NeoRural Futures: an international summer school, an exhibit, a conference and a cultural programme in Rome

NeoRural Futures is a multiplier event of the Speculative Edu Project, composed of a 5 days intensive workshop dedicated, a cultural program dedicated to participants to meet different institutions and city dwellers active in the field of culture, design and rurality. Positioned right in the middle of the research project, the summer school is the opportunity to share, present, discuss and use the study on the state of the art which is completed by the consortium.

The closing event includes an exhibit and an international conference open to the public.

>> Our questions:

→ Who are “neorurals”? 

→ How do they live? 

→ How are people starting to move from cities to rural areas and vice-versa? How are these phenomena related? With what effects? 

→ How is all of this changing together with technological scenarios (such as AI, big data, IoT) and global phenomena (such as climate change, migration, and the transformation of cities)? 

During the summer school, participants will apply critical, speculative, near future and design fiction approaches to build scenarios about possible and desirable futures of rurality, and to transform them into an ehxibit.

The event was coordinated by the Italian partner of the Speculative Edu Project, Human Ecosystems Relazioni, and locally supported by RUFA – Rome Universities of Fine Arts, Rural Hack, Societing 4.0, Fondazione Roma Europa through its programme DIGITALIVE, MERCATO CENTRALE, NONE Collective, Ultravioletto. 

Workshop leaders: 

  • Salvatore Iaconesi e Oriana Persico (HER); 
  • Alex Giordano (Rural Hack)


  • Arianna Forte, Alessandra Del Nero, Daniele Bucci, Valeria Loreti, Federico Biggio, Herbert Natta

More info at: 


>> The future is already here – it’s just not evenly imagined: Conversations about the Futures


“The future is already here – It’s just not evenly imagined” is a series of three conversations about the future, in which the group of participants will meet four different cultural organizations active in Rome in the field of arts, design, communication, food and rurality, by visiting their headquarters.

In a convivial space, the series of conversations is the final moment of the workshop, to share and discuss how we can come together to imagine and face the future, discovering what are the approaches and strategies that different types of entities (such as independent artists, institutions, museums, universities, businesses or research centers) are using.

The starting of the conversations will be strategies adopted by hosting partners, involving the summer school’s participants and the team project: 


  • September 3d 2019 || Neorural Futures meets Mercato Centrale


      • A group of entrepreneurs created Mercato Centrale to establish new bridges between cities, rurality and food to offer innovative urban experience, with a clear view and imagination of possible, desirable futures. We will learn about this vision, and how it materializes itself in physical and digital spaces.
      • Learn more about Mercato Centrale:


  • September 4th 2019 || Neorural Futures meets None Collective and Ultravioletto


      • NONE collective is an artistic collective based in Rome moving across art, design and technology, that develops cross-media projects which interpret the contemporary condition of coexisting with the digital society. Ultravioletto is a design studio exploring the possibilities that lie between analog and digital fields to examine the relationship of humans and technology. We will learn more about their vision and how design can become a tool to speculate about the future.
      • Learn more about None Collective:; learn more about Ultravioletto: 


  • September 5th 2019 || Neorural Futures meets Fondazione Romaeuropa Festival


    • Fondazione Romaeuropa Festival is the most influential public/private foundation in town dedicated to contemporary performance and art. Since its first edition in 1986, the success of the Romaeuropa Festival has grown constantly and is now recognised as the most important Italian cultural festival. It includes theatre, music and dance’s performances but also exhibits and kids dedicated program. Among the many Festival activities, we will discuss how the DIGITALIVE programme investigates expressive languages and form of art linked to new media and sound. 
    • Learn more about Fondazione Romaeuropa Festival: 


**The three events “The future is already here – It’s just not evenly imagined”  are part of the workshop program and are reserved to participants**

>> Closing Event: International Conference and Exhibit

The closing event will be hosted by RUFA Space on Sept. 6 2019: below you find a synthetic overview of the program.

>> WHEN: 6 Sept. 2019 – RUFA Space (Opening starts at 5.30 pm)

>> WHERE: Via degli Ausoni 7 (Rome, Italy)

Program of the day

5.30pm – 8.30 pm 

Neorural Futures – The exhibit:

  • opening, with guided tour to the exhibit with the participants, coordinators and tutors of the project

6.00pm – 7.30 pm

The Speculative conference:

    • Institutional greetings: 


  • Fabio Mongelli, director of RUFA – Rome Academy of Fine Arts


  • Oriana Persico, artist and founder of the research center HER



    • Speculative Edu – The project:


  • Ivica Mitrović, Arts Academy Split


  • Sara Božanić, CEO of the Institute for Transmedia Design



  • Rurality in transition:
    • Alex Giordano, founder of RuralHack
  • Introduction to Speculative Design:
    • Matt Ward, Goldsmith College
  • The narrations and results of the workshop:
    • Salvatore Iaconesi, artist and founder of the research center HER
  • The results of the project Speculative Edu:
    • Ivica Mitrović, Arts Academy Split
    • Ingi Helgason, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Round Table – social transformations: how speculative and critical design can help community, institutions, companies to imagine and build future scenarios
    • Matt Ward, Goldsmith College
    • Julian Hanna, Madeira Interactive Technology Institute
    • Jimmy Loizeau, Goldsmith College
    • Michael Smith, Edinburgh Napier University
  • Q&A
  • Closing remarques:
    • Salvatore Iaconesi, artist and founder of the research center HER
    • Ivica Mitrović, Arts Academy Split

> Download all the info > About_SpeculativeEdu_NeoRuralFutures_



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