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Meet the Masters

This is a frequently updated list of participants to the Masters of Networks INSITE event.

03aAlberto Cottica

Online Citizen Engagement Advisor at Council of Europe

Alberto Cottica is an economist interested in rewiring public policies for Internet-enabled mass collaboration. He has directed several projects powered by online collaboration between citizens and institutions, both in Italy and at the European level. He used to be a rock musician, but he is trying to quit.


zoninAlessandro Zonin

Network scientists, Data analysts, Programmers

“Information Technology and Social Sciences have always been my main interests. Social Network Analysis is the ideal meeting point between the two disciplines.

@AlessandroZonin is a Social Media Miner, an Information Architect, a Sociologist.

Here follows my blog (in italian) with some Twitter Studies : alessandrozonin.wordpress.com”


baniMarco Bani

Network scientists, Policy makers

“Marco Bani, 29 years. MA degree in Humanities Computing (University of Pisa, Italy,2008)then Assistant Lecturer for the course MA in Digital Culture. Later I became a Research Fellow at King’s Visualization Lab, a CCH internal team, focused in the use of new technologies in humanities research.
I was elected city councillor in Pisa during the elections held on April 2008.
Since then I have tried to follow several political events, especially regarding technology innovation, free expression, privacy and intellectual property, building strong connections nationwide with politicians and policy-makers.
I’m currently a PhD candidate in “”Politics, Human Rights and Sustainability “” at Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, (Pisa, Italy), where I’m trying to merge my two identities, one as academic and the other as politician, researching about the promotion of democracy through the Internet and social media.
Actually I’m visiting student at M.I.T, Center for civic media.”

Problem for discussion:

Civic crowdfunding

Anthony Zacharzewski

Policy makers, Campaigners

“Anthony Zacharzewski is Executive Director of the Democratic Society [http://www.demsoc.org], a non-partisan membership organisation promoting civic participation and better democracy. Previously, he worked at Brighton & Hove City Council as Head of Policy and Acting Director of Strategy and Governance. From 1996 until 2006 he worked for the UK Government as secretary to the Cabinet Committees on health, food and agriculture; and in the Treasury’s internal think tank.

The Democratic Society’s current projects include Demsoc Lewes, an attempt to build an infrastructure for democratic conversations within networks in a local government area of about 100,000 people in southern England; CityCamp Brighton, a participatory innovation event and network that has been running for three years; and Open Policymaking, a discussion in association with the Cabinet Office exploring how government can make its processes more open to different voices.”

1471282292_b5dd775475Stefano Bertolo

Policy makers

I have a PhD in Philosophy/Cognitive science and I went on to work for six years as an artificial intelligence programmer. Since 2004 I work as a scientific project officer for the European Commission where for the last few years I have been mostly involved with Big/Open Data.

Problem for discussion:

I am interested in economic networks and economic complexity as studied in http://atlas.media.mit.edu The policy issue that I am interested in understanding better is how a funding agency could support the development of better connected, more robust product networks in the domain of data technologies. This includes the ability to measure the connectedness of such networks and monitor progress along the desired gradient.

gaia1-300x200Gaia Marcus

Network scientists, Think tank-er

Gaia Marcus is the Senior Researcher for Connected Communities, the RSA’s social network analysis champion, and leads the Social Mirror project. With a background in youth participation and human rights, prior to joining the RSA Gaia worked as Research Associate for the Space Makers Agency.


image3121Raffaele Miniaci


Econometrics: microeconometrics, econometrics of experimental data, portfolio efficiency analysis.

Applied Microeconomics: household expenditure, savings, portfolio allocation and affordability of basic utilities; experimental economics

Labour economics: household labour supply, retirement, returns on education and skills

Alessandro Pirani

Policy makers

“I serve as a free lance practitioner in planning, organization and e-gov service management. I’ve built and brought on projects in and about social housing, land use, voluntary and third sector. I’ve developed a good experience in handling complex projects and problem solving.

In the meanwhile, I try to understand how to manage a public budget serving a small town council as assessor for economic planning and public relations. I finally got rid of my Phd in Regional Planning and public policies in IUAV UniversityVenice. My english is proficient and my spanish excellent.

Specialties: Sensemaking, service design and assessing, writing action research and etnographical projects, reporting, accounting with customers, speech writing, keynote presentation building.”

Problem for discussion:

I deal with a wicked policy problem concerning antique markets and junk stuff hobby sellers. The professional ones and the hobbyist cohabit in many small towns sunday markets, but the latter are guilty of evade taxes – for they sell tax-free goods under the cover of the alleged ‘barter’. Regione Emilia-Romagna is trying and write down a new law about the issue… but the path is still long.

