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Creative Cities 2014 Workshop

The Monash University Prato Centre and Pratofutura are organising an international workshop which will bring together UNESCO experts and local representatives to discuss Prato as Creative City.

Themed areas include:

  • Textiles, Fashion and Design
  • Urban regeneration
  • The role of Prato's universities in developing a creative economy
  • Integration

The workshop will run from 2pm-7pm. See program below or download a copy of the program.

The workshop is open to the public. To participate, simply register here.

The organisers would like to thank the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Prato for generously funding the event and the Comune di Prato and Provincia di Prato for giving their patronage.

The workshop will be conducted in English and Italian. A simultaneous translation service will be provided.



2.00pm - 2.30pm
14.00 - 14.30

Welcome and introductions
Saluti e presentazioni
  Councillor for Economic Development
Assessore allo Sviluppo Economico
Daniela Toccafondi
  President of the Province of Prato
Presidente della Provincia di Prato
Lamberto Gestri
  President of Pratofutura
Presidente di Pratofutura
Maurizio Sarti
  Manager, Monash University Prato Centre
Manager del Monash University Prato Centre


Cathy Crupi
2.30pm - 4.00pm
14.30 -16.00


Session 1: What next for the Creative City?
Prima sessione: La città creativa: qual è il prossimo passo?


Session moderator

Justin O’Connor
  The Creative City?
La Città Creativa?
Justin O'Connor

Introducing the Creative Cities Network
Scopi e attività del Creative Cities Network

Andy Pratt
  Cities of Culture in Europe
Città della Cultura in Europa
Tom Fleming
  Cultural and Sustainable Cities
Città della Cultura e Città Sostenibili
Antoine Guibert

Creative Cities in Latin America
Città Creative in America Latina

Anna Carla Fonseca
4.00pm - 4.30pm
16.00 - 16.30
Coffee break  
4.30pm - 6.00pm
16.30 - 18.00


Session 2: Prato as Creative City
Seconda sessione: Prato come Città Creativa


  Session moderator
Paolo Marcesini

Textiles, Fashion and Design: an historical opportunity for Prato’s future
Tessile, Moda e Design: un’opportunità storica per il futuro di Prato

Maurizio Sarti


Project CREATE: creativity and innovation service for the textile and fashion sector
Il progetto CREATE: creatività ed innovazione al servizio del settore tessile e moda

Filippo Giabbani
(Toscana Promozione)


Urban regeneration
Rigenerazione urbana

Marzia de Marzi
(Palazzo delle Professioni)


The role of Prato’s universities in developing a creative economy
Il ruolo delle università di Prato nello sviluppo di un’economia creativa

Enrico Banchelli
(Pin - Polo Universitario Città di Prato)


New prospectives for integration: current projects

Nuove prospettive di integrazione: progetti in corso

Cristina Pezzoli & Shi Yang (Spazio Compost)



Panel response and debate
led by
Silvia Costa, European Parliamentary Member

Dibattito e conclusioni
eseguita da Silvia Costa, membro del Parlamento europeo


Conclusions and invitation to associated event
Francesco Pandolfini, President, Consortium for the Preservation and Promotion of Prato Biscuits

Conclusioni e invito all’evento associato a cura di
Francesco Pandolfini, Presidente Consorzio di Tutela e Valorizzazione dei Biscotti di Prato


Reception on the terrace of Monash Prato Centre
Rinfresco sulla terrazza del Monash Prato Centre


Associated event
Evento associato


Un Filo Dolce Estate
book launch and degustation of Prato’s award-winning biscuits, from tradition to innovation

presentazione anteprima del libro e degustazione dei biscotti di Prato, dalla tradizione all’innovazione


Giardino di Palazzo Banci Buonamici

Organisers                                                                              Sponsor                                        Patronage

Supporters                                            Collaborators

Speaker profiles

Session 1: What next for the Creative City?

Justin O’Connor (Monash University): Professor Justin O’Connor's career has included appointments at various universities in the UK, China, and Australia. Currently he is Professor of Communications and Cultural Economy at Monash University, Melbourne, where he has just completed an ARC linkage project, Creative Clusters, Soft Infrastructure and New Media: Developing Capacity in China and Australia. He is also a partner on a new ARC linkage project (led by Ade Frankin at Utas) looking at the social, cultural and economic effects of MONA on Hobart, Tasmania. Professor O'Connor has published over 100 books, papers, chapters and reports in the field of cultural and creative industries, arts and cultural policy, urban cultures and popular music. He is currently finishing a book for Sage, After Creative Industries; is working on a joint book on Cultural Economy in the New Shanghai (Routledge); and co-editing The Routledge Companion to the Cultural Industries.
He is currently one of 20 international experts appointed under the UNESCO/EU Technical Assistance Programme in support of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. He is also convenor of the Cultural Economy Network, currently supported by Monash and Shanghai Jiaotong University. Justin is a Director of Renew Australia, an agency dedicated to opening up urban space for creative use.


