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Validated Lead Expert

Generic Skills

B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development: 
I graduated in design at the National High School for Industrial Creation ENSCI, Les Ateliers in Paris in 1989. I founded and have since then led Strategic Design Scenarios (SDS), a sustainable innovation lab consultancy based in Brussels which now has 25 years of experience in innovation for public services, policy design, and social innovation for sustainable ways of living. During these years at SDS I have concentrated on sustainable development projects at various governance levels. For instance in 2014 I led the URBACT Social Innovation in Cities capitalisation workstream. From 2008 until 2013 I was the Scientific Director of La 27e Région, a French public innovation lab collaborating with cities and regions through field immersion processes to co-develop local sustainable innovation projects with citizens, civil servants and elected representatives. Between 2013 and 2015 I led a large participative redesign process of the French Agenda 21 national policy for the Ministry of Environment. At European level I led the design of the Multilevel Governance Charter for the Committee of Regions. I have collaborated with many European and international research projects focusing sustainable lifestyles (see details in B.2). In particular since 2006 I have organised many workshops on social innovation for sustainable living in more than 20 cities worldwide including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tokyo, New York, Montreal, Rio, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Cape Town, Nairobi, Tunis and Malmö.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level: 
I have been Lead Expert in the URBACT II Sustainable Food in Urban Communities thematic network. I have taken part as a partner in 12 European Commission funded research projects investigating the emergence of sustainable solutions (SPREAD, 2011; CORPUS, 2010; SCORE, 2003; EMUDE, 2002; SUSHOUSE, 2000), the design of product-service systems (HiCS, 2000; MEPSS, 2001), the innovation process in small and medium-sized enterprises (INFU, 2009; UCIM, 2006; E-VAN, 2001), the impact of augmented workspaces (AMBIENT AGORAS, 2001) and the creation of deliberative processes on nanotechnologies (NANOPLAT, 2008). I am also a co-organiser of the Creative Communities for Sustainable Lifestyles project in Brazil, India and China (CCSL, 2008) and in Africa (CCSLA, 2009) within the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production supported by UNEP, UN DESA and the Swedish Ministry of Environment.In 2010 I co-founded the DESIS (Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability) network. As Professor at La Cambre design school since 2004, at Politecnico of Milan (2006 - 2013) and at ENSCI Les Ateliers, Paris (2009 - 2012), I have organised local sustainable development projects between students and city administrations on topics such as urban agriculture with Milan, user-based urban planning with Paris-Saclay and local urban regeneration in Liège. I am also a visiting professor at SciencePo Lille, INET and CNFPT (French schools of public administration).
B.3. Proficiency in English: 
I have coordinated collaborative projects and organised and animated workshops in English at European and international level for 25 years. I have taught in English as a visiting professor in several schools including Parsons New School, New York, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, the University of Nairobi and RMIT Melbourne. I have been invited to give lectures and speeches in English at major conferences and forums including keynotes at Eco2006, Tokyo; Swedish Design Faculty 2010, Stockholm; Green Design, Zhuzhou (China) 2010; NORDES 2011, Helsinki; Parsons, New York 2012; Disruptive Imaginings, Toronto 2014; and Vancouver 2015. I am the author or co-author of a number of publications written in English including URBACT Social Innovation in Cities and URBACT Creating Space for Sustainable Food Systems in Urban Communities, eight books/iBooks on social innovation, sustainable lifestyles and collaborative consumption, and 39 scientific papers and conference papers (see detailed list in CV).

Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:

Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities: 
I have extensive experience of organising and moderating international groups of stakeholders (i.e. as Lead Expert of an URBACT II network, leader of an URBACT capitalisation workstream and through participation as a partner to more than 12 EU-funded research projects). I use my design skills to facilitate collaborative workshops by designing ad hoc interaction tools (e.g. poster to fill in collectively, set of question cards) and to support non-verbal communication, to bridge language and cultural gaps (e.g. using visualisations, story-boarding and multimedia). I also make use of the design approach to create attractive and concise communication artefacts (e.g. a handbook to support cities in sustainable food policy-making, a multiple entry policy report presented as a 'Special Issue' magazine) and practical efficient toolkits (e.g. a set of tools complementary to the URBACT ULSG toolkit, a visioning toolbox to support local authorities in building their local sustainable action plans). I am also good at inventing playful interaction situations (i.e. a Marketplace to sell and buy good practices, a 'Living Exhibition' based on the participants themselves). I make rapid use of multi-media and internet technologies (e.g. Speed Presentation formats captured in short videos to facilitate attractive knowledge sharing; developing a blog for each project, producing an eBook, animated tutorials and ‘making-of’ video to support learning activities).

