Professor of Economic Geography at the London School of Economics and former President of the Regional Science Association International, where he served also as Vice-President in 2014. He has also been Vice-President (2012-2013) and Secretary (2001-2005) of the European Regional Science Association. He is a regular advisor to numerous international organizations, including the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank, the Cities Alliance, the OECD, the International Labour Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Development Bank of Latin America. He is an editor of Economic Geography and sits on the editorial board of 30 other scholarly journals, including many of the leading international journals in economic geography, human geography, regional science, and management. He is the former holder of a European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Grant and the only social scientist to have been awarded the Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award.
Personal web page: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/rodrigu1/


A doctor in economics and accredited to supervise research. He is currently 1st class research professor at the INRA (National Institute for Agronomic Research), involved in Agro Paris Tech and guest lecturer in several French Universities. His research was for a long time at the cross roads of spatial and industrial economics; It has in recent years become more multi-disciplinary and focused increasingly on questions related to land use planning and territorial development processes. He has published many articles and a few books , mostly on issues related to space and coordination between people or groups of people.
His research currently focuses on the analysis of proximity relations and on their importance in processes of coordination between people. It centres on two main areas:
1. Local interactions between innovative firms and, more particularly, the role played by geographical proximity in the transfer of knowledge;
2. Land use and neighbourhood conflicts. This multidisciplinary approach aims to identify and define conflicts, as well as the different ways of managing and solving them.
His involvement in research administration has led him to take on the roles of President of ERSA (the European Regional Science Association), of Director of the PSDR (For and About Regional development) research programs and of managing editor of the Revue d’Economie Régionale et Urbaine (Journal of Regional and Urban Economics). He is also former President of the ASRDLF (French Speaking Regional Science Association).
Personal web page: https://www.andre-torre.com/EN/andre_torre_accueil.php


Wolfgang Petzold is deputy director for communication with the European Committee of the Regions, for which he works since 2008. Before, he worked for ten years at the European Commission, including as deputy head of unit at the Regional and Urban Policy Directorate-General. Following his studies of sociology, he began his career in German regional ministries, working on EU affairs and EU funds’ management. He published several books and articles on EU regional and cohesion policy and lectured at universities in Bremen, Bruges, Glasgow, Osnabrück and Tübingen. He is member of the Regional Studies Association (RSA) and its research committee, as well as of the editorial board of the journal European Structural and Investment Funds (EStIF). In 2016, he won the media communications award of the RSA.



Vinko Muštra is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Split with a profound interest in regional and urban topics. His main research interest is in the field of smart specialization, urban development, agglomeration economies and EU regional policy. He has been involved in the implementation of national and international research projects and initiatives. Also he has published a wide array of scientific papers and articles in the field of spatial sciences. Furthermore, he is the Chairperson of the Organizing committee of the International Conference “Challenges of Europe”.


Blanka Šimundić is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism, University of Split. She has experience in teaching and profound interest in tourism economics, and global perspectives of transport and tourism demand and supply. Her main scientific research is in the field of economic policy and development, EU regional policy and the economics of travel and tourism. She has also published scientific papers in the field of tourism demand, input-output analysis, economic development and smart specialisation. She has been involved in the development of national/regional/urban development strategies and national and international research projects.