village host

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Open School for Village Hosts, interview to John Thackara and Andrea Paoletti

Many innovative new projects are springing up in rural areas throughout Europe.
We call the people who start and lead these projects Village Hosts.

Casa Netural together with a partnership involving 6 different countries has launched the first Open School for Village Hosts that will soon open its “doors.”

In the coming weeks 40 practitioners – active subjects in rural areas – will be selected and take part in the first training course that will take place online (on a dedicated platform) for 6 months and in presence in the village of Grottole, Basilicata in May 2023.

On the occasion of this important milestone, we decided to interview John Thackara and Andrea Paoletti, who in 2019 had the intuition to create this school and value the figure of community activators, who live the most peripheral territories and enliven them with their initiatives.

John who are you and how did you get in contact with Casa Netural

I am a writer, an editor and also a professor. I write books as well as blog at, which I have been following since 1993. My curatorial work is for conferences (especially the Doors of Perception conference), exhibitions and biennials. I curated the Dott07 social innovation biennial in England; the French design biennial on the City Eco Lab; and in 2019 I did a major exhibition in Shanghai called Urban-Rural

open school for village hosts

I am also a visiting professor at Tongji University in China and the Politecnico di Milano in Italy, and a senior fellow at the Royal College of Art in London. I conduct much of this work from my home base in Ganges, a small market town in Occitania, southern France.