The activities started with a Project Team briefing on 9 January, in order to plan the following steps to be taken.
The Academic Coordinator, Prof Maria Caterina Baruffi, and Isolde mainly focused on the organisation of the 2018 Conference. The specific activities were the following:
- contacting the speakers, academics, lawyers and experts;
- defining the programme, inaugural greetings and presentations of the speakers, whose topics cover different aspects related to sustainability within the fashion industry, with particular reference to human resources management, corporate social responsibility, taxation and consumers’ rights;
- submitting requests for accrediting the participation to the Conference to various academic institutions and practitioners’ associations, namely to the Didactic Boards of Law and Economics, as well as the Ph.D. School of Law and Economics of the University of Verona, the Bar Association of Verona and the National Journalist Association. All the institutions positively evaluated the request and the Conference was thus part of their respective accredited training programme.
Cinzia continued her work on the promotional materials, updating them with the latest details that were progressively confirmed. In particular, the Conference programme’s poster has been updated after all the key speakers confirmed their participation, as well as adding all useful hyperlinks, for instance, to Google map, Facebook and Twitter accounts, website name, e-mail address; pictures and templates to be uploaded on the Project website.
Having regard to the second edition of both the Conference and the Summer School, the Project Team unanimously decided not to print many copies of the poster and to carry out an online dissemination activity. Accordingly, social networks accounts were regularly updated by Cinzia; while Marta took care of uploading the results on the Erasmus Portal.
With regard to the Summer School-related activities, the Module Leader, Caterina, started contacting the Teaching Staff members of the 2017 edition, verifying their availability for the forthcoming course, to draft the programme for the 2018 edition.
The organisation of the Conference continued with its final activities also in February, under the supervision of Prof Baruffi who contacted all the guest speakers with the aim of reminding the forthcoming event, providing organisational information and useful contacts.
She also organised an interview with the communication office of the University, to be held just before the Conference starting.
The final version of the contents and the promotional materials have been uploaded both on the website and on social media accounts. Furthermore, a public event has been created via the Facebook page of the Project, in order to promote the Conference.
Cinzia took care of printing few copies of the Conference’s posters; Isolde carried out dissemination activities by sending e-mails; Caterina and Diletta posted the promotional materials at relevant locations in order to attract potential attendees (such as Departments and Libraries of the University of Verona, practitioners’ associations offices, the premises of Court of Verona).
Cinzia prepared the Newsletter No 1/2018 and published it online on the website’s page dedicated to the newsletters. She focused on the topic of the 2018 Conference, as well as on some updates on the forthcoming activities of the Project.
Isolde prepared the materials for the Conference: folders for the speakers, lists of participants to be signed before and after the event, evaluation surveys to be distributed to the participants during the event.
2 March 2018: Conference “Sustainability in the fashion world: an added value?”
The Conference took place on 2 March 2018 at the Law Department of the University of Verona. It has been successful as to the number of attendees and the overall positive feedback it received (for a detailed review, see the analysis of the evaluation surveys in Annex 1), notwithstanding the adverse weather conditions that prevented a larger participation.
For this reason, unfortunately, one of the speakers (Mr Aaron Meneghin) late in the morning informed his impossibility to come in Verona and take part in the event, as well as some of the participants, who have not been able to reach the University and attend the Conference.
The registered participants were finally 76 in total, consisting mainly of three categories: lawyers and legal practitioners (26), journalists (19), University students (18) and doctoral candidates (10) and others (3). At the end of the event 62 surveys were collected (amongst them, 18 have been filled in by journalists, 18 by legal practitioners and 23 by students and doctoral candidates).
The Conference was conducted according to the agenda, starting at 14:00 and ending on time around 18:30. The moderator Patrizia Salvaterra introduced each speaker and the topic of their intervention and managed the time schedule of the event.
After the inaugural greetings of Prof Maria Caterina Baruffi (Academic Coordinator and Project manager), professors (Prof Laura Calafà, Prof Claudio Baccarani) and experts (Agostina Zwilling, Stefano Miotto, Alessandro Gallesi) focused on legal and economic aspects related to sustainability in the fashion industry, providing a personal and practical perspective into their lectures. Each presentation lasted 25/30 minutes and stimulated discussion, encouraging the exchange of ideas among all participants.
