Keynote Speakers

Marielle Richon | 7th October

Marielle Richon

Marielle Richon started at UNESCO in 1977. From 2001 to 2012 she was Programme Specialist and Focal person for universities at the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO. She has a background in the history of art and archaeology, oriental languages and management of culture. During her career at UNESCO she worked in various domains ranging from protocol, to cultural heritage, World Heritage and the World Culture Report. She also collaborated in programmes such as ‘The Encounter between Two Worlds (1492-1992)’ and the International Year for Indigenous Peoples (1993) to be followed by the International Decade for Indigenous Peoples (1995-2004).

A member of ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites) and the network ‘Plateforme d’échanges de gestionnaires francophones de biens patrimoniaux’ created by the Réseau des Grands Sites de France (RGSF). She is also a member of the international network Forum University and Heritage (FUH) and an Expert for the Association of French World Heritage Properties (ABFPM-Association des biens français du patrimoine mondial).

Since 2012 she has been transmitting her experience in the implementation of the World Heritage Convention to professionals or future professionals in the fields of natural and cultural heritage. In addition she explores existing or possible links and synergies between the six international conventions under the responsibility of UNESCO (1954, 1970, 1972, 2001, 2003 and 2005). She lectures at IREST (Institut de recherche et d’études supérieures du tourisme of Paris 1- Panthéon-Sorbonne) and Aix-Marseille University (AMU).

Since 2013 she has been coordinating a long-term capacity-building project in Nepal for the Oriental Cultural Heritage Sites Protection Alliance (OCHSPA). This consists in a series of workshops and fieldwork for young Nepalese conservationists and heritage architects, the coordination of a book on ‘The Cultural Heritage of Nepal before, during and after the 2015 earthquakes’ and a cooperation with the Department of Archaeology (DoA) of the Nepalese Ministry of tourism, civil aviation and culture.


Michael Di Giovine | 7th October

DiGiovine_Headshot (2)Michael A. Di Giovine is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and Honorary Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At West Chester, he teaches courses on museums, heritage and tourism, and is the Director of the Old Library Atrium Museum. A former tour operator, his research in Europe and Southeast Asia focuses on global mobilities (tourism/pilgrimage and immigration), heritage, foodways, and religion.

A founder and current Convenor of the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology of Tourism Interest Group (ATIG), Michael’s longstanding research in Europe and Southeast Asia examines the intersection between cultural tourism and heritage designation and preservation, particularly as it relates to UNESCO’s World Heritage program. A member of ICOMOS and its International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC), and a consultant for museums and heritage sites, Michael has served on the American Anthropological Association’s Presidential Task Force on Cultural Heritage, whose work completed in 2015. Engaging students in his annual summer ethnographic field school in Perugia, Italy, he is currently working on a research project examining the ways in which discourses and practices of sustainability are used as markers of cultural heritage by Central Italians who aim to mitigate tensions stemming from cultural changes, globalization, and mass immigration. For the past decade, Michael has also been examining tourism and heritage preservation within the Catholic cult of 20th century stigmatic and saint, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, known as the “world’s most popular saint.”

Michael is the author of The Heritage-scape: UNESCO, World Heritage, and Tourism (Lexington Books, 2009) and the forthcoming book Tourism: Anthropological Insights (University of Toronto Press). With Ronda Brulotte, he is the co-editor of Edible Identities: Food and Foodways as Cultural Heritage (Ashgate, 2014), and with David Picard of Tourism and the Power of Otherness: Seductions of Difference (Channel View, 2014) and The Seductions of Pilgrimage: Sacred Journeys Afar and Astray in the Western Religious Tradition (Ashgate 2015). He sits on the academic board of The International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage, and is the book reviews editor for both Journeys: The International Journal of Travel and Travel Writing, and the Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change. With Noel Salazar, he co-edits Lexington Books’ series, The Anthropology of Tourism: Heritage, Mobility and Society.


Sarah May | 8th October

IMG_2021After finishing her PhD on the Irish Bronze Age in 2000, Sarah May moved her focus forward in time and began studying zoos as ritual landscapes. Working for English Heritage for ten years gave her a solid, if critical, understanding of heritage management.

Sarah’s first foray into the future was for a project collaborating with artists in Broadmead, Bristol. She is particularly interested in the way children are used in future discourse. Sarah lives in Portsmouth and is based in the Institute of Archaeology at UCL.


Sophia Labadi | 8th October

mpl_1733_170604Dr. Sophia Labadi is Senior Lecturer and co-Director of the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent (UK). She also regularly acts as a consultant for international organisations on cultural heritage issues. Dr. Labadi has a PhD in Cultural Heritage Studies from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London (UK) and a BA from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (Grenoble). Her research focuses on International Heritage and Cultural Diplomacy; Heritage and Development and Museums and Social Justice. For more information visit:

Recent publications:  Labadi, S. In Prep. Museums, Migrants and Social Justice Labadi, S. (2013).The National Museum of Immigration History (Paris; France): Neo-Colonialist Representations, Silencing, and Re-appropriation. Journal of Social Archaeology, 13:310-330 Labadi, S. (2013). UNESCO, Cultural Heritage, and Outstanding Universal Value: Value-based Analyses of the World Heritage and Intangible Cultural Heritage Conventions. USA: AltaMira Press.


Duncan Wilson | 9th October

CH Portrait (46)Duncan Wilson became Chief Executive of the newly formed Historic England in May 2015. Historic England is responsible for the statutory protection of all of England’s historic environment, from castles and country houses to historic town centres and industrial buildings, including historic landscapes and archaeological sites. It operates through a network of regional offices, working closely with local authorities, developers and private owners to champion heritage in all its forms.
From 2011 to 2015 Duncan led the Alexandra Park and Palace Trust, developing a major regeneration and conservation scheme to restore the Victorian theatre and world famous television studios.

From 2002 to 2011 he was Chief Executive of the Greenwich Foundation for the Old Royal Naval College where he was responsible for bringing one of Europe’s finest and most extensive groups of baroque buildings to the public, interpreting and caring for them for over a million new visitors a year.

Prior to 2002 Duncan was Director of the Somerset House Trust, where from 1997 he led the project to restore the public spaces and open the site to the public, creating a new landmark for London in the millennium year. Successes included the Courtyard, fountains and ice rink, the Admiralty restaurant and the Terrace café and sculpture exhibitions.

From 1991 to 1997 he was a Civil Servant, and worked at HM Treasury and the Department of National Heritage. He is a chartered accountant and has a postgraduate degree in European Archaeology from the University of Oxford. He was awarded the OBE for services to heritage in 2007.