Meet the ILS LEDA Team - Interview with Giancarlo Canzanelli, ILS LEDA President.

Let's meet Giancarlo Canzanelli, ILS LEDA President, in 3 questions about territorial economic development, about ILS LEDA organisation and its projects.

Q: Why the territorial development approach is crucial for the prosperity of territories?

A: TED – Territorial Economic Development, is a process that makes some of the outstanding goals of human activity, such as human dignity, wellbeing, social relationships more effective and efficient.
This is due to the simple fact the product of the human activity results from the combination of human capacity and the resource at disposal, and these
resources are locally determined.

It is certain in the current globalised world you can use a resource that is available in any place (for instance you can design and print a brochure, through on-line services), but at the end of the story the design is always procured by some physical human being, who is located in a certain place.
More this place is able to form these types of capacities, more is able to improve them through a system of collective learning, more it can respond to the either local or global demand.
This simple example recalls the two main added value of territory in the development: the proximity and the local resources.
The proximity is a accelerator of the collective learning process, that is the best way to resolve problems and difficulties related to the development, both in crisis situations and in normal situations, where the developmental engine is innovation.
In both cases the collective effort, realised through coordination and synergy, cross participation and share of common objectives, is the most solid base for a long term sustainable development.

Local resources, as they are historically determined in a certain place and not in other ones, are the real patrimony for enabling and maintaining local development.
If you compare the development results of areas where development determined by peculiar local resources (i.e. the Italian industrial districts; the Champagne province; the Silicon Valley etc), with areas where the development is based on external investment that had nothing to do with the revival of the context (and often it results just temporary, when it don’t damage the context) you can have your answer to the development issue.

Q: Why ILS LEDA? What are its strenghts?

  1. Because ILS LEDA is an organisation, able to combine economic, social and environmental issues, through an harmonic vision and implementation tools
  2. Because ILS LEDA has a thirty years expertise and unique tools for supporting local actors in their efforts for providing strategically addressed response to problems, such as poverty, inequality, exclusion of the most disadvantaged people, competitiveness, sustainability, migration, risk protection, micro and small enterprise development. These tools regard mainly the way to valorise the local resources, how to provide the services needed to the local development in a comprehensive mechanism, how to realise participatory governance institutions.
  3. Because of the aptitude of its experts to work for people and with people, considering any experience, as a collective learning experience, providing support with very flexible tool kit, and adapting it to the cultural, social and economic context
  4. Because ILS LEDA may count on a network of 55 local development agencies (LEDA) working in 15 countries of all the continents, either for their large experience to share, or for piloting innovative practices. It is worth to mention the majority of these LEDAs were created thanks to the support of the current ILS LEDA experts, since 1991.

Q: Can you mention a particularly interesting activity you are working on?

A: We are testing, through two undergoing projects, an innovative way to apply our tools at distance. This method, needed for facing the Covid19 constraints, could improve our efficiency also in normal periods at the end of the current crisis, wherever optimum combination of on the field and online modality activities may be used.
Other interesting activity is the effort made together with an important Ngo to combine our tool for assessing the endogenous potential and elaborating correspondent development strategies with their tool to assess the risk protection from shocking events and providing the appropriate response. It is an effort to a problem set by long time by the United Nations and other organisms on how to combine emergency and development.


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