The coffee break was scheduled at around 16:00 and was offered to all attendees. It provided a useful opportunity for networking among the members of the Project Team, the speakers and the participants, as well as a further occasion to disseminate the Project’s activities, in particular the upcoming Summer School.
Prof Baruffi concluded the Conference thanking all the guest speakers and the participants, as well as the Project Team, who implemented the activities consistently and carefully.
The 2018 Conference itself offered the possibility to start new collaborations with the guest speakers, in view of the organisation of the forthcoming edition of the Summer School and other events related to the fashion industry. Furthermore, such collaborations will represent a reliable contribution when drafting the policy brief, which can better reflect the issues emerging from the practice within the fashion sector.
March 2018 (after the Conference)
Following the Conference, a Project Team briefing took place on 8 March. The planned activities focused, on the one hand, on the analysis of the evaluation surveys filled out by the participants and the overall review of the event, and on the other, on the organisational tasks required to prepare the Summer School course.
Prof. Baruffi e-mailed the guest speakers of the Conference to thank them for their contribution in the successful event and to propose the possibility to draft a paper on the topics of their speeches that will be published on the online journal Papers di diritto europeo.
After the Conference, the University Press Office published an article regarding the event on the University magazine (http://www.univrmagazine.it/2018/03/07/la-sostenibilita-nel-mondo-della-moda-un-valore-aggiunto) that included an interview with Prof Baruffi and with one of the speaker, Alessandro Gallesi.
Marta updated the website page on bibliographic references with new contents and added a new section, covering the theme of sustainability within the fashion industry.
She carried out the analysis of the outcomes of evaluation surveys, filled the excel file and discussed the results with the whole Team before drafting the report on the collected data (see Annex 1), then reviewed by Cinzia.
She also drafted the Report on the activities from January to March 2018, which was circulated among the Team members and then uploaded on the respective website page.
In addition, the Project Team continued to arrange the 2018 Summer School.
Teaching Staff Members were contacted by Isolde in order to gather all necessary documents to fill the requested information about their lectures and their curriculum vitae.
Prof Baruffi and Caterina took care of the finalisation of the programme, considering all suggestions and critical points raised by attendees of the 2017 edition and the new theme of sustainability. Accordingly, the final version of the programme maintained the 42 teaching hours envisaged in the Project’s application, with some adjustments as described below.
On the one hand, building up on the positive feedback received from the attendees of the previous edition of the course, the lectures introduced in the 2017 Summer School (on the criminal aspects of counterfeiting, the role of social media, the digital transformation of fashion companies and marketing strategies in the fashion industry) have been confirmed.
On the other hand, to ensure the continuity with the topic selected as the focus of the Project’s third year, Agostina Zwilling (Eco-Fashion Designer), who took part as speaker in the Conference of 2 March 2018, kindly agreed to deliver a lecture on actions implemented within the fashion industry to achieve sustainability. Moreover, Teaching Staff Members have been required to consider, if possible, the theme of sustainability when addressing the topic of their lectures.
As to the course’s structure, following the suggestions of last year’s participants, the Project Team deemed advisable to schedule lectures only from Monday, 18 June to Friday, 22 June.
Diletta prepared the request for the accreditation of the course addressed to the Bar Association of Verona. The institution positively evaluated the request and the course is thus part of their accredited training programme (more specifically, the Bar Association assigned 12 credits for the participation in at least 80% of the scheduled teaching hours). Prof Baruffi requested the summer course to be part of the didactic activities of the PhD School of Law and Economics, whose Director approved it with the modalities agreed for the past editions.
Cinzia was involved in promotional activities. She drafted promo posters, with essential information on the course’s contents and agenda, as well as the accreditation and the deadline for registration. She also published the programme and the relevant information on the Project website and on social networks accounts. In addition, she posted the promotional materials at relevant locations in order to attract potential attendees (such as Departments and Libraries of the University of Verona, practitioners’ associations offices, the premises of the Court of Verona).
