How did you enter your profession?
I love the route I followed to my profession in cultural heritage! It’s been a quest through very different routes that brought me – finally! – to discover my real passions.
Coming from a family of anesthesiologists, pharmacists and doctors my life seemed already written and it was no surprise that I studied Pharmacy at university. In Italian there’s a saying, ‘Impara l’arte e mettila da parte’ (literally ‘Learn the art and put it apart’), meaning that it’s good to acquire a new skill and then use it when you need it - or never! I learned chemistry and never spent a day in my life in a laboratory, at least not a chemical one.
During my studies I started working in the hotel industry. I fell in love with all the things that attract people to different destinations and enjoyed creating experiences for them (at that time I wasn’t calling them ‘experiences’ but suggestions of things to do). At the same time, I was exploring all the possibilities that the internet offered to promote the business I was working in. I was one of the first hoteliers to use Facebook, even when the business pages didn’t exist yet. I have wanted to understand every aspect of the digital world since I received my first email (yes, I’m that old!) and had to build a new website.
In this context, after years of self-training, I co-founded ‘Invasioni Digitali’ (Digital Invasions), a project which aims to promote the value of, and engagement with, local cultural heritage by combining social media and storytelling. Finally, I was back to my Humanist persona combined with the ‘new’ skill of Digital Media Curator.
What are you currently working on?
I’m actually working on a few different projects with some amazing international partners. I just want to mention two of them: the first is related to capacity building for young women from disadvantaged areas and post-conflict countries. It aims to improve their social and professional integration by improving youth workers’ capacity to engage them in grassroots projects for the sustainable development of local communities. Young women living in post-conflict countries or in countries facing profound social transformation will become real changemakers, and working on establishing a grassroots project will support them to develop their capacities and skills.
The second project focuses on implementing EU policy recommendations by developing the digital skills of heritage house owners in Europe. The project works to provide training to owners and their employees so that they can overcome the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis by developing digital activities related to communication and cultural heritage. It aims to foster the development, commercialisation and promotion of tourism connected to cultural heritage.
What are some of the challenges in your role? What are some of your favourite elements?
We are living a very intense period in terms of rethinking human interactions within the digital world. As a ‘digital hybrid’ I feel all the excitement of these new opportunities now as I did when I first received my first email! I think the biggest (and my favourite) challenge in my work is to put the human at the centre of the ‘Uni-Meta-verse’ when speaking about our cultural heritage.
What was your motivation for joining the Members Council?
I’ve been a big fan of Europeana since I discovered it and joined the Europeana Network Association. I thought this was the right moment to go one step forward– well more as I’m also in the Management Board! – to mix my experiences with those of the many talented professionals in the network. My goal is to share and learn as much as I can!
What do you plan to do as a Members Councillor and Management Board member?
I will try to promote diversity, change, and innovation. These are the drivers of my motivation. What inspires me to work every day is to build the future believing, as I do, that through culture and communication it is possible to make society and the world better.
Empowerment through collaboration: I will try to help to grow the Europeana Network Association and support it to be more and more innovative!