(Written by Ezio Manzini, DESIS Network founder)

The next DESIS Annual Assembly will be held (online) on 9 December. It is for us a significant event, for two reasons. The first refers to when it happens and the challenges we face. The global pandemic crisis, adding to the ecological and political and democratic ones, has also changed the meaning and nature of social innovation. And so it forces us to update our ideas and practices. On this issue, DESIS has been undergoing a discussion that started more than a year ago from the Conversation 2020, followed by a series of online meetings that led to the drafting of a document called DESIS Statements. In the Assembly of 9 December, we will talk about it and present a program of meetings dedicated to its discussion and its subsequent possible evolution.

But, as anticipated, this Assembly is also very important for another reason. It will sanction a significant step in the life of our network: Carla Cipolla ends her second term as International Coordinator and Teresa Franqueira will be asked to take her place. In the following notes, I would like to give some contextual elements to this passage.

Before doing so, however, I would like to thank Carla and her team, Ingrid, Matheus, Luisa and Rita, for the great work they have done in these four years. In the Assembly, Carla will have the opportunity to remember and comment on how she has brought about her program, and we will all have the chance to discuss it. Having said that, I would like to tell how it came to indicate Teresa as a possible new International Coordinator.

Following the rules we have given ourselves since the beginning, as President, I started more than a year ago to work with the International Coordination Committee to identify who could and wanted to propose him/herself as the new Coordinator. We did it by verifying who could have the characteristics and the concrete will to offer him/herself for this role. As you may remember, this is the method has been based on this shared belief: for an open and light network like ours, the Coordinator is a person who takes the technical responsibility of making it work and animating it by proposing a program of activities (more precisely: the technical responsibility is to manage the basic activities necessary to make the network work, which are: organizing the annual Assembly, registering new applications and following the process that leads to their approval and, finally, managing and making the website dynamic. The program, on the other hand, is the declaration of one or more activities that the future Coordinator intends to carry out).

From this mesh of conversations, the name of Teresa emerged. And with it, her enthusiasm to get to work to build a team, define a program and, last but not least, find the funds to support her activities (as you know DESIS has no funds).

In the Assembly, she will introduce herself and describe her program. Here I just want to anticipate that Teresa, with the DESIS Lab that she built in her university, has been in DESIS from the beginning and has been part of the International Coordination Committee, taking responsibility for several international activities. For all that, and for her future commitment, I thank her wholeheartedly.