Keynote Speakers

Professor Pierre-Alexandre Balland - Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Pierre-Alexandre Balland is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Geography & Planning at Utrecht University (Netherlands), where he serves as the deputy-head of the research programme in Economic Geography, and a visiting professor at the Media Lab. He studies cities and tries to understand why some are richer, more inclusive, or more sustainable than others, and what we can do to solve the growing gap between superstar cities and the rest of the world. On a more applied side, he works with different stakeholders to develop strategic diagnostic tools to map roads to economic growth and wellbeing. His research focuses on the geography of knowledge, the geography of networks and sustainable cities. He is particularly interested in the persistent role of geographical proximity in the digital age. 

Professor Simin Davoudi -  Newcastle University, UK

Professor Simin Davoudi is Director of the Global Urban Research Unit (GURU) and Co-Director of Newcastle University Centre for Cities. She is past President of AESOP (Association of the European Schools of Planning), and Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Academy of Social Sciences, and the Royal Society of Arts. Simin has served as expert advisor for the UK government, European Commission, and research councils in the UK and several European countries. She has held visiting professorships in universities of: Amsterdam, Nijmegen, BTH (Sweden), Virginia Tech, RMIT, and Tampere. Selected books include: Hope under Neoliberal Austerity (2021, Policy Press), The Routledge Companion to Environmental Planning (2019), The Resilience Machine (2018, Routledge), Justice and Fairness in the City (2016, Policy Press), Reconsidering Localism (2015, Routledge), and Conceptions of Space and Place in Strategic Planning (2009 Routledge). Simin is co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, and a member of the editorial boards of several other international journals.  

Doctor Mafini Dosso - European Commission JRC, Spain

Mafini Dosso is a Senior Researcher and working as an economist and policy analyst at the European Commission DG JRC, Seville, Spain. She dedicates her works to the analysis of innovation investments of the top global companies from EU and abroad to support the European industrial and innovation policy agenda. She is now also leading the JRC’s conceptual and policy approach on Africa-EU cooperation for territorial innovation policies and smart specialisation.

Professor Raquel Ortega-Argilés  - University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Raquel Ortega-Argilés is a Professor at The Department of Strategy and International BusinessChair, Regional Economic Development, University of Brimingham, United Kingdom. Currently, Raquel Ortega-Argilés holds the Chair in Regional Economic Development at the department of Strategy and International Business and the City-REDI research institute at Birmingham Business School, The University of Birmingham, UK. Her current research work focuses Productivity, Innovation, Regional development, SMEs, entrepreneurship and industrial dynamics and on regional and European Policy.

Professor Daniel M. Sturm - London School of Economics, United Kingdom

Daniel Sturm, M.Sc. (LSE), Ph.D. (LSE), is a Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at the London School of Economics and also a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. Prior to joining the LSE in 2006 he was an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Munich. His research interests are primarily in the areas of Economic Geography and Political Economy. In particular he works on the empirical implications of economic geography models and also on the empirical effects of electoral accountability on policy choices. His work has been published in a number of academic journals.

Professor Hans Westlund - KTH Royal Institut of  Technology in Stockholm, Sweden

Hans Westlund is a Professor in Urban and Regional Studies, Head of Department of Urban Planning and Environment at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and Professor in Entrepreneurship at Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden. He was also the organizer of the very successful 50th ERSA Congress in Jönköping in 2010. His main fields of research include innovation and entrepreneurship, social capital and social economy, and regional policies. He has published about 40 articles in peer reviewed journals, including the first article ever on ‘multidimensional entrepreneurship’. 

More details on the sessions will be communicated shortly.