Smart - Eco Villages
Marie-‐Noëlle Neven has more than 20 years professional experience as project manager. At the occasion of her participation in numerous different projects she has always make use of her communication skills. She started her career in a Minister’s office, where her educations in both Architecture and Communication have been put to contribution. With a background in urban planning and heritage, she integrated a project in the Telecom industry, firstly in Belgium and then in Switzerland. She has been recognized as specialized public relation consultant. Back to Belgium, after having managed a shop during 18 months, she integrated the European Commission with a three years contract. She discovered another professional environment in the European structure at the European Commission. Since, she is Project Manager for ONG’s in cultural and rural development fields. She holds a degree of Communication/Public relations and is French native speaker with an experience in multicultural projects.
Gérard Peltre has a large experience in rural development as mayor of a village during 37 years and as project developer. He is managing his own agency « InnovDev » as expert consultant and advising local and regional communities in strategic development.
Since 1996, he is president of the international association Rurality-Environment-Devloppement and impulses a networking dynamics around the recognition of the rural territories. Inside the association, he is assuming various mandates at the European level (Consultative Group for Rural development, Steering group of Rural Development, European Leader sub-group, European Steering group RURBAN). Since 20 years, he is also president of the European Countryside Movement, platform grouping 17 European associations actives in the specific area of rural development. He is recognized as expert in many French associations and often invited as speaker at national and international conferences.
Kirsten Birke Lund
Kirsten Birke Lund is a passionate and devoted LEADER believer. She represents the Danish LAGs (Local Action Groups) in ELARD (European LEADER Association for Rural Development) where she has previously been the vice-president, now a member of the Council. Kirsten sees it as important to combine rural development with agricultural development and to include all assets and opportunities in ensuring sustainable development of rural areas. Kirsten holds an MSC in cadastral surveying supplemented with an MSC in Rural Development.
Roberto Rovelli works at the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of the University of Milan in the field of landscape planning and design. He is graduated in Agricultural Sciences and, since 1999, he works on greenways and, in particular, on the re-use of disused railways such as pedestrian and cycling paths for the development of rural areas, a theme on which he has carried out researches and projects, he has obtained a research doctorate and is the author of books and articles. He is Vice-President of the Italian Greenways Association, manager of the Abandoned Railways project and promoter of the Green Binary initiative
ETOA - NET
Tim spent 18 years in the group travel industry in Europe, North America and India, in various roles from tour guiding to operations management and product development prior to joining ETOA in 2009. In-house, he currently manages the sales and market development team. External work includes EU regulatory review, industry partnerships, lobbying and campaigns.
ETOA – the European tourism association – http://www.etoa.org – is a travel trade body working at EU, national and regional levels. Its 870+ members include all types of business in the European supply chain, rural and urban, European destination management organisations and buyers worldwide. It runs workshops, masterclasses, destination promotion events and seminars. Its policy activity at an EU level focuses on taxation, cross-border service provision, visa policy. More widely, it works to maintain Europe’s appeal as a destination for key long-haul markets through product innovation and development and intelligent adaptation to origin market. As well as intra-European trade, ETOA has strong representation in Europe’s key long-haul markets such as China, India, North America and Japan.
Mercedes Bresso is an Italian politician (Democratic Party) and Member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the S&D Group. In 1969 she received her degree in Economics; since 1973 she is a University professor of economic institutions at Politecnico di Torino. (Faculty of Engineering). Between 1995 and 2004 she was President of the Turin Province. Between 2005 and 2010 she was President of the Piedmont region. Between 2005 and 2008 she was President of the Union of European Federalists (UEF). In February 2010, Bresso was elected the first female president of the European Committee of the Regions and became its Vice-president in 2012. Mercedes Bresso became a Member of the European Parliament following the 2014 European elections. She has been serving on the Committee on Regional Development and on the Committee on Constitutional Affairs. She is the Chair of the European Parliament Intergroup on Rural, Mountainous and Remote Areas (RUMRA). In 2016 she was the rapporteur for an EU Strategy for the Alpine region (EUSALP).
