WCC-Europe presents the second webinar in the framework of the New European Bauhaus (NEB) online conference series. The topic of this edition is digitalisation and the use of digital technologies and is free and open for all to attend. Join us via Zoom on Wednesday 18th of January at 17:00 (CET). Read all the details and full programme of speakers below.

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As a network organisation, World Crafts Council Europe aims to strengthen the status of crafts as a vital part of cultural, social and economic life, promoting a sense of fellowship among the global and European craft community.

The webinar’s focus will look at its impact of digitalisation on innovation, which is placed at the highest rank among the current sectoral challenges. Within this, the programme intends to engage questions around digital skills and their relationship to craft practice; the digital transformation and acceleration; as well as the role digital technologies play in transitioning toward a more sustainable sector and society. It will be the second webinar in the New European Bauhaus (NEB) programme, implemented within the framework of the “Crafting the Future” project (Creative Europe Programme).

The key speaker of the webinar will be Alessandro Monti from The Foundation Research and Innovation of the University of Florence with an introduction from Mariachiara Esposito, Seconded National Expert at Cultural Policy Unit (DG EAC), European Commission; and presentations from action researcher, Sally Bourdon from Distributed Design & FabLab Barcelona; progressive design and craft studio, Gareth Neal and innovative jewellery maker, Edu Tarin.

The webinar is fully aligned with the Strategy for Europe – ‘Fit for the Digital Age’, to make digital transformation/acceleration work for people and businesses while helping to achieve its target of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050. It will contribute to the Digital Education Action Plan and resetting education and training for the digital age objectives by enhancing digital skills and competences for the digital transformation.





17.00 – Welcome from Elisa Guidi, WCCE President
17.05 – Introduction from Mariachiara Esposito, Seconded National Expert at Cultural Policy Unit (DG EAC), European Commission
17.15 – Key presentation from Alessandro Monti, The Foundation for Research and Innovation at the University of Florence
17:35 – Sally Bourdon, FabLab Barcelona & Distributed Design
17.45 – Gareth Neal
18:00 – Edu Tarin
18.15 – Open Questions
18.30 – End






Mariachiara has a background in European affairs and many years experience working on cultural policies at both European and regional levels. Since 2020, she has been in charge of cultural heritage, innovation and sustainable development at the European Commission, DG EAC, as Seconded National Expert in Cultural Policy. Her Main tasks include leading the work on the cultural dimension of sustainable development and coordinating culture and cultural heritage research actions in Horizon Europe’s Cluster 2 “Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society”. Previously she has been a cultural advisor on culture and research at EU level for the regional government of Tuscany; Scientific Coordinator for Humanities at Science Europe and President’s Spokesperson at the European Economic and Social Committee.



Alessandro Monti is General Manager of the Foundation for Research and Innovation of the University of Florence. He has supported the setup of regional innovation clusters (e.g. sustainable technologies/smart city, optoelectronics, fashion and mechanics), a National Technological Cluster (Smart Communities, board of directors member) and some ecosystems of innovation among which the Metropolitan City of Florence one. Daily, he supports Spin Off – Start Up in the pre-incubation, incubation, acceleration and scale up phases also on a European scale as much as companies in their innovation processes and is an expert in technological development trajectories/foresight, new technologies and social innovation.



Sally Bourdon is currently an action researcher at Fab Lab Barcelona working on the Distributed Design Market Platform, a Creative Europe project, and Food Tech 3.0, one of the nine Accelerator Labs of the EU Horizon 2020 project FoodSHIFT 2030. 

The Distributed Design Platform is coordinated by Fab Lab Barcelona at IAAC. The platform, established in 2017, brings together a diverse member base from 17 cultural and creative institutions from 13 European countries. The Distributed Design Platform acts as a hub for creative talents to engage with innovative fields of design toward more sustainable, open, inclusive and collaborative practices. While global challenges intensify, shifting the global paradigm to support global connectivity and local productivity where data is shared globally, while materials stay local becomes urgent. Distributed Design is a proactive response for creatives to prefigure viable design alternatives to the current paradigm that is designed for mass consumption.



Gareth Neal is a progressive and collaborative East London design and craft studio with quality making at the core. Established in 2006 Neal has since become internationally recognised at the forefront of British Furniture Design. Craft, stretches beyond the learnt techniques; the work harmoniously unites traditional and digital techniques to create uniquely crafted pieces. It is a way of approaching objects with an understanding of the wider impact they create; where something is made, how and by whom. His conceptually rigorous, and beautifully crafted, work has fostered collaborations with the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, and his work is housed in the world’s leading museum of art and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum. The design process is led by a respect for the natural environment, and the traditional processes, materials and skills intrinsically linked within it. Encapsulating stories of people, process and place, our work is rich in narrative. He is regularly praised within the design press and is sought after by discerning collectors.



A son of jewellers, Edu Tarin was trained at the workshop of the family business and in 2008 studied artistic jewellery at the EASD Valencia School. In 2012 he received his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Applied Sciences Trier, Department of Gemstone and Jewellery Design in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. In April 2015 he graduated with a Master in Fine Arts at the same department. Since 2013 he has been involved in the research of new technologies applied to jewellery design and in 2022 he started as a researcher at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.



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