A few words with Costantino Romeo

Could you introduce yourself briefly? Tell us a few things about your background, studies, and general interests.

I grow up in Vicenza, a medium-sized urban area close to the more famous city of Venice. Actually, my family is originally from Calabria, a southern region of Italy, so I inherited some Mediterranean vibes as well. My family background probably has influenced my mindset constantly in search of inspiration. After accomplishing a BA in Philosophy in Venice, I graduated in Management at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. Despite my interest in researching boundaries between society and spaces gave me the opportunity to live in Amsterdam where I worked as a practitioner in the fields of architecture and real estate, undertaking a career as a social scientist has been my long-cherished dream. Before joining the CORAL-ITN project, I had been working at ‘Ca’ Foscari University’ of Venice in order to carry out a research in economic sociology regarding collaborative spaces located in the Veneto Region.  

Besides working, I also pursue my interests in cooking, literature, storytelling, and live music. I hope to take advantage of my stay in Paris in order to start again with cultural projects like during my university years.  

How was your moving to your new home? How are things going for you in your new place? Feel free to share with us your first experiences as an Early Career Researcher (surprises, challenges, anything you consider important).

I decided to live in Ivry-sur-Seine, a town right outside the urban belt of Paris, because I would prefer to enjoy quiet neighbourhoods. Surprisingly, this place is full of activities, such as a lot of theatre shows, cool bookshops, live concerts, and shared urban vegetable gardens. Whereas I can reach the core area of Paris even by bike in about 15 minutes, I also enjoy nature at Bois de Vincennes, a huge park where I could listen to a live concert of Gorillaz, one of my favourite bands.

How is your work going? Have you attended any sort of research activities?

As I mentioned before, pursuing an academic career has been one of my long-cherished dreams; therefore, starting a PhD nurtured me with a lot of enthusiasm. Despite I am aware of pros and cons featuring doctoral paths, I have worked with kind colleagues and supervisors. I feel also very lucky to get the chance to compare two different academic environments such as Paris School of Business and École Polytechnique.

I have carried out most of my research with desk activities, but it has been worthwhile since I have already contributed to the publication of two book chapters (one of them as the principal author). Once I feel more confident with my French skills – hopefully very soon – we will organised field visits in rural collaborative spaces.

Could you share with us some key insights/ “aha moments” from your work so far?

Right after settled in Paris, I attended an event organised by the research centre I belong at École Polytechnique. The main speaker Gérard Mourou, awarded with a Nobel Prize in Physics, held an amazing seminar regarding the application of his research findings in the real world.

Regarding my research interests, I felt very impressed after reading some literature about ‘heterarchical organisations’ and those theories that take into account organisations with their ecological conditions. With my philosophical background, theoretical frameworks easily charm me. I hope not to change so many theoretical approaches during the next three years!

What do you expect from the upcoming Training School at Zeitz?

I am very excited to meet the other members of the CORAL project. I strongly believe that those opportunities with other peers are sources of knowledge and human exchange. Moreover, I will try to take advantage with workshops in order to be acquainted with quantitative methods. Despite I consider qualitative approaches more appropriate to my research interests, I am also eager to expand my knowledge with econometrics indicators applied to spatial analysis.  

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 955907.