Managing Director - ENAT
Ivor Ambrose has a driving ambition to make tourism accessible for everyone, everywhere. He co-founded the European Network for Accessible Tourism (ENAT), a non-profit organisation, registered in Brussels in 2008. As ENAT’s Managing Director he has helped to make it the premier membership association for organisations, business and individuals who support and want to learn more about this area of tourism development. Ivor provides consultancy, policy advice and project management support to national and regional Destination Management Organisations, tourism operators and public bodies in Europe and overseas. Born in England, Ivor has lived and worked in the UK, Denmark, Belgium and Greece. He holds a Masters degree in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey, UK and a Ph.D./University Lecturer qualification from the Danish Building Research Institute. He is an internationally recognised specialist in accessible tourism, accessibility of the built environment, inclusion of people with disabilities and older people, user experience, Universal Design and ICTs.
Summary of Intervention:
Accessible Tourism is not a special kind of tourism for special people. It is about finding ways to make all tourism experiences accessible to everyone. Our aim is to involve the whole tourism value chain, by adding accessibility as a quality factor in every part of the offer. We are not talking about developing a market niche. The statistics show that one in five clients have an access need when travelling. So catering to this market is not just the right thing to do – it makes business sense. It is also about making your destination and your business socially sustainable, catering for clients of all abilities, across the lifespan. We’ll discuss tourism standards and share examples of good practices in accessibility, to learn from them and show how rural destinations and businesses can build competence and become accessible for all.
Peadar is the Enterprise Development Manager at Institute of Technology Carlow, managing the entrepreneurship development programs, incubation hub and innovation support services. Institute of Technology Carlow is in the centre of a rural economy, the college primarily covers a rural hinterland with a population of 1 million. Peadar joined Institute of Technology Carlow in July 2016, having worked as an independent business developer and innovation agent since 2005. Prior to working as an independent consultant Peadar worked for almost two decades in an international agrifood organisation, in finance, business development and innovation management roles. Peadar has a particular interest in entrepreneurship development, innovation management, open innovation and ecosystem development, within rural economies. Peadar has taken part in a number of European Union innovation camps focused on societal innovation and agriculture/rural innovation systems.
Peadar has completed a BBS Degree and Masters in International Entrepreneurs Management at University of Limerick.
Summary of Intervention:
Rural Destinations are assuming a new relevance in a digital age; technology is enabling remote working, lifestyle choices and an opportunity to establish new rural economies. The dynamics of work, travel and recreation are changing; the changing environment is creating blurred lines, individuals are taking advantage to have a more balanced life while living and/or visiting rural destinations. Rural Hubs are capturing and exercising individuals’ ambition in a lifestyle friendly manner. The seeds of ambition, entrepreneurship and innovation are connecting rural destinations with global audiences and a connected customer base.
Patrick Worms trained as a molecular geneticist and is the Senior Science Policy Advisor of the World Agroforestry Centre, the world’s premier research institution studying the roles of trees in agricultural landcapes. As a young European official, he pioneered a new way of using communications to deal with the environmental legacy of communism across the former Soviet Union before leaving for the private sector and engaging with the disastrous environmental legacy of China’s Great Leap forward, an effort which became the first large-scale private-sector investment in watershed remediation in that country. After seven years in one of the world’s largest advertising and public relations companies, Patrick founded his own company with two friends and grew it into a prominent lobbying shop with offices in Brussels, London and Paris. After selling his shares, he joined the World Agroforestry Centre in 2012. Patrick’s work sits at the nexus of land restoration and human security; the evidence is mounting that the clever marrying of traditional and advanced knowledge is the most promising pathway to a resilient rural prosperity, a giant help to mitigate our impact on biodiversity and the atmosphere and, tantalizingly, peace in a warming world. He is the President of the European Agroforestry Federation, a member of the steering committee of Initiatives for Land, Lives and Peace, a Fellow of the Evergreening Global Alliance, and serves on a number of advisory boards.
Entrepreneur licensed in Politics and Sociology by UCM, Master in HR by UNED and Master in Marketing by ESIC, has developed his career in internet and telecom multinationals. Founder of 4One, Spanish leading online digital agency, for more than 12 years sold to start Farmidable up. Part of several social project “Arte y Cera SL” and “Asociación para el Desarrollo de la Pedagogía Curativa y Socioterapia de Rudolf Steiner”. Foodie, creator of several consumer groups and obsessed with farmers markets.
General Secretary - Eurogites
Klaus Ehrlich studied Economics – Business Administration at the University of Siegen (DE) from 1976-1983, with one year at the University of Sevilla (81/82). Co-founder and manager of several entrepreneur associations related with rural tourism (RAAR, AHRA) since 1991. From 2002 until 2010, he was President of EuroGites – European Federation of Rural Tourism, since then Secretary General. Involved in several working groups and consultative bodies at the European Commission related with tourism and rural development.