Doctor of Political and Social Sciences from the University of Florence in Italy, Riccardo Petrella is professor at the Academy of Architecture of the University of Italian Switzerland where he teaches human ecology. He also is Professor Emeritus of the Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve.
Founder and Secretary General of the International Committee for the World Water Contract, he chaired the Acquedotto Pugliese, the Management Company of the water of Puglia, in southern Italy.
In 1967, he worked in Vienna at the European Centre for Social Sciences of UNESCO where he was appointed Director in 1970. His research interests are regional development, technological innovation and transnational comparative research.
In 1978, he joined the European Commission in the framework of the FAST (Forecasting and Assessment in Science and Technology). He will lead the program until 1994.
Advisor to the European Commission policy in science and technology between 1997 and December 2003, he founded at the same time the Group of Lisbon, which published the book "Limits to Competitiveness".
He was also professor for three years at the College of Europe in Bruges and at the University of Liège. He was Visiting Professor at several universities in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea and many Western European countries.
Riccardo Petrella remains a committed intellectual who campaigns actively in civil society.
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