Plenary Speakers - 2018 Annual Conference

A World of Flows: Labour Mobility, Capital and Knowledge in an Age of Global Reversal and Regional Revival

Opening Plenary Session: Alessandra Faggian, Gran Sasso Science Institute, Italy

Refugee Migration in Europe – National and Regional Strategies

Alessandra Faggian is Professor of Applied Economics and Director of Social Sciences at the Gran Sasso Science Institute, L’Aquila, Italy, and is President of the North American Regional Science Council (NARSC) and co-editor of the journal Papers in Regional Science. Dr Faggian’s research interests lie in the fields of regional and urban economics, demography, labour economics and economics of education. Her publications cover a wide range of topics including migration, human capital, labour markets, creativity and local innovation and growth. She has co-authored over 80 academic publications. Her articles have appeared in journals such as Oxford Economics Papers, Cambridge Journal of Economics, Feminist Economics, Regional Studies, Papers in Regional Science, Journal of Regional Science and The Journal of Economic Geography. Alessandra is the 2007 recipient of the Moss Madden Memorial Medal by the Regional Science Association International: Irish and British section (RSAIBIS) for the best paper published in the year 2006 and the 2015 recipient of the Geoffrey Hewings Award by The North American Regional Council for outstanding research contribution by a young scholar in the field of regional science. 

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Opening Plenary Session: Seth Schindler, University of Manchester, UK - Early Career Plenary Speaker

National Urban Plans and the 21st Century Rediscovery of Regional Planning in the Global South

Seth Schindler is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Development in the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. He completed his PhD in geography at Clark University in 2013, and subsequently coordinated the MA in Global Studies at Humboldt University of Berlin before taking up a lectureship in human geography at the University of Sheffield in 2014. His research focuses on urban and regional development initiatives that seek to integrate particular city-regions with the global economy through mega-infrastructure projects. He pursues this research at multiple scales, by focusing on the global actors and institutions that facilitate the expansion of infrastructure networks, national urban plans and development strategies, and finally, on everyday life in cities that are rapidly incorporated into circuits of global capital. His most recent research project focused on the comprehensive redevelopment scheme of Bagamoyo, a small city near Dar es Salaam that is the lynchpin of Tanzania’s industrial strategy. Its redevelopment includes a large-scale port development and export processing zone. Bagamoyo can be considered a ‘frontier’ for global capital, and in the future Dr. Schindler plans to focus on cities and regions in developing countries that struggle to retain foreign investment. This research will explore the impacts of deindustrialization within particular city-regions in the global South. While deindustrialization is associated with urban and regional decline in the OECD, in developing countries it is typically analysed by political economists with country-level data.

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Plenary Session: Ray Hudson, Durham University, UK

The Illegal, the Illicit and New Geographies of Uneven Development

Ray Hudson is Professor of Geography at Durham University. He holds the degrees of BA, PhD and DSc from Bristol University, DLitt from Durham, and an honorary DSc from Roskilde University. His main research interests are in economic geography and regional development. He has published widely on these topics. His most recent books are Approaches to Economic Geography: Towards a Geographical Political Economy and The Illicit and Illegal in Regional and Urban Governance and Development (the latter co-edited with Francesco Chiodelli and Tim Hall, and both published by Routledge). His research has been recognised by a number of awards including the Victoria Medal from the Royal Geographical Society and the Sir Peter Hall Award from the Regional Studies Association and by election to the Fellowship of the Academy for the Social Sciences, of the British Academy and of Academia Europaea. As a result of his research, he has served as a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Select Committee on coalfields regeneration and as Expert Advisor to the Audit Commission in its evaluation of coalfield regeneration programmes. 

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Closing Plenary Session: John Harrison, Loughborough University, UK

Perspectives on the Changing Geographies of Regions and Territories: Towards Consolidated Regional Geographies

John Harrison is Reader in Human Geography at Loughborough University, UK, and an Associate Director of the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) research network. He is a regional geographer interested in the conceptualisation of regions, and his recent publications have focused on urban-regional planning and governance. He is co-editor of Planning and Governance of Cities in Globalization (2013 with Kathy Pain), Megaregions: Globalization’s New Urban Form? (2015 with Michael Hoyler), Doing Global Urban Research (2018 with Michael Hoyler) and the forthcoming Edward Elgar Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories (with Anssi Paasi and Martin Jones). John was recipient of the 2011 RSA Award for Early Career Excellence, 2015 Jim Lewis Prize for the most innovative paper published in European Urban and Regional Studies, and was the first Early Career Editor on Regional Studies. Since 2014 he has edited the Urban and Regional Horizons section of Regional Studies.

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Closing Plenary Session: Susanne Frick, London School of Economics, UK - Early Career Plenary Speaker

Towards successful Special Economic Zones in emerging countries – performance drivers and impact

Susanne is a postdoctoral researcher at the London School of Economics and consultant with the World Bank’s Trade & Competitiveness Practice. Her research focuses on the relationship between urbanization, cities and economic growth with a special attention to developing countries. She is furthermore interested in the effectiveness of economic policies aiming to promote regional development and industrialization. Among other things, she co-led the research team of a forthcoming World Bank report on Special Economic Zones in developing countries.
Prior to the PhD, Susanne worked for several years with Dalberg Global Development Advisors, supporting international organizations and governments such as the Gates Foundation and the International Trade Centre in their strategic planning processes. She spent two years in Guatemala, working for Fundesa, a private sector funded think tank, and in close collaboration with the Guatemalan Ministry of Economy on economic policies for the country.
Susanne holds a PhD in Economic Geography and a MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and a BA in International Affairs from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

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Cohesion Policy – putting your money where your mouth is

Panel Session

What should Cohesion Policy focus on post 2020? This plenary will present and discus the European Commission's proposal for its multi-annual financial framework post 2020 and in particular focus on the role of Cohesion Policy. It will cover three key questions:  Where should cohesion policy invest? What types of investments should it cover? and How should it organise these investments? The sessions will kick off with a presentation by Lewis Dijkstra, Head of the Economic Analysis Sector, DG for Regional and Urban Policy. It will be followed by panel discussion with Joaquim Oliveira Martins (OECD), Laura Polverari (European Policies Research Centre) and a discussion with the audience. Elisa Roller, Directorate General Maritime and Fisheries Affairs, European Commission, will moderate this session. 

