SpeculativeEdu NeoRural Futures Event in Rome

October 11, 2019

The second multiplier event of the SpeculativeEdu Project took place in Rome and was designed as an international summer school.

RUFA Space – Rome (San Lorenzo)
2–6th of September 2019
A workshop, an exhibition, a cultural program, an international conference
40 participants, 6 tutors, 3 coordinators, the wonderful international consortium SpeculativeEdu


After five intense days in Rome, it’s time to reflect back on what happened during NeoRural Futures.

Among the 100 people who enrolled from all over the world (Europe, USA, China, Palestine, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Turkey, India, Israel, South Africa), 40 participants from different backgrounds were selected to work together in five locations (Caselle in Pittari, Lushoto, Arjeplog, Chernobyl, the Moon) to imagine and design possible and preferable future scenarios for rurality.

During the summer school, participants collaboratively shaped their concepts from scratch, supervised by the three workshop leaders (Salvatore Iaconesi & Oriana Persico for HER; Alex Giordano for Rural Hack) and their tutors (Federico Biggio, Arianna Forte, Alessandra del Nero, Daniele Bucci & Valeria Loreti, Herbert Natta).

The outputs of the workshop were collected into an exhibition, held in the RUFA Space (Rome – San Lorenzo), which opened to the public on September 6th. In the exhibition, five scenarios presented the futures of five locations. Each group produced, for each location, an interactive digital map, an immersive diary written by a fictional character who gives a subjective perspective on the future scenario, and an object (or its manifestation).

The event also hosted the SpeculativeEdu international conference, composed of a series of talks about the results of the project, two keynotes on Speculative Design and rurality in transition, a round table, and a critical review of the five projects.

During the five days, three “Conversations about the Future” were hosted by local partners of the event, providing an opportunity for participants to visit four different cultural spaces in Rome: Mercato Centrale; NONE Collective and Ultravioletto (two Italian design studios); and Fondazione Roma Europa Festival.

The NeoRural Futures team is now at work processing the experience – an extended critical article will be published soon on this website.

Meanwhile, we collected a series of photos and videos to document the event.


Photo Galleries

View pics here! + see the full photo coverage by RUFA of the NeoRural Futures exhibition and the SpeculativeEdu Conference.


Here you can learn about the presentation and review process of the five projects through the voices of participants, as well as comments and feedback from the SpeculativeEdu Consortium and the invited curators, artists and teachers from Rome:

Here is a video made by local partner RUFA to summarise the experience through the voices of SpeculativeEdu, the NeoRural Futures team, and the participants.

Reflections and press coverages

Special thanks to

Our local partners: RUFA, in particular Fabio Mongelli, Alessandro Mongelli, Cristiana Pagnottelli, Gisella Fasone and all the wonderful tech team at RUFA; Rural Hack and Societing 4.0, in particular Alex Giordano, Dana Cappiello, Francesca Prisco, Afi, Nino Galdieri; Mercato Centrale, in particular Valentina Fioravanti and Simona Sacco; NONE Collective, in particular Gregorio De Luca Comandini, Mauro Pace, and Saverio Villirillo; Ultravioletto, in particular Bruno Capezzone; Fondazione Romaeuropa Festival, in particular Fabrizio Grifasi, Federica Patti and the DIGITALIVE Program; Vini Venditti, in particular Maria Venditti and her amazing family.

The NeoRural Team, in particular Elisa Nitti for being unstoppable, and the tutors.

Valeria Guarcini (aka Nikky), for the amazing local grown food and macrobiotic kitchen, with a touch of Roma style: eating together made a tremendous difference for all of us.

All the wonderful participants for making possible the whole experience (in alphabetical order): Nicolas Attolico, Bruno Capezzuoli, Andrea Cegarra, Eliza Chojnacka, Taha Enes Cinli, Maryssa Cook-Obregón, Markel Cormenzana, Ladipo Famodu, Vera Fearns, Benedetta Ficarelli, Andrea Gaspar, Jennifer Gasser, Leonardo Gerritse, Barbara Giorgi, Sabrina Haas, Elena Hess-Rheingans, James Hillman, Michel Jacquet, Nicola Lecca, Yang Li, Yuxi Liu, Giulia Mangoni, Camila Monteiro Pereira, Gabriel Peris, Brandon Polack, Marija Polović, Francesca Prisco, Alejandra Robles Sosa, Gregory Scott, Andrew Seetoh, Silvia Sgualdini, Estefania Silva, Rita Trombin, Ana María Urbieta Maisterra, Polina Veidenbakh, Elliott Wortham, Su Wu, Ai Yamanaka, Adam Zeiner, Taifu Zheng.