Andy C Pratt (UK): Andy is an internationally acclaimed expert on the topic of the cultural industries. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. He has held academic appointments at University College London (Bartlett School of Planning) and LSE (Geography, and Urban Research Centre), King’s College, London (Culture, Media and Creative Industries). He joined City University as Professor of Cultural Economy in 2013. He has published over 100 items: books, chapters and articles. More info and downloads of papers:
Andy specialises in the analysis of the cultural industries in the US, Europe and Japan. This research has two strands. The first focuses on the urban spatial clustering of cultural industries; he is particularly interested in the social and economic dynamics of clustering. The second strand concerns the definition and measurement of employment in the cultural, or creative, industries. He has developed definitions of the cultural sector that are used as standard measures by UNCTAD and UNESCO. He also acts as assessor for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.


Tom Fleming (UK): Dr Tom Fleming is a consultant and academic specialising in research and support for the cultural and Creative Industries sector at all levels, plus on broader issues of culture and creativity for cities and regions.
Key areas of specialism include Creative Industries investment, local and regional Creative Industries strategies, cluster development, detailed mapping, cultural planning, and establishing targeted support mechanisms for the Creative Industries sector that include approaches to finance, investment, business advice, skills/training, property feasibility, and network and supply chain development.
He has worked with city governments in Europe, Africa, Russia and East Asia. A particular specialism is the European City of Culture program, about which he has advised many cities on budding and implementation.


Antoine Guibert (Canada): Antoine Guibert is consultant in cultural policies and sustainable development. He specialises in the links between culture and sustainable development and in cross-cultural policies, particularly in the field of land planning and local development.
He works since several years with the Quebec government (Canada) on the Agenda 21 for culture of Quebec, and with local and governmental organisations (Cities, NGOs, university, etc.) in cross-cultural polices, Agendas 21 for culture and cultural land planning. He also works with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) as an expert for the implementation of the new Agenda 21 for culture and as a facilitator for the International Award UCLG - MEXICO City - Culture 21.


Anna Carla Fonseca (Brazil): Anna Carla Fonseca is a public manager from Fundação Getulio Vargas in São Paulo; Economist; founding-partner of Garimpo de Soluções (Mine of Solutions).
Author and Editor: Creative City Perspectives (2009)
Producer of a documentary on creative cities in Latin and Sampa CriAtiva, an urban intelligence project developed for the Federation of Commerce in São Paulo, aiming to improve creativity bottom-up in the city.


Session 2: Prato as Creative City


Maurizio Sarti (PratoFutura): Maurizio Sarti has a degree in Management from the University of Florence; he is an entrepreneur in the textile sector and board member of “Lanificio Faliero Sarti spa”, legendary firm within the Prato textile district, founded in 1944 ( Maurizio is President of Pratofutura since 2012; Vice-Presidente of the Pratotrade consortium, an export consortium that brings together the most qualified firms in the production of textiles and that every year organises trade fairs. Maurizio is also Ambassador for the Prato textile district for Pratotrade; Member of the management board of Confindustria Prato since 2013.


Filippo Giabbani (Toscana Promozione): Filippo Giabbani is a manager at Toscana Promozione with over 10 years experience in policy and consultancy for international business.As a manager for Toscana Promozione (a government agency which promotes business and economic activity in Tuscany), he specialised in the planning and provision of services for local exporters, including financial advice.
He recently assumed the role of Direct Investment Services within the agency.
Filippo has a degree in Political Science and International Relations from LUISS - Guido Carli, Rome and an Executive MBA from Alma Graduate School University of Bologna.  He specialised in foreign commerce by undertaking courses at the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade.


Marzia de Marzi (Palazzo delle Professioni): Marzia obtained a degree in Architecture in 1989 from the University of Florence. Since 1990, she has been working as a professional architect, in a partner firm, specialising in renovation and restoration. Since 2009, she is board member of the Architect’s Professional Association for the Province of Prato, and since 2013 she is President.
Marzia participates in the activities of the Tuscan Federation of Architects and in particular, those concerning regulations, reforms, simplification and urban regeneration. Since May 2014 she is President of Palazzo delle Professioni, a body that brings together Prato’s eight professional associations.


Enrico Banchelli (PIN): Enrico is Managing Director at PIN scrl, the company that manages the Prato Campus of the University of Florence. Enrico graduated in Economics with a thesis on marketing of high tech products and economics of innovation. He then was a Research Fellow in Marketing at in the Department of Economic Sciences at the University of Florence before being promoted to Head of the Research Office at PIN, managing national and international research projects in many different areas for almost 4 years. He was appointed to Managing Director a role responsible for the overall operations and activities of the campus.