Registrations to the 2018 edition were opened on 12 March and will end on 1 May. After the selection procedure and in case of availability, the Project Team may decide to open the application procedure and accept other attendees.
Verona, March 2018
Report on the 2018 Conference evaluation surveys
The surveys disseminated during the Conference were aimed at evaluating the general organisation of the event, the contents of the lectures, the speakers’ competence and communication skills, as well as collecting suggestions and proposals that might be useful for the third edition of the Summer School and other future events.
The survey was filled out by 62 attendees. Amongst them:
- 39 was female and 23 was male;
- 24 were under 30 years old, 16 were between 30 and 39 years old and 22 were over 40 years old;
- 18 were lawyers and legal practitioners, 18 were journalists, 23 were students and doctoral candidates, 3 were other practitioners.
The answers of the target groups thus reflect the different areas of expertise and levels of career development.
From a general overview of the collected surveys, an extremely positive feedback on the whole event can be inferred, given the majority of positive answers (good/very good – useful – well/very well) in each submitted question.
The specific results of the questionnaires are as follows.
Objectives and contents
As to the objectives and contents of the Conference agenda, the positive answers represented 49,18% (good) and 37,70% (very good) of the target; while 13,11% considered the relevance of the topics as fair. 4,92% expressed the topics have not been sufficiently dealt with, while 95,08% deemed they have. Only 1 participant did not give any opinion. When answering the free question on this aspect, some of the participants offered valuable suggestions on further topics that could be implemented in the upcoming events. These proposals were: traceability, labour law and workers’ rights, sustainability in Small and Medium Enterprises, recycling and circular economy.
With regard to the question on the usefulness in terms of professional qualification of the attendance of an intensive course on the legal and economic aspects of the fashion industry, 23,33% answered moderately useful, 45% useful, 25% scarcely useful, 6,67% answered “I do not know” and 3,33% did not express any opinion. This result gives a positive feedback on the following Summer School, but also needs to be taken into account according to the different professional backgrounds of the participants, being the course more appealing to young practitioners and students in order to build their future careers.
As far as the questions about the competence and communication skills of the speakers are concerned, positive answers came from 39,34% (good) and 50,82% (very good) of the target. 1,64% (1 attendee) did not answer and 9,84% deemed them fair. The quality and effectiveness of the didactic materials used by the speakers (namely power-point presentations) were reviewed “fairly” by 25% of the target, while 46,67% expressed they were good and 21,67% very good. Only 6,67% deemed them poor. It follows that the audience appreciated the use of presentations, which are always a useful teaching (and communication) tool.
Organisation and delivery
As to the dissemination of the Conference through promotional materials, 6,67% considered they were poor, 20% fair, 28,33% good and 45% very good. Only 3,33% did not answer. Organisational aspects were evaluated fair by 3,23%, good by 37.10%, very good by 59,68%. None of them rated it poor. It stems from these opinions that the overall organisation and delivery of the Conference were successful.
The question on the overall satisfaction was positively answered by 42,62% (good) and 45,9% (very good) of the target; while 11,48% deemed it fair, 0% poor and 1,64% (1 attendee) did not answer. In relation to the question concerning whether the expectations on the Conference were met 4,92% answered poor, 13,11% fair, 37,7% good, 44,26% very good and only 1,64% (1 attendee) did not answer. It follows that even if a high percentage expressed a positive opinion, adjustments and improvements need to be implemented in order to achieve a better result.
The last question of the survey gave the attendees the opportunity to offer free suggestions, criticism and advice on the Conference. As to organisational aspects, attendees suggested to allow more time for questions at the end of the speakers’ interventions. As to the topics, the legal perspective should have been further addressed by focusing on the role of the lawyer on sustainability issues within the fashion industry.
In conclusion, the 2018 Conference gathered an extremely positive result in relation to the overall organisation, the guest speakers and the topics addressed by them. Suggestions and criticisms are useful for the organisation of the forthcoming summer course as well as for future events.