Keynote Speakers and lectures


Opening Ceremony & Keynote Address
Keynote Session Coordinator and Chair: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, London School of Economics, UK
Tuesday, 27 August│ 16.15-18.30│Onsite & Live Streaming

Elisa Ferreira
EU Commissioner, Cohesion and Reforms

Commissioner Elisa Ferreira will give a keynote address during the Opening Session of the Congress.

Responsibilities of Elisa Ferreira include: 

Assuring support for regions most affected by digital and climate transitions, including through the Just Transition Fund.

Working with co-legislators to establish a legislative framework for Cohesion Funds in the long-term EU budget.

Supporting regions and authorities in preparing their programmes, in line with their specific needs and the EU’s common objectives. 

Working with Member States to ensure full and effective use of EU funds and oversight of expenditure.

more about the Commissioner

 Keynote Lecture I
   Session Coordinator and Chair: Patricio Aroca, Universidad Andrés Bello, Chile
   Wednesday, 28 August│ 09.00-10.30│Onsite & Live Streaming
Mário Centeno
Governor of the Bank of Portugal

Monetary policy: how to deal with fragmentation

by Mário Centeno, Governor of Banco de Portugal and member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank since July 2020.  He served as President of the Eurogroup and Chair of the Board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism, and for over four years he was Finance Minister of Portugal. An experienced economist, Mr Centeno has held several positions in Banco de Portugal, where he started his career in 1993. He has a strong academic background with a PhD in Economics, from Harvard University, and has published several academic papers.
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Keynote Lecture II
 Wednesday, 28 August│ 14.30-16.15│Onsite

Leïla Kebir
University of Lausanne, Switzerland

    Collective Actions and Territorial Development: From Innovative Milieus to New Commons

by Leïla Kebir, Associate Professor in tourism and territorial economy at University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Trained as an economist, she works in the field of territorial development in the context of globalization and, more recently, ecological transition.  Over the last few years, She has been developing a new line of research in the analysis of the new commons. In particular, since May She has had the opportunity to coordinate the COMMOUNT project (FNS), which focuses on new mountain commons.
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Keynote Lecture III
    Thursday, 29 August│ 09.00-10.30│Onsite & Live Streaming

Lewis Dijkstra
Joint JRC Centre, European Commission

   What Can We Learn From an Emerging Global Definition of Urbanisation?

To overcome the wide variation in national definition of urban areas, six international organisation developed a global methodology called the Degree of Urbanisation. It was developed to facilitate international comparisons and not replace national definitions. This methodology was endorsed by the UN Statistical Commission in 2020. Since its endorsement, a growing number of countries has implemented the definition. This implementation is supported by a wide range of international agencies including UN Statistical Division, UN Habitat, UN FPA, OECD and the World Bank.. This key note will give a brief overview of the methodology, its development and implementation by countries across the globe. In response to comments from statistical offices and researchers, the definition has been improved and expanded to also cover functional rural areas and urban agglomerations. In parallel to the implementation by individual countries, a growing amount of data by Degree of Urbanisation based on surveys, censuses and satellite imagery has become available. The combination of the new definition and new data allows us to gain new insights. The key note will show how natural change, net-migration and reclassification have affected cities, towns and rural areas in different ways. It will highlight the big differences in density and land use between cities and urban agglomerations in high and low income countries. Last, it will show how life in cities differs from that in rural areas across the globe using the latest results from the Gallup World Poll.

by Lewis Dijkstra, Team Leader Urban and Regional analysis at Joint Research Centre, European Commission and Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics and Political Science
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Keynote Lecture IV
   Thursday, 29 August│ 14.30-16.15│Onsite

Michael Fritsch
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany

Persistence and Change of Regional Entrepreneurship
in the Long Run

Entrepreneurship can be an important source of economic prosperity and well-being. As a consequence, entrepreneurial activity may represent a key target of a policy aimed at promoting economic growth. The pronounced differences in the level and type of entrepreneurial activity between regions clearly suggest that the main underlying determinants and levers for fostering entrepreneurial activity can be found at the regional level. Furthermore, region-specific conditions may be responsible for differences in the effect of entrepreneurial activity on regional development. The lecture provides an overview of the recent research on the long-term persistence and change in regional entrepreneurship, i.e., self-employment and new business formation. One of the key results of this research is that regional entrepreneurial activity may have important historical roots. Such historical roots can lead, in particular, to a pronounced tendency of regional entrepreneurship to be rather persistent and to change only slowly and over a long period of time. Alternative explanations of these patterns are discussed. A main focus is on the implications for theory development and for regional-level policy. Finally, main open questions and promising avenues of further research in this important new field are identified

by Michael Fritsch, Professor of Economics and Chair of Business Dynamics, Innovation, and Economic Change at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. He is author of numerous books and more than 200 articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes. He is Associate Editor of Small Business Economics – An Entrepreneurship Journal and is Member of the Editorial Board of several scholarly journals.
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Keynote Lecture V
   Friday, 30 August│ 09.00-10.30│Onsite & Live Streaming

