the coordinator of Active Citizenship and Social Innovation in the Municipality’s Young-Adults Unit, and before that, was part of the team who founded MAOZ, a non-profit organization for training and empowering senior managers and leaders in the Israeli public sector. Amit is also a board member in the IAF Alumni organization.
Ranked one of the world’s leading innovative cities, Tel Aviv is at the heart of the global startup scene. Through its vast resources, top talent, highest level of venture capital per capita and non-stop culture, Tel Aviv is the place to be to create the next big project. At 2011, long before WeWork was even dreamed of, Tel Aviv – Yafo Municipality established The Library, a co-working space for the Tel Aviv startup community inside a traditional public library. The Library provides a co-working space and facilities for teams dedicated to developing Internet startups and technology companies. Amit’s speech will be about how the idea of The Library was born, basic model of operation, the challenges of operating a municipal space in the monthly-changing and highly competitive market in Tel Aviv, and about new platform created by the municipality to support the local ecosystem.
Angelica is an architect and a farmer. In 2013 she got a degree in architecture at the University of Palermo. Now she works at the Agnello & Associati firm and as a farmer in Menfi where she owns a small farm. In 2015 she founded, together with group of friends, the social cooperative Orto Capovolto, where she is currently the Director, with the aim of transforming the city through urban agriculture.
The future Palermo is a city that considers ”common gardens” as opportunities for economic, social and environmental sustainability: an “Edible City” where the waste cycle plays a key role in triggering best practices and processes of active citizenship, improving the quality of life. The idea, then, is to change the face of Palermo by cultivating it and allowing people to do so everywhere (from balconies to roofs of buildings, abandoned lands, dismissed railway lines, abandoned and occupied factories): so that we can achieve, over the decades, increasing food self-sufficiency and also the opportunity to create community composting areas, plus a municipal composting system that fosters a virtuous circle. These would allow indeed not only to reuse waste materials derived from food products and from pruning (avoiding waste), but also to decrease the waste to be disposed of and to produce electricity. The project, therefore, beyond a Regulation on gardens in cities, includes: on one hand, the creation of a municipal composting system that, through recycling, allows to create a certificate and branded product to sell in Sicily, promoting territorial marketing actions; on the other hand, the implementation of community composting sites, able to trigger tax relief and incentive systems for citizens who actively participate in the process.
Graduated in international relations and communication Stefania has lived always between Italy and Germany. After an extensive experience as an intern in newsrooms and foundations working in cultural programming, she started working in the marketing and communication department of a small business in the agri-food sector. Two years ago she had a baby, Andrea, and she decided to quit her job to be a full-time mum. From then, she started elaborating strategies for a more sustainable daily life.
Bycircle is a bike sharing network offered by private companies that use bikes as billboards (with custom bikes for each sponsor). The bicycles of the Bycircle circuit are completely available and free. They are not tied with a padlock or to a parking stall but located everywhere. Who use the bikes must not return them to the starting point and not even need to register (no need to own a credit card). They are, however, equipped with GPS and an alarm system in order to find out when they are no longer on the road. This system allows you to eliminate all barriers to entry and prevent any theft. Changing the behaviour of individuals who move is the heart of sustainable mobility policies. Several studies point out that once you try a transport sharing system you are more likely to use this kind of systems in the future. The goal is to encourage private companies to turn their advertising investment into a service available for the community. Bycircle does not just provide visibility to their customers through the bikes but it also designs events and interventions aimed to support the sharing process and environmental sustainability.
Abdulrahman is the co-founder and CEO of Axeer Studio, a media production house that focuses on empowering filmmakers and creating audiovisual content that highlights societal problems. Founding Axeer Studio was a paradigm shift in his life, his strong belief in the role of media is what made him decide to shift his career from a materials science engineer to his current role in the media industry. In 2016, after over 3 years of experience in visual communication and as a part of their plan to increase their impact and work in the field of education, Abdul along with his business partners, co-founded a subsidiary company from Axeer called Giraffics Ltd.. Taking information design to the next level, Giraffics produces animated videos that uniquely present information in an efficient and effective manner.
Media is powerful, media can change societies, it can empower them and it can take away this power. It can spread love, but also it can spread hate. How we changed the state of music and media in Egypt, how music and media helped in shaping a better society and is trying to shape a better future for our country. How can we empower musicians and filmmakers to create a good content, a content that raises awareness, highlight societal problems and enriches communities?
Architect and freelance professional, he found in the Social Housing issue the main focus of his professional and cultural career. Starting from the pure architectural composition, now he deals with the economic sustainability of processes, by focusing on the development of financial instruments of real estate funds, and also with social sustainability, by experimenting innovative solutions on living and community territorial aggregation processes. His heterogeneous skills allowed him to coordinate working groups for complex interventions affecting the spatial development of several Italian small towns and the enhancement of local communities and their social and cultural heritage.
