Alumnus testimonial

Stefano – team coordinator Sicilian Parliament

During his studies Environmental Sciences and Environmental Policy in Wageningen, Stefano discovered the concept of a circular economy. Also a very important part of the master’s Biobased Sciences. Since his studies, he never stopped thinking in ‘circles’. Even not in his daily job.

I always dreamed to work for the European Union and I have to thank Wageningen University & Research in achieving it.

Could you tell us more about your current job?
Currently, I am working for a parliamentarian of the Sicilian Parliament (The Sicilian Regional Assembly) this means I am covering the role of team coordinator within a political secretariat.

Generally, I am taking care of European and environmental legislation strictly connected to the dimensions of interregional cooperation, innovation, and the circular economy. For example, the decontamination of polluted areas through the application of the circular economy principles.

Besides this job, I have been appointed as president of the local section of the European Federalist Movement in Syracuse (Sicily). Last but not least, I am also collaborating as a Consulting project manager with a Swiss financial group, where I mainly advise companies on how to make their business models circular. So to sum up, I am coordinating, advising and connecting people to get closer to the dimensions of the circular economy model.

What other jobs did you have after your studies?
Before and after my graduation, I enriched my professional experience at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels. First at the secretariat of the Employers Group and afterwards working for the Task Force of the European Circular Economy Stakeholders Platform (ECESP). Which is a joint initiative by the European Commission and the EESC.

Among others, one of my tasks was to analyze circular projects that wanted to be part of this platform as well as helping with the organisation of the 1st European conference of the ECESP. Later on, I decided to go back to Italy for sharing what I had learned about the circular economy, EU legislation, and innovation.

How did studying at Wageningen University & Research prepare you for your career?
In the past, I always dreamed to work for the European Union and I have to thank Wageningen University & Research in achieving it. The university taught me to be picky, both in research and the achievement of my goals avoiding shortcuts. I also learned what it means to pay attention to details.

During my studies, I first heard about the concept of a circular economy. Since then I decide to become active on this topic. Mainly through the Circular Economy Student Hub (CESH). A group that I also coordinated for 1,5 years. The CESH broadened my skills in team and stakeholder management. Also, I wrote my MSc thesis about “The Social-Economic Impact of the Circular Economy in Europe: a comparative analysis”.

What would you still like to achieve in the future?
In the future, I would like to keep working for the European Union and my national government. They both have increased their interest in the circular economy and there is still a lot of potential for implementing it. The transition towards a circular economy model is a long road to go!

That's why in the meantime I decided to work on the realisation of a web-platform focused on aspects as material flows analysis, education, training, circular news, and business opportunities. Besides this, behind the corner, there is the dream of a lifetime: a diplomatic career. I would love to explore different cultures and connect with communities worldwide while living and working overseas.

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