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Nurturing the Place and its Communities

On May 20, 2021, the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo” and the European SPES Institute organized an online international workshop entitled “Nurturing the Place and Its Communities”.

Luk Bouckaert and Laszlo Zsolnai gave a lecture on “Place-based Economics”. In their presentation they argued that while mainstream economics primarily looks at place as an instrumental good, place-based economics views place as a relational good that creates meaning and identity for people. Modern organizations, communities and people are disembedded from the environmental and social context in which they operate. Business organizations, especially corporations, are rootless in an ecological and social sense and display strong disinterest in the places in which they function.

Bouckaert and Zsolnai concluded that without respecting and nurturing ‘place’, ecological sustainability cannot be fostered. Because ‘genius loci’ has an undeniable spiritual component, place-based enterprises cannot be run on a purely materialistic basis. Te non-materialistic elements of place (such as aesthetics, cultural heritage, community feelings, and transcendence) should be integrated into place-based management.