Jocelyn Cunningham

Arts intermediary

“Jocelyn is the Director of Arts and Society, an Associate partner with the Royal Society of Arts in the U.K. This is a programme designed to develop new ways of understanding the value of the arts in addressi ng urgent social issues and strengthening the networks of those exploring this, at a local, national and international level. Projects focus upon action research and experimentation through creative practice, brokering new ways of working in the public arena inspired by arts projects that engage with a social agenda. Current programmes consist of Arts and Social Change within the Citizen Power programme in Peterborough and Creative Intersections as part of the Creative Futures programme at Kings College London.

Jocelyn has been an actor in the U.K. and Canada for over 25 years and this practice has fundamentally shaped her approach to collaboration and informed an artist based approach to strategic work in a more civic sphere. Her body of work ranged from theatre work with the Royal Shakespeare Company to international film, radio and television. She helped to develop a national initiative in creative learning in Canada running long term programmes with rural and urban schools and communities before returning to the UK in 2004 and becoming the Director of Creative Partnerships London North. She developed a joint MA programme with Christchurch Canterbury University for practitioners within schools, local authorities and arts organisations and commissioned a cross-London evaluative study on the creative learning programme with the London School of Economics. Jocelyn then took the role of the Creative Partnerships Legacy Director with Arts Council England culminating in recommendations for new models of partnerships with higher education.

6300_120004798602_596883602_2267986_952172_nDario Bottazzi

Network scientists, Data analysts, Programmers

I am senior researcher at Laboratori Gugliemo Marconi where I lead various Research and Technology Transfer projects. In addition I serve as policy advisor and senior consultant for large e-gov projects. I received a PhD in Electronics, Computer Science and Communications Engineering from DEIS, University of Bologna. My research interests mainly lie on pervasive and mobile computing technologies, machine learning and social network analysis and management.

06202d8Jane Kennedy

Policy makers, Data analysts

“Dr. Jane Kennedy is the Research Business Manager at the London Borough of Newham where she leads the Council’s research, evaluation and consultation programmes. Last year Jane led research on personal and community resilience using social network analysis working with the RSA and The Campaign Company.

Jane previously managed national research as Senior Research Manager at the Audit Commission and has worked at senior level in policy and performance in local government. ”

Problem for discussion:

How can we use social networks to reduce long-term unemployment in local areas?

tito-ago-07Tito Bianchi

Policy makers

“I work as a Policy Analyst at the Italian Ministry of Economic development, as a member of the Evaluation unit. Areas of interest: EU Structural Funds, Creativity and startups, industrial development policy, Education policy, Policy Evaluation and Monitoring.
I have a PhD in Development Policy at MIT, although I am an economist by background.
Master degrees and university diploma in economics.

Problem for discussion:

“I would like to test the validity of statements that are often made with regard to my policy domain of interest – the EU regional development policies – that funds are often granted more based on personal connections, sometimes degenerating in outright clientelism or corruption, than on project quality.
My hypothesis is that, while cases of malfeasance and inappropriate behavior of institutions in charge of funds’ management exist, especially in underdeveloped areas the incidence of these cases in the public perception, exceeds the real-world magnitude of the phenomenon. ”


  • http://opencoesione.gov.it/
  • http://www.dps.tesoro.it/opencoesione/ml_en.asp

gurisattiPaolo Gurisatti

Network scientists

Economist engaged with market system design and a special interest for cluster development



Pinaud_ID1220279400Bruno Pinaud

Network scientists, Programmers

Bruno Pinaud received the PhD degree in Computer Science in 2006 from the University of Nantes. He is currently assistant professor at the University of Bordeaux I in the Computer Science Department since September 2008. His current research interests are visual data mining, graph rewriting systems, graph visualization and experimental evaluation in HCI (Human Computer Interaction). More information at http://www.labri.fr/index.php?n=Annuaires.Profile&id=Pinaud_ID1220279400 (in French)

fortiniMatteo Fortini

Network scientists, Programmers

“Happy husband, proud father of three, curious of everything, fond of technology, computer science and open source, kernel hacker, wannabe photographer and entrepreneur.
Computer Engineer, Operations Research Ph.D. working in embedded software and hydraulic networks GIS databases.
Convinced that so many processes can still be greatly improved by smart thinking, good hardware and software.
Always looking for partners to change the world together.”

29505fdFrancesco Mureddu

Researcher and Analyst in the Economic and Technology Policy Field

Francesco Mureddu is a researcher and analyst at Tech4i2 since September 2011, and is also associated researcher at the Centre for North South Economic Research (CRENoS). His fields of expertise encompass: information society, e.g. socio-economic impact of ICT, supported innovative and inclusive policies and strategies, roadmapping and scenario development of ICT potential; dynamical methods applied to economic modelling, such as in the fields of innovation and technological externalities, growth and structural effects of economic integration, and finally empirical methods, like counterfactual impact evaluation, panel data econometrics, statistics and growth accounting. He also has professional experience in international institutions such as the European Commission, DG Information Society and Media (Unit of Strategy for ICT Research and Development), and the European Central Bank, DG Economics (Structural Issues Unit and Global Economy Session). Francesco holds an MA in Economics from the Catholic University of Louvain and a PhD in Economics from the University of Cagliari, and is able to work and interact in two foreign languages.

adeaAde Adewunmi

Policy makers

Ade Adewunmi works in the policy team of the Government Digital Service (part of the Cabinet Office) in the UK. At present I’m focused on promoting and enabling open policymaking, especially in an increasingly digital delivery environment.

