Agenda for the Webinar on 8/9 - The strange economy of the Messina Social District

Time & Location

Tomorrow at 14:00 CET
No password: Just register via the link.

Key questions

The fundamental topics/discussion/questions that we want to explore with participants are:

  • Where do different participants in the discussion see areas in their work/experience where standard economic thinking is not cutting it?
  • Where do different participants see a role for out of the box economic thinking within their contexts given that it is risky?

The Speakers

Giacomo Pinaffo, Fondazione Communita Di Messina

Born in 1982, Giacomo Pinaffo holds a bachelor in Business Administration and a master’s degree in Local development economy. He has focused his entire study and work career on the social economy sector, where he has worked since 2009. He has been project manager at the Presidency Office of FEBEA (European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks and Financial Companies), in SEFEA (financial cooperative, tool of FEBEA) and SEFEA IMPACT (asset management company dedicated to impact investing strategies). He has supported these organisations in their political and operational relations with the various EU institutions, taking part to numerous negotiations, meetings and events (engaging mainly the EU Commission, EIF, EESC). He has developed a deep knowledge of the social economy and social finance context throughout Europe, being directly engaged also in the screening and execution of investment operations throughout Europe in such sectors. He joined FdCM in early 2020 as Project Manager.

Dr. Alberto Cottica, Edgeryders

Alberto is an expert on collaborative governance and participation. He studies participation through data analysis. That led him to build up substantial skills as a data scientist, and in particular a network scientist, both in business and in academia. He has a proven track record of managing processes of ICT-enabled design and delivery of public policy and public services in collaboration with citizens.

Alberto has firsthand experience in establishing, nurturing and running communities of citizens that work towards common goals, sometimes in alliance with government. He also has a proven track record of driving adoption of innovative practices - and of a practice of openness and transparency in policy delivery – in fairly conservative large organisations, including government agencies. To achieve this, I had to hone my advocacy skills, and use them successfully to build positive narratives that change is possible, and we need not be scared of it.

Alberto hails from an economics background, but these days thinks more in terms of network science, data science and complexity theory than of textbook economics. Pervasive information and communication technologies, together with the societal changes they have been associated with, enable public policy and even public services to be collaboratively produced. Alberto has first hand experience in establishing, nurturing and running communities of citizens that work with government towards public goals. He is interested in complexity economics as a framework to think about these things. Alberto has authored a book on the wiki government, many journal articles and a long running blog.

The Agenda

1.5 hr session:

5 min: Nadia opens the event, describes the agenda and introduces the speakers and opens the floor for you to do short presentations. Maria goes over tech, chat questions.

5 min: Giacomo talks about his personal professional experience that lead him to working with the Foundation in Messina.

5 min: Alberto talks about historic developments in economic thinking and introduces the series. Hands over to Giacomo.

30 min: Deeper conversation. Alberto prepares some questions to ask Giacomo the Messina Advanced Social District (which he will send in advance) and then the two of you talk with one another in “free form”.

5 min: Break

15 min: Breakout session. Participants are split into small groups, each one has its own allocated zoom room and a host from the crew (ideally Alberto, and Giacomo would be in separate rooms. The groups are to discuss/answer two questions:

  • Where do you see areas where standard economic thinking is not cutting it?
  • Where do you see a role for out of the box economic thinking given that it is risky?

25 min: Plenary, open floor moderated discussion.

3 min: Nadia closes the session; thanks participants and says what is next (invites people to the next thing and says that we will follow up with each person individually to explore possibilities)

Who is coming?

80 confirmed participants so far from a diverse range of disciplines and organisations including:

Esri R&D Centre, New Delhi
Privacy International
The Scottish Government
Data and Training Consultants
Community Manager & Officer Comms Social Innovation Projects
Consultant - Strategy, Business, Environment, Energy, Sustainability at Researcher
Directors of employment centres
Regional Innovation Centers at IGOs
African Research Center on Aging & Dementia (ARCAD)
The Democratic Society
Senior Experts at European Commission
Accelerator Lab Mali
Digital Transformation Units in governments
Senior City Advisors, Climate-KIC
Heads of Data Units at State e-Government Agencies
Program Directors and Senior Policy Officers at the European Commission
Renewable energy experts


cocou @bojanbobic @IvanC @MariaEuler @alberto @andreja @estragon @giacomo.pinaffo @kajafarszky see :point_up_2:t5:ahead of our call today. Speak soon


Also invited @noemi and @marina to the prep call today (12:00 -13:30) to have some briefed backup co-hosts for the break out room recording.


Trying to get in the call but unable to? Says host has another meeting in progress

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@MariaEuler me too, it says the host has another meeting in progress. The link was made by ER Zoom account.

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hello the joel interview call was open

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Ok I made it inside!

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here the info for the co-host recordings:

We will have 8 break-out rooms. In each there will be one of our briefed co-hosts:

Please come at least 5 min early to the call. The call will be open at least 30 min early.

  1. Alberto Cottica
  2. Nadia
  3. Bojan Bobic
  4. Daniel
  5. Giovanni Calia
  6. Ivan
  7. Kajafarszky
  8. Marina Batinic

Once you are in the break out room please do the following:

  1. Start the recording locally on your computer
  2. Ask everyone to introduce themselves.
  3. Reiterate the two questions for discussion:
    • Where do you see areas where standard economic thinking is not cutting it?
    • Where do you see a role for out of the box economic thinking given that it is risky?
  4. When the countdown for the return starts, click on the 3 points on the side of the chat and select “save chat”

You will be sent a link to a drive with prepared folders with prepared folders with your names in which to upload the recording and the chat saving. Please upload your recording into that folder and delete it from your own machine afterwards.

@bojanbobic @IvanC @MariaEuler @alberto @estragon @giacomo.pinaffo @kajafarszky @hires, @marina @nadia

will resend this info as dm with the drive link.


I would also like to ask all of you to contribute a list of questions here which should/could be asked during the event.

This post is a wiki, so just click edit here and add some questions or reply.

Messina Questions:

  • “What do you do and why are you interested in Messina?”
  • “Most of us know that we need to evolve the current economic systems, but many ask how. We’d like to examine a very interesting real-life case that works, even though the theory says it shouldn’t.”
  • “What do you make of a totally different approach to economy?”
  • “What do you make of the Messina case? Is there anything you are inspired to use in your own work?”
  • “Where do you see areas where standard economic thinking is not cutting it?”
  • “Where do you see a role for out of the box economic thinking given that it is risky?”
  • “Is this model something that works because of Messina specifically, or do you think this could be done in other places? What do you consider requirements or success factors?”

Just an FYI (in case you were not aware yet) - someone I told about this said is down. I also just checked and same for me.

@alberto what is the url to which we can direct people?