Thematic expertise:

Theme / Policy: 
Local Governance
Summary Thematic expertise: 
My expertise in local governance is focusing the potential of social innovation to support local development in particular in a context of shrinking public budgets and increasing social and economic problem at city scale. I lead the URBACT II capitalisation process on the 'Social Innovation in Cities' workstream. My expertise in social innovation dynamics is based on field work, investigating grassroots dynamics and creative communities in 8 European cities and in a sample of 7 cities in Brazil, India, China and Africa. It is also based on the investigation of how city governance may transform to better collaborate with citizens and take advantage of all assets that social innovation represents in terms of community-led development, stimulation of social entrepreneurship, sustainable regeneration of neighbourhood social fabric, and integrated development towards new and more sustainable ways of living. During various URBACT, FP5 EU-funded research projects and international projects with the United Nations Environment Programme, I produced a large series of thematic outputs based on a series of light cases of social innovation collected worldwide including the production of the policy and practice report on 'Social Innovation in Cities'.
Theme / Policy: 
Urban Strategic Planning
Summary Thematic expertise: 
My experience in urban strategic planning has focused on developing and experimenting with bottom-up approaches to citizen-led urban sustainable development and evidence-based policy-making. From 2008 until 2013 as Scientific Director of La 27e Région public innovation lab based in France and collaborating with regions and cities, I co-created and piloted an original format of action research on the territory called ‘residence’. Residences are based on small creative teams immersed 'in residence' for three weeks over a period of four months in a public administration to co-develop solutions with the different populations working or living there and to interact with appropriate levels of governance to report the lessons learned and in consequence (re)design public policies at local, regional or national levels. This experience, which continues today, was accompanied by other field work in: Saint-Etienne focusing on the city as a living laboratory for social change (2006); in the Wazemme neighbourhood of Lille focussing on the temporary use of public space (2011); in the Paris-Saclay campus focussing on the integration of the massive arrival of researchers and students (2012); and in the Saint-Gilles neighbourhood of Liège focussing on the revitalisation of a declining urban area (2014). I have also produced and coordinated numerous publications to disseminate and teach this citizen-led urban sustainable development and evidence-based policy-making approach.
Theme / Policy: 
Environmental Issues
Summary Thematic expertise: 
I have extensive experience over 20 years in environmental local development, sustainable territorial projects and sustainable ways of living. This experience includes: - The construction of territorial projects of sustainable development and Agenda 21 policies in France and Belgium; - Forward-looking activities and scenario development on sustainable ways of living through European research projects; - Research and experimentation on user behaviour change, in particular in the field of energy and water use. I have published a large number of scientific and conference papers and also, for dissemination purposes, created animation movies (TESR – Regional Ecological and Social Transformation of the Nord-Pas de Calais region in France) and illustrated booklets targeted at the participating citizens (Brussels' Molenbeek Agenda 21 participative 'walking diagnosis'). The experience of constructing territorial projects of sustainable development and Agenda 21 policies in France and Belgium as both an experience at multiple levels of governance and across two national territories gave me the necessary background and opportunity to really bring about a significant change at higher governance levels and to redesign the French Agenda 21 national recognition scheme. This one-year process (late 2014 to late 2015) has resulted in two major national forum and international conference in Paris and won an award at the French Public Innovation Week 2014.

Expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing & delivering integrated and participatory policies

E.1. Knowledge on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local polices : 
I led the redesign of the French Agenda 21 national policy. I am currently co-organising a large stakeholder process which aims to develop a Sustainable Food Strategy for the Brussels-Capital Region. In both cases, the participative policy-making process needed to involve multiple and heterogeneous stakeholders (spread all over France in the case of Agenda 21 making the organisation of the participation even more difficult). The inventory of relevant stakeholders is key in such participatory processes and this inventory should also be conducted in a participatory mode (i.e. asking already identified participants which additional stakeholders should take part, so progressively completing the stakeholder map). The sharing of knowledge between stakeholders and the building of a shared understanding of the context, opportunities and barriers (i.e. involving them in a forward-looking exercise to develop a desirable scenario for the Agenda 21 recognition process / producing a vision of a sustainable food system in the Brussels-Capital Region). In the process the quality of the interaction between stakeholders is necessary to create a creative, balanced and constructive production and implementation of the policy (i.e. ensuring equal participation, mixing participants frequently, offering them engaging and sometimes playful processes, so avoiding the participation fatigue and stakeholder disengagement which is likely to occur when processes are not smooth and transparent).
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies: 
The immersive method of ‘residence’ which I have been co-developing with La 27e Région turns out to be a very powerful integrated approach to local sustainable development: the user-centred posture and the long immersion session working with users and all stakeholders ensure the delivery of policies that stay close to users' real needs. The very fact that solutions (i.e. new public services and policy measures) are co-designed by the populations that are going to benefit from them make them more pertinent compared to top-down policy-making. The users' point of view is also a good way to cut across administrative silos, induce transversal collaboration between city administration services and generate integrated solutions. I have experience in the participative assessment of public policies. In particular, I have been involved recently in two assessment processes which are particularly interesting because they are designed to rely on the stakeholders involved rather than (or at least as well as) external experts: - a participative and projective assessment of the Agenda Iris 21 policy for the Brussels-Capital Region in 2012; - a peer assessment of the second Agenda 21 of the Conseil Général de la Gironde in Bordeaux in 2013; In both I organised the assessment process, making intense use of stakeholder workshops, peer review, scenario building and co-elaboration of solutions to produce a positive response and an improved solution instead of a bland judgment.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level: 
As Lead Expert of the URBACT Sustainable Food in Urban Communities network I had the opportunities to interact with the participating cities about the possibilities to apply to ERDF-ESF funding schemes. I also collaborate with Brussels Environment, the sustainable development administration of the Brussels-Capital Region to apply to FEDER funding.
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities: 
As Lead Expert of the URBACT Sustainable Food in Urban Communities network I supported the 10 participating cities in shaping, structuring and developing their Local Action Plans. The topic of sustainable food reveals particularly strong differences throughout Europe on each and every dimension, whether due to climatic conditions, greater or lesser dependence on agroindustry and supermarket distribution chains, cultural habits, eating patterns, strong involvement or on the contrary critical disengagement of populations regarding quality food, cooking practices, sensitivity to sustainable and healthy diets, etc. The experience gained through the Sustainable Food in Urban Communities network took these differences into account and increased the strong involvement of city inhabitants in growing their own food, in reclaiming land for community gardens, and in developing multiple initiatives to reengage the population (and youth in particular) in cooking and eating better quality and more healthy and sustainable food. I organised the flow of exchanges between participating cities, listing what each city could give and would like to get in terms of good practices, discussing in depth the possibilities and conditions of transfer of successful cases and policies and fostering innovation in cultural interpretation and adaptation to the different governance systems.
Summary Expertise: 
I have extensive experience of projects conducted with local authorities to support the delivery of integrated policies. In particular I work in organising participative stakeholder processes based on the inventory of relevant stakeholders, the building of a shared understanding of the context, opportunities and barriers between them and the organisation of creative, balanced and constructive production, implementation and assessment of public policies (i.e. redesign of the French Agenda 21 national policy; co-organisation of a large stakeholder process aiming to develop a Sustainable Food Strategy for the Brussels-Capital Region; peer assessment of the Agenda 21 of the Conseil Général de la Gironde in Bordeaux). In my work as Lead Expert of the URBACT Sustainable food in Urban Communities network I have demonstrated high sensitivity to socio-cultural differences (i.e. in terms of food resilience and engagement of the population in quality healthy and sustainable diets) between cities throughout Europe and to the necessity to always adapt and often completely redesign the policy solutions to transfer them between different European governance patterns. The user-centred methods I co-develop (i.e. the immersion 'in residence' of small creative multi-disciplinary teams in local the public administration to co-develop projects between civil servants and citizens) allow the delivery of integrated policies, which emerge from the users and match their needs exactly.


Residence location:
French - Mother tongue
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Foreign Languages level: 
Foreign languages: 
Unavailable - already performing the role of Lead Expert for an URBACT network

Area of expertise