International Seminar "Human Development and Sustainability"

The 22 and 23 of May 2019 the International Seminar Human Development and Sustainability. Training of professional experts/researchers of development, coordinated by Prof. Alberto Giasanti, was held at the University of Milano Bicocca (Italy). The purpose of the Seminar was to explore the possibility of building an international system of research and training for development professionals involving universities, institutes and groups working on this topic and connected with significant experiences of territorial development in line with the Agenda 2030.

The objectives of this international system could be to:

  • disseminate, through various communication means, training experiences that attempt to build a culture of development in line with Agenda 2030.
  • organize exchanges of experiences, visits, internships, meetings and events to discuss sustainable development issues and the most effective ways to address them.
  • link training activities with experiences of territorial development that operate in accordance to the indications of Agenda 2030. These experiences would function as Laboratories of sustainable human development, involving students and professors through internships, research-intervention activities and other initiatives, to link territorial practices with the work of teachers and researchers.
  • to work together to produce guidelines for the training of professionals in sustainable development and international cooperation according to Agenda 2030.
  • to produce and select training documents with the contribution of groups already active in this field, in order to create a basic library for development practitioners and researchers.

The opening session started with the greetings of the Dean, Ms Cristina Messa, and of Prof. Giampaolo Nuvolati, Director of the Sociology Department, and with the speech of Prof. Enzo Mingione of the University Milano Bicocca.

The different sessions have been moderated by Gaetano Giunta, General-Secretary of the Fondazione Comunitaria di Messina, Aldo Dell'Ariccia, former Ambassador of the European Union, Ida Castiglioni and Ezio Marra, professors of the University of Milano Bicocca. The presentations by the participants of the International Doctorate in Sustainable Human Development of the University of Milano Bicocca, in collaboration with the Universities UNA of Argentina, UNISS of Cuba and UNAN-Nicaragua, were coordinated by Prof. Davide Diamantini. These addresses were particularly appreciated.

Professor Rolando Cordera Campos, Coordinator of the University Program of Studies (PUED) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, presented the experience of UNAM in the context of major development challenges in the country and at global level. Professor Dora Angela Hoyos, Director of the Postgraduate School in Territorial Development of the University of Antioquia, Medellín (Colombia) presented the experience of the University with its decentralized training activities in various areas of the territory.

The following experiences generated great interest:

  • the Bio-districts, presented by Giuseppe Orefice, Secretary-General of the INNER network and Cesare Zanasi, of the Department of Agri-Food Science and Technology, Bologna University and INNER scientific Committee;
  • the local economic development agencies presented by Giancarlo Canzanelli, coordinator of the ILSLEDA-KIP Network;
  • the initiatives underway in the Sulcis Iglesiente territory of Sardinia (Tarcisio Agus, President of the regional Geo-mining Park and Mauro Usai, Mayor of Iglesias);
  • the University Network for Sustainable Development (Matteo Colleoni) and the Renewable Energy Laboratory for a Sustainable Future (Maurizio Acciarri, Milano Bicocca University).

Ferruccio Ferrigni, Scientific Director of the European University Centre for Cultural Heritage in Ravello; Luciano Carrino, President of the KIP International School; Doriana Cucinelli, Professor of financial institutions economics at Bicocca University; Marco Morganti, Director of Banca Prossima; Sabina Siniscalchi, President Oxfam Italia; Massimiliano Tarantino, Secretary-general of the Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Foundation; Matilde Ferretto and Loredana Garlati, Professors at University of Milano Bicocca; Famiano Crucianelli, Co-president of the KIP International School and former undersecretary of Foreign Affairs; Osvaldo Romero, Professor at the University of Sancti Spíritus in Cuba, all contributed to the general reflection.

The participants considered the fact that in all countries of the world, thousands of national, regional and local public administrations spend their resources to meet the different needs of citizens; In this context the training of development professionals and workers is not always adequate to acknowledge and face the complexity of the tasks to be performed.

This reflection highlighted different themes on which to focus:

  • awareness about the current malfunctioning of societies, the factors that determine it and the imbalances that result from it;
  • information on the experiences of sustainable territorial development that are already being implemented in many countries of the world;
  • the rethinking of traditional disciplines and current techniques, developing a critical vision on their fragmented and self-referential approaches and valuing their contributions to the achievement of the Agenda 2030 goals;
  • the identification and dissemination of methodological, organizational and technological innovations consistent with the objectives and approaches set out in Agenda 2030.

In the conclusions there was a general consensus to continue building and expanding an international system of research and training on sustainable human development, with its territorial laboratories. It was also agreed to explore the possibility, suggested by Gustavo López Ospina, Co-Chair of the KIP International School and former UNESCO officer, of constructing this system as an UNESCO International Chair, managed by all partner organizations.

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