The Press Office of the Global Campus of Human Rights had the honour to interview the Councillor of the City of Venice Simone Venturini, about his important work related to social cohesion, economic development, tourism, and other fields.

-How do you see the role of universities as an institution in the coming years, particularly those that are part of the Municipality of Venice, and what would be the future of their relations with the city of Venice and its sustainable future?

The world of universities has always been intimately linked to the history of Venice and, indeed, has contributed in a fundamental way to making it a city, or rather a "capital", for centuries a leader in terms of science, art, and values. In the shadow of St. Mark's bell tower, up and down from the vessels that docked in the Basin full of goods from all over the world, you often breathed a different air than in the rest of Europe, of progress and mixture of peoples and cultures. In giving life to this peculiar cultural substratum, universities have played a leading role and still do so, bringing their contribution in terms of ideas, visions, concepts, and hosting thousands of students from all continents. Their presence is essential to improve the attractiveness of our territory and to build the foundations of its future. This is why it is not possible to talk about a sustainable tomorrow in Venice without involving the academic world: it is there that ideas and trends that will influence our future lifestyles and our future ways of reading the world are sedimented, analysed and developed. Young people, their progressive vision, are an asset for Venice.

-The Global Campus of Human Rights has been collaborating for some time with the University of Ca' Foscari and the University of Padua, with the Venice International University. How, in the coming years, will the academic institutions of Venice and Veneto be able to contribute to the issues that will affect you (Social Cohesion, Housing Policies, Economic Development, Employment, Tourism)?

These are difficult years. We have discovered that social, humanitarian, and health emergencies can erupt suddenly and have consequences in our daily lives in a matter of days, if not hours. For example, we were faced with the need to develop in less than a day a first reception system for Ukrainian mothers and their children fleeing the bombings in their country. In collaboration with many third sector organizations, we have also created projects aimed at those who live on the margins of our territory, those who have problems reintegrating or are faced with barriers (cultural, linguistic, cultural, or social) too difficult to overcome on one's own strength. For all these situations, the Global Campus will be able to make its concrete contribution in the awareness that creating a "social machine" that works also has positive repercussions from an economic and work point of view.

-The twenty-year collaboration of Global Campus of Human Rights with the European Union has brought to Venice the high institutional offices of European institutions and students from all over the world. How can the city become even more welcoming and hospitable in the future?

We have recently signed the Venice City Campus project, which involves all the city's universities and some of its important cultural realities. We intend to double the number of university communities in the coming years, guaranteeing each student services, opportunities and stimuli that can make Venice an "indispensable" option for those who want to grow as students, individuals, and citizens. There will be many investments and there will be just as many projects, because we are convinced that, in the lagoon and on the mainland, the future will be written by young people. Coming to study in Venice must mean coming to study the future.

-Do you consider it important to educate in the field of human rights and democracy in times of wars and crises such as these?

That is fundamental. Human rights must be our North Star, especially today when newspapers and TV are full of news and images of wars and devastation. Especially today when populism speaks vehemently to the "gut" of the people. The complexity of our present cannot be explained with simplistic schemes, we must have the courage to escape this approach and deepen themes and problems for what they are. In this way, the democratic and solidarity values that permeate our Western culture would emerge even more strongly.

-Can you leave us a message for the teachers, alumni, students, and staff of the Global Campus of Human Rights?

I believe that even today, when guns thunder too often, indeed especially now, we need to be aware of how "stubborn" the facts are. Commit yourself to what you believe by overcoming fatigue and frustration, do it even if the world seems to be going in the opposite direction. Facts are stubborn and acting concretely, beyond words, acting in the right way, will certainly bear fruit.

For more information contact our Press and Communications PR Offices:

Elisa Aquino – Andrea Cammarata – Francesca Sante -

Read interviews and updates in our seasonal digital Global Campus of Human Rights Magazine to be informed about the latest News, Events and Campaigns with our local and international unique community of donors, partners and friends.

Stay tuned for the 12 th issue of the Magazine coming soon in March in English and Italian.




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