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Policy Panel Session

Lewis Dijkstra, DG Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission, Belgium

Lewis Dijkstra is the Head of the Economic Analysis Sector of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy in the European Commission. He is the editor the Cohesion Reports, which analyse economic, social and environmental issues in EU regions and cities. His latest work and publications cover topics such as regional quality of government, urban economic development, regional economic and demographic projections and the definition of cities.

He works closely with the OECD, the World Bank, the European Environmental Agency, the Joint Research Centre and Eurostat. With these partners, he has launched projects on regional competitiveness, business demography, regional well-being, transport and demography among others.

He holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from Rutgers University, New Jersey, a MSc in Urban and Regional Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Political Science from the University of Ghent, Belgium. 

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Policy Panel Session

Joaquim Oliveira Martins, Regional Development Policy Division, OECD, France

Joaquim Oliveira Martins is currently Special Advisor, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Local Development. He was previously Head of the OECD Regional Development Policy Division and supervised projects on regional and urban economics, governance, regional statistics and well-being. He was Head of the OECD Structural Economic Statistics Division, where he focused on Trade & Globalisation studies, Productivity measurement and Business statistics. He is author of many academic articles and OECD publications. When Senior Economist at the OECD Economics Department, he coordinated and authored reports 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 was also Head of Desk for Emerging markets, in charge of the first OECD Economic Surveys of Brazil, Chile and several transition countries. Before the OECD, he was Research Fellow at the Centre d’Etudes Prospectives et d’Informations Internationales (CEPII, Paris). He holds a MSc in Econometrics and a PhD in Economics from the University of Paris-I, Panthéon-Sorbonne, and is currently Associate Professor at the University of Paris-Dauphine and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK (FAcSS).

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Policy Panel Session

Ambassador Eric Jakob, Federal Department of Economic Affairs, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO, Switzerland

Ambassador Eric Jakob, Dr. phil., is the Head of the Promotion Activities Directorate and Member of the Executive Board of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO since 2012. He is responsible for Switzerland’s SME, Regional and Tourism Policy as well as for its Export and Location Promotion. Previously, he was General Manager of Regio Basiliensis in Basel, i.a. responsible for the Swiss participation in the European Territorial Cooperation program Interreg Oberrhein. From 1995 to 2003, he was Assistant General Manager of the same organisation. From 1993 to 1995, he was Swiss Adviser to Infobest Palmrain, an information and advisory body for cross-border matters in Village-Neuf (France). Prior to that, he was a Senior Project Leader within the framework of the Swiss Post Initiative «Communication and Model Community Basel» and worked as a journalist.

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Policy Panel Session

Laura Polverari, European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde, UK

Laura Polverari is a Senior Research Fellow at the European Policies Research Centre, University of Strathclyde. She has a BA Hons/MA in Political Sciences (cum laude) from LUISS University in Rome, a Masters in Economic Development from the Istituto G. Tagliacarne, also in Rome, a PhD in European Public Policy from the University of Strathclyde, and a PG Cert in Advanced Academic Practice. Her doctoral thesis, on the changing accountability of Cohesion Policy in Italy and the United Kingdom following devolution, was awarded First Prize in the prestigious Committee of the Regions Doctoral Thesis Competition 2011. After professional experience as a civil servant in the fields of economic development and Structural Funds programming in Italy, Laura moved to Glasgow at the beginning of 2000 to join EPRC, where she has undertaken research on the design, implementation and evaluation of public policy, EU Cohesion policy, regional policy in Italy, administrative capacity and capacity building, the mainstreaming of gender equality, cross-national policy-transfer in the regional and urban development fields, and accountability in policy-making. Her research interests also include: European governance and institutions; devolution, regionalisation and multi-level governance in the EU Member States; the involvement of civil society in policy-making; and comparative European politics. Laura has managed many research projects, several with international research partners, including a major evaluation of the long-term impact of Cohesion policy in 15 European regions (1989 to present), undertaken for DG Regio, European Commission. She is also co-Director of the IQ-Net network and research programme. She has authored and co-authored a number of scientific publications and policy papers, including the recent Handbook on Cohesion Policy in the EU (co-edited with Simona Piattoni).

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Policy Panel Session

Iain Begg, European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

Iain Begg is a Professorial Research Fellow at the European Institute, London School of Economics and Political Science. He is also currently a Senior Fellow on the ‘UK in a Changing Europe’ initiative, funded by the British Economic and Social Research Council. His main research work is on the political economy of European integration and EU economic governance. He has directed and participated in a series of research projects on different facets of EU policy, including work on the effectiveness and future of the EU’s Cohesion Policy, future employment prospects in the EU, fiscal policy coordination and reform of the EU budget. He recently served as a specialist adviser to the House of Lords European Communities Committee for an inquiry into ‘Genuine Economic and Monetary Union’, completed in 2014, and has held a similar role for previous inquiries into Cohesion Policy and the EU budget. He has undertaken a number of other advisory roles and is a frequent contributor to international conferences on EU economic policy issues. 

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