At Terra Madre Salone del Gusto, the Presentation of a New Project of the University of Pollenzo

More than 300 participants from all over the world – including academics, trainers, teachers, and experts – will lay the foundation for a new project, Diffuse University, on Friday, September  21st and Saturday, September 22nd in Turin.

This ambitious project, started with the contribution of the CRT Foundation, is the result of the long-time teaching experience of the University of Gastronomic Sciences of Pollenzo, always based on the belief that, in the gastronomic field, academics and official knowledge must have a dialogue with the traditional knowledge of the farming and artisanal world.

But what does Diffuse University mean?

The Terra Madre network, with its wealth of information, savoir-faire, experience and awareness on the background of farmers, artisans and sustainable food producers in the world, is a precious body of informal knowledge that can be shared and made accessible to all.

Nicola Perullo, professor of Aesthetics in Pollenzo and Scientific Coordinator of the project explains: “The Diffuse University project was born from an idea which is the natural outcome of the life of Pollenzo: our University has been characterized by a training method consisting of learning from texts and lessons in the classroom and field-based learning, such as our educational trips, where students meet people that don’t often belong to the academic world: farmers, fishermen, transformers, creators, artists, food activists and much more “.

The widening access to knowledge is an important step that finds its driving force in Pollenzo.

“We believe in an open university, in a multi-faceted environment, but this must be recognized, valued and validated. The Turin meeting is the first moment that will lead to the creation of an international network made up of academics and non-academics who, through food and gastronomy, dialogue constantly and equally to build a real training that goes beyond that of only the university; after all, this so-called “lifelong learning” is also one of the goals of the 17 ‘Sustainable Goals’ promoted by the UN in 2015”, concludes Nicola Perullo.

Two days of thematic workshops that involve academics, researchers and food sector trainers, from all over the world, will be held on the 21st and 22nd of September, at Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018, in order to realize an inclusive and democratic project, based on the constant dialogue between academic knowledge and traditional knowledge.

On Saturday 22 September, the plenary assembly will conclude the work, with a presentation by the participants and the delegates of the ideas emerged and visions that can be implemented in the future.




Friday, September 21st


Opening plenary assembly
10am – 1pm, Lingotto Building, Sala Gialla

Welcome speech – Prof. Andrea Pieroni, Rector of the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo

Presentation of the project – Prof. Nicola Perullo, Diffuse University Scientific Director

Introduction of the five subjects of the workshops:

  1.  The Non-Academic Knowledge: how to recognize it, valorize it and validate it
  2. The Diffuse University as an open and ongoing network
  3. The Experience of Travel: one of the main pillars of Diffuse University
  4. The World of Work, the Enterprise and Academia: how to build synergetic relationships
  5. Food Activism: how the civil society can share the path with academia


Lunch break


Discussion tables on the five subjects listed above
3 pm – 5.30 pm, Politecnico of Turin and Camplus classrooms

Participants will be working in 10 groups (5 in English and 5 in Spanish)



Saturday, September 22nd


Discussion tables on the five subjects
10am – 1pm, Politecnico of Turin and Camplus classrooms

Participants will be working in 10 groups (5 in English and 5 in Spanish)


Lunch break


Closing plenary assembly
3pm – 5.30 pm, Lingotto Building, Sala Gialla

We have taken the first step: impressions and future vision – Prof. Nicola Perullo, Diffuse University Scientific Director

Outcomes of the five subjects of discussion – Rapporteurs of the groups

Closing speech – Carlo Petrini, President of the University of Gastronomic Sciences and of Slow Food International.