I gladly joined the Explicit project with the intention of making my own contribution in shaping the plausible futures of the circular economy. After a series of preliminary meetings with Dr. Mario Pansera, head of Work Package 1, Dr. Brais Sousa, post-growth innovation lab, and Dr. Adrea Genovese, principal investigator, it was decided which role would best suit my skills. After making arrangements with the Parthenope University of Naples and the on-site project manager, Dr. Renato Passaro, I left for Naples on the 27th of February to start work the next day.
It was an intense two months, full of activities, meetings, conference attendance and documentation writing. At the Parthenope University, I found a welcoming and collaborative environment. Dr. Renato Passaro took care of introducing me to my colleagues at the Parthenope University and updating me on the activity calendar. Apart from the initial difficulties in finding accommodation in Naples, the city also proved to be a great place to work. Not only is it the largest city in southern Italy, with several universities and research centres that make it a pole of attraction for international research staff, but it is also a ferment of cultural activities from which to draw important stimuli for work, and occasions for dissemination activities. All of this in an atmosphere of joy and celebration due to Napoli’s pre-announced historic football championship victory.
The secondee period lasted from 28th of February to 29th of April. During these two months, my main task was to define three of the dimensions around which to build research into the plausible futures of the circular economy: ownership of the means of production, ownership of the end products of labour, and what kind of governance over the production process. This entailed a lot of research and reading on the one hand delving into topics known to me concerning the critique of political economy, and on the other hand exploring into new literature concerning futurology.
Another job was conducting research around a non-reductionist conception of limits with the aim to write a scientific article together with Dr. Andrea Genovese. This seems particularly useful when defining social interactions, analysing their contradictions, and the relationships between society and nature. The bet is to be able to better understand the future and have some kind of anticipatory capacity based on past and present contradictions.
During my two-month stay at the Parthenope University I also attended the webinar “Circular Economy Research Camp (CERCL01)” organised by the Sheffield Branch of the Circular Economy Research Club (CERCL), the living lab “biocircularities” at the Metropolitan City of Naples, and the National Workshop of the Horizon project JUST2CE at Parthenope University. In addition, I have been involved as speaker in two books’ presentations, one seminar on “Marx’s Circular Economy”, two books’ discussions. I had a total of 17 working meetings with a dozen researchers.
The balance of this experience in the Explicit project was very positive, having enriched me both personally and professionally. I am excited to see the results of this international project and the scientific impact it will unleash.