Chiara Camponeschi is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph. She holds a BA (honours) in Political Science and Communications Studies and a Master's degree in Environmental Studies from York University.
While at York, Chiara's interest in 'green consumerism' led her to critically evaluate the rise of 'citizen-consumers' and their implications for civic engagement. Her honours thesis, When Green Was Still a Colour, received an honourable mention in the "Researchers of Tomorrow" prize, and inspired Chiara to pursue further academic studies. Her MES research focused on the growing realm of social innovation as a form of active citizenship, particularly in the areas of urban sustainability and participatory governance. Today, Chiara is exploring how emerging models of participatory urbanism might provide opportunities for resilience to be negotiated and engaged with by a wide-range of actors. In particular, her research seeks to more rigorously assess how participatory governance might enable communities to articulate creative responses to dominant patterns of (neoliberal) urban governance.
Chiara has also been involved in the non-profit sector for a number of years. She has organized sustainable development initiatives for youth empowerment and intercultural dialogue, and has served as member of the CIVICUS Youth Assembly Planning Committee and UNESCO's Sectoral Commission on Culture, Communication and Information. In 2010, she founded Enabling City, an organization that was inspired by her graduate work and led to the release of The Enabling City, a Creative Commons publication available in four languages. Chiara has spoken at several high-level events such as the International Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the European Commission in Belgium, the inaugural SXSW Eco Conference, as well as the White House GreenGov Symposium in Washington, DC. She has been selected as an Oxfam Action Partner for 2010-2013, and was recognized as a Young Agent of Change by Toronto's Centre for Social Innovation in 2011.