The International Academy on Sustainable Development is a capacity-building programme ideated and implemented by the Research Centre Silvia Santagata – Ebla (for the first three editions) and UNESCO through the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (based in Venice, Italy), with the support of several local partners in the Turin, Piedmont area and Milan. The Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture achieved the initiative as of 2018.

The main objective of the program is to contribute to the achievement of the UN 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals, through an effective advancement of institutional and professional capacities of managing authorities, communities and relevant operators from UNESCO designations.


Launched as a pilot program in occasion of the 3rd International Forum on Local Economic Development in 2015, in collaboration with the United Nations System Staff College and the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization, the Academy is based in the city of Torino (Italy), which counts three different UNESCO designations.

Besides the training activities, the Academy also promotes a Community of good management practices in UNESCO designated areas, an international cooperative network of site managers, operators and practitioners committed to disseminate sustainable practices of territorial and community management.


In accordance with the overall spirit of the Academy, the main aim of this year’s workshop is to contribute to advancing professional and institutional capacities of managing authorities, communities and relevant practitioners from UNESCO designations on the selected topic, in order to increase the benefits for the local communities and to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.​

The 2018 programme will focus on the following UNESCO designations:

Special attention will be paid to “multiple designated areas”, i.e. local territories with a concentration or proximity of more than one UNESCO designation, in order to analyse the potentialities, challenges and possible experiences related to the coordination and integration between different designations.


The workshop will focus on UNESCO Designations and their potential role in addressing sustainable development goals, with specific reference to the UN 2030 Agenda.

Specific topics addressed in the 2018 edition will be:

  1. Integrated management models for cultural and natural resources, exploring emerging approaches, tools and practices to effectively engage multiple stakeholders and to better integrate cultural and natural resources within local development programmes.
  1. The role of creativity and innovation in community based development, to understand how the diverse cultural expressions sustain cultural and social innovation process and how UNESCO designations can operate for incubating and disseminating sustainable development practices.
  1. Tools and practices to facilitate the management and development of sustainable tourism at UNESCO designated areas through fostering increased awareness, capacity and balanced participation of all stakeholders.


  • Fondazione Santagata for the Economics of Culture
  • UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe
  • University of Turin – UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development and Territory Management
  • IULM University – IULM Innovation Lab, Milan
  • University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo
  • Giovanna Segre (University of Torino);
  • Martha Friel (IULM University);
  • Patrizia Lombardi (Politecnico di Torino);
  • Matteo Rosati (UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe);
  • Carlo Salone (University of Torino)
  • Jonathan Baker (UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe),
  • Enrico Bertacchini (University of Turin),
  • Massimo Biglia (IT.A.C.A. Festival of responsible Tourism and Ca’Mon),
  • Paola Borrione (Fondazione Santagata),
  • Andrea Cerrato (Sistema Monferrato),
  • Peter DeBrine (UNESCO World Heritage Centre),
  • Filippo del Corno (Councillor for Culture of the Municipality of Milan),
  • Elena De Filippis (Ente di Gestione dei Sacri Monti),
  • Michele Antonio Fino (University of Gastronomic Science of Pollenzo),
  • Laura Fornara (Compagnia di San Paolo),
  • Martha Friel (IULM University),
  • Angelo Miglietta (IULM University),
  • Stefano Parise (Director of the Library Sector City of Milan),
  • Luigi Patuzzi (Fondazione Dolomiti UNESCO),
  • Philippe Pypaert (UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Bejing),
  • Alessio Re (Fondazione Santagata),
  • Matteo Rosati (UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe),
  • Alessandro Rubini (Art&Culture Departement – Fondazione Cariplo),
  • Pierluigi Sacco (IULM University),
  • Donatella Saccone (University of Gastronomic Science of Pollenzo),
  • Carlo Salone (University of Turin),
  • Giovanna Segre (University of Turin),
  • Benedetta Ubertazzi (UNESCO Facilitator, Global Capacity Building Programme for Safeguarding ICH),
  • Gabriele Volpato (University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo)
Alessio Re (Fondazione Santagata)
Paola Borrione, Erica Meneghin, Cecilia Mereghetti, Emanuele Nervo, Andrea Porta, Jie Shu
  • Torino Design Week
  • City of Milan
  • Fondazione Feltrinelli
  • Laboratorio Formentini
  • Ente di gestione dei Sacri Monti
  • Social Community Theatre Centre
  • IT.A.C.A’ Festival of responsible tourism and Ca’Mon
  • Bottega del Grigliolino association
  • RiCreareCrea association
  • Technical partners and collaboration
  • Camplus college Lingotto
  • Expo College Milan