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d'Antonio

Simone

d'Antonio

Ad-Hoc Expert

Generic Skills

B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
I have been working on the topics of sustainable and integrated urban development at national and European level since 2006, with the aim of informing and fostering the participation of Italian local officials and elected representatives around those topics. As journalist and communicator on urban topics, I dedicated most of my professional career to promote successful experiences of sustainable urban development and to foster the exchange of practices and approaches among Italian and European cities. Between 2006 and 2010 I worked in Brussels as communication and policy officer in charge of the Working group on Environment, Urban Mobility and Energy for the European foundation of the Italian Association of Municipalities and Cities (ANCI). In that framework I promoted the participation of Italian cities to EU co-funded programmes and thematic initiatives on urban sustainability, such as the Covenant of Mayors. I contributed to the promotion of URBACT programme and practices among Italian cities since 2008, and from 2012 I have been working as responsible for the communication activities of the National Dissemination Point of URBACT for Italy (Cittalia Research Foundation of ANCI). As Cittalia’s communication officer from 2010 to 2015 I developed communication strategies and storytelling approaches on sustainable urban development that I promoted at global level also in the occasion of the UN Habitat’s Urban Journalism Academies organized in view of the Habitat III Conference
B1. Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates more than 2 years of experience with integrated and sustainable urban development, namely in the field of communication activities and dissemination of good practices.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
Having always worked on international issues and lived in different countries, I am familiar with different working and exchange methods which contributed in a decisive way to my personal and professional background. When I worked in Brussels at the European Foundation of Cities, I fostered the exchange of knowledge and information between city officials and elected representatives from Italy and other European countries through the organization of trainings, seminars, study visits, networking meetings and workshops. For Cittalia, the research center of the Italian Association of Cities and Municipalities, I organized international activities of exchange and dissemination in the framework of many EU co-funded projects, such as GAIA, + RESPECT, BEAMS, SEISMIC and PRISM. Since 2004 I have been involved in many youth projects and exchanges at European, Mediterranean and global level on the topics of sustainability and ICT. As board member of the European network of young journalists European Youth Press I took part to many learning and exchange activities in Europe and in Asia, which helped me to keep in contact with a global network of young professionals active in the fields of ICT and sustainable development. Among these activities, I took part as speaker and trainer to the 4th China- Europe Symposium on Youth Work Development, organized by the All China Youth Foundation in the framework of the EU-China Policy Dialogue, held in March 2013 in Beijing, Changsha and Shanghai
B2. Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides one significant transnational activity that demonstrates his understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level.
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
I speak fluent English and French and I have a basic knowledge of Spanish. I regularly write documents and articles in English, which have been also published on American media such as Citiscope and Citylab. I am capable of writing, speaking, delivering speeches and presentations in English. I actively participated to many international events, trainings and conferences in quality of speaker or moderator. Most of my international work is in English, including daily interactions with foreign partners, written reports and meetings
B3. Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates sufficient proficiency in English (C1 level).

Thematic expertise:

