Invited Speakers


  • Frank Moulaert

    KU Leuven, Belgium

Frank Moulaert

Frank Moulaert is Professor of Spatial Planning, Head of the Planning and Development Unit ASRO, and Chairman of the Leuven Research Centre on Space and Society, Faculty of Engineering, KU Leuven, Belgium. Moulaert has initiated a number of research and development projects on social innovation in territorial development. He has extensively published on the subjects related to globalisation, Institutionalism, territorial innovation, social economy, social polarisation, social exclusion, integrated area development, regional development, European governance, and socioeconomic networking.


  • Keith Halfacree

    Swansea University, United Kingdom

Keith Halfacree

Keith Halfacree is a Rural Geographer and a Professor at the Swansea University, United Kingdom. His research interests are many and varied but mainly focus on a number of overlapping areas: discourses of rurality in the global North; rural futures; population migration, notably counterurbanisation in all of its forms; and counter-cultural and marginal geographies.


  • Fernando Oliveira Baptista

    ISA – University of Lisbon, Portugal


Fernando Oliveira Baptista is a well known rural studies researcher, both in Portugal and internationally. He is an Agronomist, Rural Sociologist and a retired Full Professor from the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA) – School of Agriculture, University of Lisbon, Portugal. His main research interests are related with the socioeconomic dynamics of rural territories as well as with management of forests.


  • Maria Jesús Rivera

    University of the Basque Country, Spain


Maria Jesus Rivera is a Rural Sociologist specialized in counterurbanisation movements, neo-ruralities and its impacts on the future of the countryside and countrified lifestyles. Her research interests are also focused on urban-rural relationships, the transformations of rural spaces in a globalised society and the meanings of nature in contemporary society. She worked at the Spanish Nacional Research Council (CSIC) and at the Public University of Navarra. She currently is a Lecturer at the Department of Sociology and Social Work at the University of Basque Country, Spain.


  • Eduardo Anselmo de Castro

    University of Aveiro, Portugal

Eduardo Anselmo de Castro

Eduardo Anselmo de Castro is a Regional and Urban Planner, Associate Professor at the Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences and the Coordinator of the GOVCOPP – Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, University of Aveiro, Portugal. He is also the Coordinator of the Research Group in Territory and Innovation at the University of Aveiro. His research interests are focused on the urban sprawl and the enlarged city, inter-regional cooperation and local development policies, as well as on local planning and development processes and ICT and territorial development.


  • Elisabete Figueiredo

    University of Aveiro, Portugal

Elisabete Figueiredo

Elisabete Figueiredo is a Rural Sociologist, Assistant Professor at the Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences and full researcher at GOVCOPP – Research Unit in Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, University of Aveiro, Portugal. She is the President of the Portuguese Society for Rural Studies (SPER). Her research interests are related to rural development, social representations of the rural, rural tourism, rural commodification processes, as well as environmental sociology and social perceptions of risk. She currently coordinates the project ‘Rural Matters – Meanings of the Rural in Portugal: between social representations, consumptions and development strategies’.