The Voices from Venice Conference, created and hosted by the Guild of St George on April 2, 2022, was an unmitigated success. People from all over the planet attended, dropping their comments and questions into the chat. And the speakers were superb: A wide variety of experts and locals who provided context and information about their fields of expertise.
This conference offered an opportunity to bring together a wide ranging community of people with different interests and areas of expertise. We all love Venice; we are all doing good work; and we all are working towards a hope-filled future. The Guild’s conference has given us an opportunity to come together, and in unity of purpose we can achieve much more. A friend of mine, Jose-Arnaldo, once told me that I am a relacionadora, one who brings people together. I think this conference was a relation-builder. and as one of the speakers pointed out, when we come together, we are more powerful agents of change. I think of this collection of videos as primary sources–the voices of people now that future generations may listen to and reflect on this moment in time. There is much value in coming together, sharing ideas, and centering these authentic voices.
The lovely folks at the Guild of St George have divided the day’s talks into separate videos to make them more accessible for viewing. You can hear more about the role of the lagoon itself in Venice’s ecosystem; about over-tourism and some positive suggestions for improvement; about the creative communities of writers and artists who envision Venice’s future; and about the political players and policies needed on board for change. Of special interest were Jane Da Mosto from We are here Venice and Tommaso Cacciari from No Grandi Navi, both organizations that sales of Venice Rising support. Key speakers included author Salvatore Settis (who wrote If Venice Dies) and Francesco Bandarin, a former director of UNESCO. Oh, and me. :). It was the middle of the night for me, but I’m told that my tiredness didn’t show!
Members of the Guild Peter Burman and Simon Seligman managed the day beautifully, and Rachel Dickinson offered opening and closing remarks to frame our thinking. It was a triumph, and I offer much gratitude to all who made it happen.
And what’s next? Perhaps a new book? If you get all the way to the end of the final video, you may hear some details about this.