David Audretsch
Indiana University, USA

Regional Development for Sustainability and Peace:
The Role of Entrepreneurship

Sustainability and peace have emerged as policy priorities for regional development. The new policy priority of sustainability focuses on social inclusion across all regional constituents, a more equitable income and wealth distribution, and economic development that is conducive to a healthy and robust environment. The promise of entrepreneurship as a catalyst for peaceful development, both within as well as across regions, is analyzed and explained. Entrepreneurship can provide a conduit for social inclusion, a more equitable distribution of wealth and income and environmental sustainability. However, the efficacy of entrepreneurship as a catalyst for regional development for sustainability depends crucially upon the role of power both within and across regions. How and why the goals of sustainable economic regional development hang in the balance of economic, social and political power is analyzed and clarified, leading to an important new research agenda for scholars of regional science and strategies for thought leaders in business and policy.

By David Audretsch, Distinguished Professor and Ameritech Chair of Economic Development at Indiana University. He is ranked as the top scientist globally, according to the World Top 100 Business & Management / Entrepreneurship Scientists 2024. He also is a Professor of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Klagenfurt, and an Honorary Professor of Industrial Economics and Entrepreneurship at the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany.
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 Keynote Lecture VI
   Friday, 30 August│ 11.00-13.00│Onsite & Live Streaming

Joaquim Oliveira Martins
EU & Centre Etudes Prospectives et Informations Internationales (CEPII), France

   Old and New Regional Inequalities

One the fundamental questions of regional development is about spatial inequalities and what to do about it.  There are basically two polar views about this issue. The first views agglomeration as a natural (an desirable) feature of development and, in order to ensure that the maximum of economic efficiency at the national level is attained, recommends compensatory policies for the lagging regions. The second considers regional inequalities as a source of inefficiencies and lost opportunities. These inefficiencies can be within the economic system, but, a recent literature strand (so-called the geography of discontent) has focused on the adverse political consequences of spatial inequality. Over the medium-run, the latter has negative effects on economic and social systems. The underlying hypothesis is that efficiency requires equity, and vice-versa. To address this complementarity, contrasting with the usual equity/efficiency trade-off, a place-based approach is advocated. Against this background, this presentation will focus on the interplay between agglomeration and convergence forces, which determine regional growth patterns. Depending on the relative intensity of these two forces, there may be periods of decreasing or increasing regional  inequalities. The data suggest that we are living, especially after the 2008 crisis, a period of increased regional divergence in many OECD countries. This seem to be due both to a generalised weakening of productivity catching-up mechanisms and a stronger resilience of large urban areas to the effects of the recent crises. Accordingly, the presentation advocates that policies could focus on regional systems rather than mainly targeting poor or lagging regions. Examples of such an approach are policies promoting rural-urban linkages. Indeed, one should ensure both that large urban areas deliver agglomeration economies through appropriate urban policies, and other regions benefit from those improvements at the efficiency frontier through productivity catching-up. The latter is the task of place-based development policy. Finally, it will also be discussed on what basis a positive link between equity and efficiency could be envisaged.

by Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Special Advisor of the EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms and Counsellor at the Center for Prospective Studies and International Information (CEPII, Paris). He was previously Deputy-Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities. He was also Head of the OECD Structural Economic Statistics Division. He authored many academic articles and coordinated several OECD projects, namely on Policy Response to the Threat of Global Warming, Competition, Regulation and Performance, Ageing & Growth, Investment in Tertiary Education, and Public Health Expenditure Projections. He coordinated the first OECD Economic Surveys of Brazil, Chile and several transition countries. 
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 Keynote Lecture VII  by the ERSA Prize Winner 2024
   Friday, 30 August│ 16.45-18.30│Closing│Onsite

Simona Iammarino
University of Cagliari, Italy & London School of Economics, UK

   ERSA Prize 2024 Keynote Lecture

by Simona Iammarino, Professor of Applied Economics at the Department of Economics and Business of the University of Cagliari, Italy and Visiting Professor at the Department of Geography & Environment of the London School of Economics (LSE), UK. She has published more than 70 articles in major peer-reviewed journals, around 30 book chapters, and numerous working papers, policy reports and other publications. Her latest co-authored article published in a refereed journal is: “Gathering round Big Tech: how the market for acquisitions hurts left-behind places” Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Ioramashvili C., Feldman M., Guy F., Iammarino, S.
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