Rethinking Clusters 2022 – Keydates

The fifth edition of the international conference “Rethinking clusters” will be in dual modality (online AND in presence), and the organization will be in Japan, at the Osaka Metropolitan University.

Besides the typical themes of the conference, which also characterized the previous editions, this year the conference will focus on the path renewal evolutionary trajectories of places in phase of crisis.

There are two defining conditions of a crisis. First, the widespread sense of urgency. Second, a high degree of uncertainty, which pertains both to the nature and the potential consequences of the crisis. The word crisis, in both Chinese and Greek, indicates a critical point, a fork in the road of development: the word “crisis” implies threat, but also opportunity. It is this second path that we want to cover in this conference. We want to look at crisis as an opportunity for the development of places.

The conference will discuss the ways in which places react to crisis, taking in great considerations social, economic, and technological transformations.

Submission deadline: June, 30th, 2022

Notification of acceptance: 15th July, 2022

Registration opening: end of July, 2022

Registration deadline: tbd

Conference dates: September, 5th-7th, 2022

Call for Papers and Tracks


Due to COVID restrictions, the Rethinking cluster conference, will be held in dual modality (online and offline).

Interested contributors are invited to send an extended abstract or a full paper to the email address by June30th, 2022.

Extended abstracts should contain a minimum of 500 words and a maximum of 2500 words. Extended abstracts can contain figures, tables and/or images which are not included in the word count.

Full papers (optional) should not exceed 8000 words, inclusive of the abstract (maximum 150 words), tables, references, figure captions, endnotes. Full papers could be circulated among participants and shoul be submitted before September.

We welcome contributions that are related, but not limited, to the following themes:

  • Smart cities: between digital technologies and social inclusiveness
  • The competitiveness of industrial districts, clusters, regions, and ecosystems
  • Resilience and the sustainability of places in time of uncertainty
  • Artificial intelligence, big data, block-chain, and places
  • Place sensitive industrial policies and value creation
  • The local/global dimension of multiple innovation networks
  • The role of territory in platform economy
  • The role of culture and creativity in evolutionary trajectories of places
  • The circular economy in cities and regions

Special sessions:

Members of the community that are willing to organize a Special Session within the workshop are kindly invited to send an email to before the 14th of May, including a description of the contents of the session and a list of the participants.


We encourage submissions from scholars, practitioners, innovators and leaders who are forging ahead with strategies to shift towards sustainability and technological change. We welcome contributions that develop innovative approaches in concepts, theory, methods or analysis and have deep or broad implications to inform place sensitive strategies for sustainable and technological transitions in a network society.

The conference will be held in afternoons in Japanese time and during mornings in European time.


The conference is organized by Osaka Metropolitan University, Japan in collaboration with the University of Florence, the University of Padova, the Universitat Politècnica de València and the Faculty of Economics of the University of Valencia.


Masayuki Sasaki

Professor Emeritus, Osaka City University. He was Professor of Urban & Cultural Economics, Graduate School for Creative Cities, Osaka City University – Director of Urban Research Plaza – President of Japan Association for Cultural Economics, 2008 Prize of Japan Society of Urban Studies, 2003, Doctor’s degree in Economics from Kyoto University, 1997. He recently published following books (2007) The Prospects to the Creative City (Gakugei Publisher, Kyoto) (in Japanese), (2001) Challenge for the Creative City (Iwanami Publisher, Tokyo) (translated into Korean), and articles: (2008) ‘Developing Creative Cities through Networking’ in Policy Science, (2006), ‘Search for the Osaka Model of Creative City’ in Research Journal for Creative Cities, (2004), ‘Creativity and Cities The Role of Culture in Urban Regeneration’ in Quarterly Journal of Economic Studies.


Tamane Ozeki

Associate Professor, Graduate School of Urban Management, Osaka Metropolitan University. She holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Advanced Interdisciplinary Engineering, University of Tokyo. After graduating Hitotsubashi University, Faculty of Economics, she joined the Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ). She gained extensive experience in financial technology, strategic alliances, and management consulting at foreign and venture firms. She holds double master’s degree in MBA and in Business Law both from Graduate School of Hitotsubashi University.Prior to her current position, she served as an associate professor at Yokohama City University and Yamagata University, and in 2016 became an associate professor at the Graduate School of Creative Cities, Osaka City University. Aside from her career in the academia, in 2006, she founded dimmi Inc., co-founded the Stem Cell & Device Laboratory (SCAD) in 2014, and has been an outside director of Japan Display Inc. since 2020.