Theme / Policy: 
Local Governance
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.: 
I spent most of my professional career in strengthening the capacity of local governments to promote economic, social and environmental sustainability at urban level through concrete strategies and actions. I focused on the role of urban communication as a key element to promote a better urban governance and, at the same time, to foster the collaboration between citizens and local institutions. Fieldwork research and interviews in many European cities (such as Athens, Copenhagen, Dublin and others) served as a basis for papers, articles, reports and other types of publications distributed mostly among local Italian city officials and elected representatives. Raising awareness on European local governance practices, I supported the implementation of innovative policies in different urban fields. The wide scope of my action on cities gave me the opportunity to learn from the best experiences and contribute to the transfer of knowledge to cities, also through the dissemination of URBACT topics and the support to the Italian network of practitioners active in the programme but also in the framework of thematic initiatives of ANCI (such as the Smart City Observatory). More recently I focused on the use of innovative communication tools, such as social media platforms, to foster the interaction between residents and local authorities: I am promoting this topic with ANCI through a programme of seminars and webinars for city officials and elected representatives
D1 Assessment: 
1: Demonstrated more than two years of experience in having deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice and research. The core competence of the candidate is writing and disseminating good practices in local governance (e.g. Buone prassi, buone notizie). Both reference persons have confirmed that Mr. d'Antonio is taking active role in drafting reports on urban topics and in supporting local authorities.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved: 
In my action of promotion of urban communication as part of innovative local governance actions, I focused on different urban topics, such as urban sustainability, smart city, social innovation and active inclusion. I promoted them with publications (such as “Buone prassi, buone notizie” published by Rubettino Editore) and articles published by Italian and global media (see my CV for a list of media where my articles on cities and local governance were published). On that matter, I provided also thematic inputs for some transnational projects where I was involved. Two examples of this were produced in the framework of the project BEAMS, focusing on the contrast to stereotypes to promote social inclusion in European cities. 1) I collaborated to the realization of a report, distributed among the international partners of the project, on the local communication strategies adopted by Italian local authorities on the topic of integration of migrants and minorities 2) I organized three local trainings (held in Bari, Florence and Venice, the last one open to the participation of international project partners) for journalists and city officials on positive communication models on migrants and minorities. This model, potentially replicable in other European local contexts, contributed to the learning process of the project and actively involved local stakeholders and media, giving at the same time wide visibility to the topic of a positive local governance of social inclusion
D2 Assessment: 
1: The candidate demonstrates two valid examples that demonstrate his ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process at transnational level.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice: 
In my daily work experience, as well as in the occasion of thematic projects, I developed and tested different dissemination tools and innovative models of urban storytelling to showcase practices highlighting the positive collaboration between stakeholders and local authorities in different sectors. The use of these tools was also decisive for the promotion of URBACT topics among Italian cities in the activities of the National Dissemination Point for Italy. 1) In the framework of the GAIA project, I produced a report including Italian and European best practices of collaboration between local institutions, stakeholders and residents for the reduction of CO2 emissions through planting new trees in urban areas. The report was also published in Sole 24 Ore Diritto e Pratica Amministrativa (addressed to the community of city officials and experts) 2) In the framework of the CoE MEDIANE Programme, I contributed to the production of a joint multimedia reportage and a social media coverage in Helsinki and in Rome metropolitan areas about the use of ICT to foster collaboration between local authorities and residents. The reportage, translated in 3 languages, promoted those best practices at European level 3) In the + RESPECT project, I produced a report of best practices of social inclusion towards Roma people carried out by Italian municipalities. The report was distributed among the international partners of the project and published on the frontpage of the newspaper Terra
D3 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides several examples that demonstrate his ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange and learning activities, put forward good practice and policy messages targeting city practitioners and urban policy-makers (for participants as well as for an external audience).
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes: 
Thanks to my experience in journalism and communication, I have been constantly involved in the definition of dissemination and capitalization strategies in order to better promote results of projects and best practices emerged along the activities. In the framework of the SEISMIC project, I designed a communication strategy to promote the topics of social innovation among the community of experts, city officials and elected representatives with the aim of highlighting the decisive role of local authorities to foster innovation process through the collaboration with local and national communities of innovators. In the occasion of the launch of the Italian Network of Social Innovators (final result of the project) and following local events, I contributed to actively involve local communities, influencers and other relevant stakeholders of the field in the social media coverage of the event, whose hasthag was among the trending topics on the day of the launch event. This communicative action was followed by the publication of articles on websites and blogs, following a communication model which served as basis for dissemination of the contents of the whole project at European level. This action contributed to raise awareness on the decisive role of local authorities on this topic, and gave background elements for publications and articles, as well as a support to the political action of Italian local elected representative within ANCI and at the Committee of the Regions
D4 Assessment: 
1: The candidate provides one relevant example that demonstrates his understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for strategic benefits in capitalization, policy design and awareness raising.
Summary Thematic expertise: 
Along my professional career I supported the action of local authorities and urban practitioners through innovative methods of communication and dissemination of best practices of local governance in different fields. I focused on the role of urban communication as a key element to promote a urban sustainability and, at the same time, to foster the collaboration between citizens and local institutions. For that purpose I have been involved in several projects funded by EU programmes, such as FP7 and Life +, to apply innovative and multimedia communication strategies in the dissemination of contents and results. Reports collecting European best practices in various fields related to local governance (social innovation, social and environmental sustainability, etc.) contributed to promote the debate and raise the awareness of practitioners and decision makers around local partnerships and innovative forms of public-private partnerships. This method was applied also for the promotion of URBACT topics in Italy in the framework of the activities of the National Dissemination Point. This contribution of ideas and visions, together with a wide network of contacts in national and European local governments and media, supported the cities to actively involve local communities and innovators, improving governance on many urban fields and highlighting in this way the decisive role of collaboration among different stakeholders and profiles for the urban development.
Assessment: 
The candidate meets 4 out of 4 criteria and should be validated for this theme. There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and the CV.

Informations

Residence location:
Italy
Languages:
Italian - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
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Email:
dantonio@cittalia.it

Area of expertise