We are happy to welcome our new President who was unanimously elected by the ERSA Section Representatives on 31 August 2018 in Cork.

André Torre succeeds to Jouke van Dijk  (president from 2014-2018), his 5-year term started on January 1, 2019.

In recent years, André was past president of French Speaking Association, ASRDLF (2008 –2011); he was also a representative of ERSA at the RSAI Council and Vice President of ERSA (2014 –2018). Given his 10 year’s dedicated involvement for the ERSA community, we are all eager to see what our new President will bring to move forward the impact of regional science research through our Association.

André has kindly accepted to answer a few questions and share his vision for ERSA.

Jouke van Dijk said “With André, ERSA will continue to develop its prominent role in the regional science community’. What are your first plans for ERSA?

First, I would like to thank Jouke for his support and substantial achievements during his successful presidency.

As already said, I believe that the strength of ERSA lies in its place at the forefront of the scientific debate with a unique network of researchers from various places, disciplines and approaches.

My ambition is to make of ERSA an even stronger supportive body for its members. I want to enhance the relations with the sections, in order to increase the participation to their activities and to advertise more quickly about the events they organize and their links with local stakeholders

I will do all my best to ensure that our Association continues to grow and, with it, our effectiveness. I want to confirm the place of ERSA at the forefront of the scientific debate and its attractiveness as a meeting point for young and experienced researchers coming from various places, disciplines and approaches of Regional Science.

In this respect, I expect to work closely with our sections’ representatives and my direct collaborators at the board, especially Eveline van Leeuwen, the young and new vice-President. It is of utmost importance to better understand the network through our section expertise and make together decision for the upcoming years. I strongly believe that by exchanging a lot and joining efforts, our association can gain ground, and be more and more innovative.

On the other hand, I believe we must develop our collaboration with large institutions (like DG-Regio and OECD), which is crucial to enhance policy-science interaction and increase our impact on evidence based regional policies. We must remain an essential key player interacting with Institutions.

What are your plans regarding ERSA’s Vision?

First, I intent to preserve the inclusiveness of our Association. We will continue to take into account the diversity of our membership and develop added-value services or events. Our annual Congress with its diversity of topics and different categories of fees, enables a participation from all across the globe. We are very proud of our event format!

In terms of missions, we will of course promote regional science across Europe and beyond, stimulate research and the exchange of knowledge. We will continue to support young scientists, with the development of enlarged dedicated Schools in Summer and Winter and maybe more in the future. And we will always be more attentive to inclusive issues such as diversity or gender balance. It is sure we want to remain a dynamic association with human values.

I will continue to care for communication development and efficiency. To remain a key player and for the visibility and impact of our network, it is essential to pay attention to communication. We have been working on this issue for some time now, but a lot has still to be done in terms of promotion of the activities of the Association with social media… as well as from increasing the visibility of our members.

What kind of ERSA President do you plan to be?

I am the 9th President in the history of our Association.  I believe that building up good human relationships is a must in management. I expect to be very close to the Board and ERSA Section Representations as well as the ERSA Office staff. It is of utmost importance to reach good results at different levels and to work in a collaborative and friendly atmosphere.

André Torre is Professor of Economics, University Paris-Saclay, INRA, AgroParistech. He is head of Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, University Paris-Saclay, Managing Editor: Revue d’Economie Régionale et Urbaine, Journal of the French Speaking Association, and Head of the French National Programme on Regional Development (PSDR). Regarding his past positions inside ERSA-RSAI Community, André is past president of French Speaking Association, ASRDLF (2008 – 2011), he was a representative of ERSA at the RSAI Council and Vice President of ERSA (2014 – 2018). Learn more on André Torre’s profile through his personal website.