Organizing territories starting from the inhabitants. This is the real sense of regeneration actions in contemporary cities where residents are the protagonists of their lifestyle and of local development. Regeneration starting not really from the physical part of cities, from their buildings and infrastructures, but from the intangible relations between residents, the community of inhabitants, called to start businesses together on their territory. Agenzia per l’Abitare is the name of the tool that transforms, in the neighborhoods of large cities but also in small towns, residents from users to actors, from users to entrepreneurs, in a virtuous role reversal.
After graduating in strategic marketing, Sandro got a master in management and training of staff and one in digital marketing. He has an extensive professional experience in marketing and communication at national and international level in various sectors: finance, luxury, food & beverage and ICT. In 2010, along with two dear friends, Elisa and Emanuele, he founded Mostrami, a large collective of young artists aimed at promoting young contemporary art as social and cultural progress factor. Recently he has also launched Sicily and Sicilians, a portal dedicated to the enhancement of Sicilian excellences through the development of young contemporary art; in mid-May, there will be the project kick-off in Palermo.
Richard is a master of mentoring social entrepreneurs and advising them how to grow and develop their ventures in hard places. He founded Katarsis Ventures in 2011 to become the change maker’s change maker. Increasingly the company demonstrates to others that it is possible to nurture innovation, enable enterprise and pipeline investment in hard places. Richard works in partnership with PUSH as an advisory board member.
He studied piano at the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano, in Vienna and later on at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory. For several years he conducted an intense concert activity and recording of contemporary music and a repertoire of rarities. He stopped his pianistic activity in 2001 and is now dedicated completely to the artistic direction field and TV production. Peter Paul was the artistic director of the contemporary music festival KLANGSPUREN (2001 – 2012) and he is founder and artistic director of TRANSART FESTIVAL, artistic director of the Foundation International Piano Competition Ferruccio Busoni and Deputy director of the International Foundation MANIFESTA. As the president of the small TV production company Mediaart production coop he is responsible for several art and music documentaries.
Manifesta aims to constantly reinvent its own exhibition model by its nomadic format. Manifesta 11 in Zurich was spread out over joint-ventures with participatory artistic projects, while Manifesta 12 will focus on Europe’s Southern urban centres and issues related to migration and climate change. Peter Paul started as Head of Production in 2008 for Manifesta 7 and has been Deputy Director in Manifesta since 2014. His keynote speech for the Urban Thinkers Campus will focus on the role that intercultural management plays in starting up a Biennial in a new host city. He will trace the process of start-up and development and look at the possible impact on the urban environment for both the biennials Manifesta 11 and Manifesta 12.
Tobias Kettner, political scientist by profession, is Outreach and Liaison Officer in UN-Habitat’s Brussels office. He works on the follow up and outreach of the New Urban Agenda, the world’s vision on urbanisation, adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III. Before, he was in charge of the online communication channels of UN-Habitat at its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.
Daniela was born in Milan and grew up between Milan, Paris and New York, studying international business and public health. When she came back to Europe she began her career in the advertising business, following major international campaigns as producer (Ford, Coca Cola, Barilla, Enel) and, at the age of 29, she became partner of one of the most important Italian production houses. In 2001 she decided to start her own business and founded hfilms, a production house specialized in advertising, documentaries and integrated communication projects. She is also founder of H+, the first agency that focus uniquely on cultural and cooperation strategies between public and private sector.
BASE Milano is a new 12.000 sq m space in Milan dedicated to innovation and cultural contamination that hosts a co-working area, workshops, exhibits, shows and lectures. BASE is also a creative community hub whose objective is to nurture the relationship between culture and business, future and everyday life, between democracy, well-being and knowledge economy, between social innovation and development. This project demonstrated how a cultural redefinition can become a catalyst for individual and collective socio-economic progress and can foster a society capable of offering contemporary answers to old and new questions. The project will focus on how the city’s heritage can be transformed into an opportunity through the combination of three main factors: the growth of new formats of cultural production and consumption; a virtuous relationship between the public and the private sector; a winning intersection of top-down and bottom-up processes.
Ignazio is an associate Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Palermo. As researcher and consultant he deals with urban policy, local development, strategic planning. On this topic he has published around 110 works, including books, book chapters and journal articles. He’s also member of the governing board of the European Urban Research Association.
Over the last decade, many national and international stakeholders have claimed the need for a new urban agenda. This list includes governmental supranational authorities, such as the UN and the EU, non-governmental actors, cultural foundations, international think tanks, but also global corporations with specific interests in the urban economies. All these efforts have in common the recognition of cities as the epicentre of global development and the vision of the current century as a new urban age. With this process in the background, the intervention wishes to question whether these different agendas are able to meet the irreducible diversity of cities, to which kind of city we need to refer in understanding urban change and which might the role of public policy in meeting the emerging needs of citizens.