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Meet Cristina Tajani, Deputy Mayor of Labour, Business, Human Resources and Economic Development of Milan Municipality

1.Can you tell me a bit more about what you do and what inspired you to do this work?

I’m the Deputy Mayor of Labour, Business, Human Resources and Economic Development of Milan Municipality: an honour and a big responsibility as well!

My daily work is inspired by a vision of city development based on the maxim “INnovation for INclusion”. We have published 7 guidelines for Milan as Smart City covering all the main development areas: sustainable mobility; environmental and energy policies; well-being and social inclusion; European and international placement. This is the framework of my policy intervention   


2. Can you tell us about a defining moment where you could see the impact of your project? What are you most proud of in your work?

During the crisis time, the city has seen a re-shaping of productive and social structures, showing us the citizens capabilities and resources through civic and economic initiatives.

The role of policy making is to enable them in the new paradigm of development: promoting sharing economy; investing in digital manufacturing (through makerspace and fablab), in cultural and creative industries, and in the scientific sector. Milan is the first city that has implemented ad hoc policies to boost its most dynamic sectors. Actually, I feel proud of any opportunity I have to touch and keep in contact with the citizens’ ideas and projects. I feel I am contributing to making Milan a better city when the citizens ideas are realized.  


3. What is your hope in relation to social innovation in the future? How will your work contribute to this hope? 

I’ve put a lot of effort into fullfilling a blend between innovation tools and social measures. The result is an important rage of initiatives such as: Civic Crowdfunding (to fund projects of public and social interest with the citizenship engagement); Opencare (a collaborative digital platform to share new health and care solutions); FabriQ (a business incubator for start-ups with high social impact).

Now the main challenge is to create proper social and political alliances going beyond the division between decision making and civil society. Tangible ways are: participation in European projects that require mix partnership among public, private and civil stakeholders; the adoption of a sharing approach in policy definition starting from public hearings; and supporting the urban regeneration process.