Cristina Pezzoli (Spazio Compost): Cristina graduated from the School of Art and Drama “Piccolo Teatro” in Milan in 1986 and began her career as assistant director to Nanni Garella e Massimo Castri. Director of drama and opera, Cristina has directed television and radio productions. She teaches in the most prestigious theatre academies and Italian universities, and since 2007 she teaches a Master in Recital and Improvisation. She is currently artistic director of Spazio Compost, working on multicultural projects such as Facewall and Sono qui perche (Why I am here).

Shi Yang (Spazio Compost): Shi was born in Jinan-Shandong, and today is an Italian citizen. He graduated from Teatro Arsenale in Milan and the School of Art and Drama Paolo Grassi. Shi is the official interpreter for the la Mostra del Cinema di Venezia (Venice Cinema Festival) as well as other similar artistic events.  An actor of various successful theatre productions, including ‘Anima Buona di Sechuan’ presented at the Festival Divinamente in Rome and New York (2011-2012). Shi is also an actor for film and television productions, as well as radio announcer for well-known stations.
Spazio Compost is an association established in 2009 which provides training in acting, independent artistic research, and theatre production. It also provides a meeting and listening space for the different ethnicities present in Prato on the contradictions of their co-existence, and organises initiatives on integration with particular focus on the Chinese community.




Silvia Costa (European Parliament, Member for Italy):  Silvia Costa is a journalist born in Florence. In 1976 elected city council member in Rome. Chamber of Deputies for three terms (1983-1994); State Undersecretary for the Ministry of Universities, Scientific Research and Technology and President of the Equal Rights Commission. She then joined the Cariplo Foundation as member of the central charity commission and as council member for the National Committee for Economy and Employment. In 2009 she was elected into the European Parliament and has covered various roles including vice-president of the Delegation for relations with Iraq, member of the Commission for Culture and Education, and supplementary member of the Commission for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and of the Commission for Civil Liberties, Justice and Internal Affairs. In 2003 she was awarded an Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. In 2014 she was elected for a second term into the European Parliament, where she is currently President of the Commission for Culture and Education.


Kate Oakley (UK): Professor of Cultural Policy and Director of Research at the Institute of Communication Studies, University of Leeds. Kate Oakley was previously Head of the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management at City University, London. Kate has worked extensively on urban and regional development projects in the UK and elsewhere, including the UK's largest creative industry project, the Mayor's Commission on the Creative Industries in London. She was a member of the Mayor of London’s Cultural Observatory Steering Group from 2009 to 2013. She is currently completing a review of the literature on cultural regeneration for the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Cornelia Dümcke (Germany): a cultural economist, working as a project developer and arts consultant. She is the founder of Culture Concepts, an independent institute based in Berlin, providing research and consultancy services for clients in both the cultural and the development sector (see Her thematic specialization focuses particularly on issues of culture and development, cultural and creative economy, cultural tourism, as well as on the museum, theatre and festival market.
Cornelia is member of the scientific board of the Institute for Cultural Policy in Bonn and the Kulturdokumentation – Austrian Archive for Cultural Analyses in Vienna. In 2011, she was nominated to the pool of experts in the field of cultural policies, set up by UNESCO Paris in the context of the implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Since 2011, she is a member of the European Expert Network on Culture (EENC). In the EU context she is author and co-author of several applied research reports and studies on behalf of the European Commission, such as a report on “Mutual Learning among Cities” (2013, in co-author-ship with Prof. Yudhishthir Raj Isar).


Avril Joffe (South Africa): Avril Joffe is founding director of CAJ: culture, arts and jobs; coordinator Postgraduate programme in Arts and Culture Management at the University of the Witwatersrand. Avril currently serves as a UNESCO technical expert on the panel cultural policy and governance for the Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.  On behalf of UNESCO she has developed the English policy guide for strengthening measures to support cultural and creative industries and is currently working on policy design and implementation for the convention. Her work includes supporting the African creative cities and cultural capitals initiative begun in Accra, Ghana.  


Carlos J. Villaseñor Anaya (Mexico): International consultant on cultural policy and development, with wide experience (Mexico and Colombia) into the design and implementation of cultural activities for the promotion of public security. Carlos is part of the UNESCO/EU experts group into cultural governance and cultural industries, and leads an NGO which is recognised into the Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO 2003 Convention.


Mike van Graan (South Africa): Executive Director of the African Arts Institute and is the former Secretary General of the Arterial Network, a continent-wide network engaged in the African creative sector. He currently serves as a UNESCO Technical Expert on the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.