Problem for discussion:

I really liked the problem that Catherine Howe proposed- “”Tracking a democratic conversation across different online media.”"

I’m also interested in exploring the proportion of ideas that arise in networks of “”frontline”" public servants (those who are closest to delivery of government services) cross over into policymaker networks. If they do, I’m interested in how these ‘cross overs’ happen. If policymakers are aware of a good proportion of these ideas, this could tell us a lot about whether more attention needs to be focused on getting policymakers to be better at translating these ideas into deliverable policies or whether we need to focus on increasing the number of ‘crossovers’ in the first place.

Health and education practitioners seem to me (based solely on anecdotal evidence no scientific investigation) to be amongst the most active in social networks, so they might be interesting test cases.

miliaMilica Begovic

Policy Maker

“I am a senior manager at UNDP Montenegro, in charge of Economy and Environment program portfolio. My work focuses on assisting Montenegro in transitioning toward low emissions market economy (with programs in energy efficiency and renewable energy) and increasing resilience of ecosystems, economies and communities in face of various risks (with programs in disaster risk reduction, private sector development, and protected area management).

Since September 2012, I am also working with the regional Knowledge and Innovation team that covers the Europe and CIS countries. As a knowledge and innovation specialist on a part-time basis, I am involved in a number of initiatives where UNDP is experimenting with using alternative methods for project management, research, monitoring and evaluation including: establishing a knowledge and innovation service line at UNDP Montenegro, using prize-based challenged for sustainable development, using big data for political risk management, and applying complexity theory to development.
I contribute to the UNDP Regional Blog on Europe and CIS countries, and I a regular on Twitter. I have a bachelor’s degree in Communications and ICT (with specialization in public relations), master and doctorate degrees in Political Science (with specialization in international relations and conflict prevention).

Link to a short bio: http://europeandcis.undp.org/news/show/E915F80B-F203-1EE9-BD3B533D339B9DD9

Problem for discussion:

“UNDP and World Bank are looking at whether we can use operational data generated through implementation of projects (e.g. types of contract, amount of funds, location of winning companies, etc) for a better operational risk management. Getting more specific, the WB has data available on granted contract (https://finances.worldbank.org/widgets/kdui-wcs3) and here the interest is whether this data can help us understand:
(i) if certain types of firms win single source contracts across multiple agencies, are certain individuals who live in certain locations more common to multiple firms that win contracts,
(ii) is there a correlation between firms that employ a large number of ex development agency staff and the contracts they win (this could possibly be extended to include relatives of government officials),
(iii) does a network of firm consistently bid on common tenders, what kind of social linkages exist between winning and losing firms.
The other data set WB has available is the organizations contribution to the financial intermediary Funds (https://finances.worldbank.org/widgets/536v-dxib) and here the interest is to see whether the data shows patterns of investment, staffing, corporate communications patterns, etc. In both cases, we’d probably need to cross link this with other data sets and WB has a very rich repository of its financial data here: https://finances.worldbank.org/


Data set on issued contracts at WB: https://finances.worldbank.org/widgets/kdui-wcs3

Data set on financial contribution of WB to the financial intermediary funds:


Repository of all World Bank financial data:


Hibbard Lee

Catherine Howe

guyGuy Melancon

Network scientists, Data analysts, Programmers

Got a PhD in combinatorial mathematics (1991), later got interested in information and network visualization, focused on network analysis. Was part of CWI (Amsterdam) InfoVis team circa 2000, then in Montpellier as full professor. Now in Bordeaux where I head(ed) an INRIA team focusing on Network Interactive Visualization and Mining. I have great interest in network analysis targeted at the Human and Social Sciences.

Stefano Morpurgo

Michele Pezzoni

Giovanni Ponti

renoustRenoust Benjamin

Network scientists, Data analysts, Programmers

Benjamin did his graduate studies in both the University of Technology at Belfort (UTBM – France) and the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST – South Korea) in Computer Science and Engineering. He is now preparing his PhD at both the LaBRI (University of Bordeaux I) and the National Institute for Audiovisual (Ina – Paris) with special interests in graph analysis and visualization.

Margherita Russo

Marcello Sartarelli

Allison Smith

Viaud Marie-Lucie

currCurrarin Sergio


“I am Professor of Economics at the University of Venice, and have a joint position at the University of Leicester.
I am a (micro)economist. My research is about behavior on networks and network formation. Both theory and experimental work. Recently I have studied segregation and discrimination in social networks.int position at the University of Leicester.”