Luciana Lazzeretti
Full Professor in Economics and Management and founding director of the Post-graduate course in Economics and Management of Cultural Goods and Museums, University of Florence. Coordinator of the Doctorate Program ‘Development Economics and Local Systems’ (DELoS), University of Florence. Her current research interests deal with: industrial districts, cultural clusters, cities of art, creative and cultural industries, innovation and creativity. She recently edited ‘Rethinking Clusters. Towards a New Research Agenda for Cluster Research’ with Routledge (2021) and ‘Creative Industries and Entrepreneurship: Paradigms in Transition from a Global Perspective’ with Edward Elgar (2018).


Silvia Rita Sedita
Associate Professor of management at the Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova. Her research agenda includes issues within the field of management of creativity and innovation in inter-organizational networks. The theoretical focus is on agglomerations (clusters and industrial districts), project based organizations in creative industries and university-industry collaborations in high-tech industries. The main research settings are creative industries (design, music industry), high-tech industries (life science, advanced materials), Italian industrial districts and clusters. She published articles and book chapters in national and international outlets in the field of inter-organizational networks for innovation in clusters and industrial districts.



Francesco Capone
PhD, Associate Professor in Management at the Dept. of Economics and Management, University of Florence. He is member of the Doctorate Programme ‘Developing Economics and Local Systems’ (DELoS), University of Florence. His recent research interests deal with innovation, creativity and inter-organisational collaborations in open contexts, such as industrial districts and clusters. He published several articles in national and international journals, among others: Industry and Innovation, Journal of Business Research, European Planning Studies, European Urban and Regional Studies, Annals of Regional Science, etc. He recently edited with Routledge (2021) ‘Rethinking Clusters. Towards a New Research Agenda for Cluster Research’.


Annalisa Caloffi
Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence. She held a PhD in Economics and management of firms and local systems at the University of Florence. Her research interests focus on industrial and innovation policy, clusters and districts and innovation networks. She is member of the Centre for Applied Economics, Industrial Policy, Local Development and Internationalization – c.MET05, and of the Centre for the Analysis of Public Policies – CAPP, of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.


Rafael Boix
PhD, is Associate Professor at the Department of Economic Structure, University of Valencia. His current research interests include creative industries, industrial districts and clusters, and networks of cities. He has participated in applied research for the OECD, the Barcelona City and Province, and the Spanish Ministry of Industry. He is the author of book chapters published in Springer, Edward Elgar, Routledge and IGI, and articles in specialized journals such as Land Use Policy, Papers in Regional Science, European Planning Studies, Regional Studies, The Annals of Regional Science, The Journal of Regional Research, Industry and Innovation, and European Urban and Regional Studies, among others.


José Luis Hervas-Oliver
PhD, Full Professor at  Universitat Politècnica de València (Valencia, Spain). Dr. Hervas-Oliver has been granted by several Spanish Ministries (Industry, Economics, etc.) in order to fulfill research on innovation. He has three Top Class (A+ honors) distinctions in the BSc, MSc and PhD. Dr. Hervas-Oliver is devoted to the study of firms in clusters: focusing on the intersection of firm-strategy and economic geography in SMEs. Main publications include those in Journal of Economic Geography, Research Policy, Technovation, Regional Studies, Papers in Regional Science, Journal of Technology Transfer, Small Business Economics, Journal of Small Business Management, Journal of Business Research, European Planning Studies, Policy Studies, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, etc., among many collaborations and works in contributed volumes (Routledge, Springer, Edward Elgar, etc.). At the present time, Dr. Hervas-Oliver leads a R&D Project on Industry 4.0 and clusters in Spain InnoRadical4.0 (RTI2018-095739-B-100).



Niccolo Innocenti 

Post-doc fellow researcher at the European University Institute, Fiesole, Firenze. Niccolò Innocenti joined the EUI as a research associate in 2020. He completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Florence in 2015 where he has worked as a post-doc fellow in Economics for four years. He worked on themes of relatedness and related variety between technologies, investigating the role of technological and industrial diversification in favouring the innovative and economic growth of countries and regions. He published in renowned scientific journals (among others Small Business Economics, Industry and Innovation and Papers in Regional Science).


Stefania Oliva 

Post-doc fellow researcher at the Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence. She holds a PhD in Economics in 2017. She is a lecturer on management of museums and cultural organisations at the University of Florence and the University of Innsbruck. Her expertise is on determinants of local competitiveness, resilience and sustainability of cities and regions, cultural organizations and creative industries. She studies culture and creativity as sources for the adaptation of regions to shocks. She is interested in cities of art and fashion cities, social and environmental reporting and accountability in museums.


Martina Nannelli

Post-doc fellow researcher at the Department of Economics and Management, University of Florence. She holds a PhD in Economics in 2021. Her research interests include business modelling for local development and business modelling for sustainability, sustainable tourism and eTourism. She works on themes of investigating the role of artificial intelligence diffusion in cluster development. Her researches have been presented at international conferences including ENTER 2020, Sinergie-SIMA 2019 and Rethinking Clusters 2019, and published in conference proceedings and journal articles.