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Personal profile

Research interests

Mariangela works as Associate Professor of Cultural Economics at the Department of Arts and Culture Studies at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She is academic lead for the development of new forms of transformative engagement and sustainability transition in fashion industries at DIT (Design, Impact, Transition), a new platform under the Erasmus University Rotterdam “Strategy 2024”. She is also the academic coordinator, head of admission and master theses co-ordinator of the MA in Cultural Economics and Entrepreneurship (ranked 1st in the Netherlands and 2nd in the world among cultural management programs), co-founder and coordinator of the first Minor Fashion Industry in the Netherlands. She recentely co-lead and managed the project RE-FRAME FASHION, supported under the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership Programme of the European Union (partners: Paris Dauphine University - PSL, Gdansk University of Technology, and fashion stakeholders).

Mariangela Lavanga combines insights from cultural economics and economic geography; from addressing the role of cultural industries in sustainable urban development to zooming in on fashion and design industries. In particular, she looks at the fashion industry as a creative industry to: a) understand locational choices, local and global networks and labour market of entrepreneurs, b) unravel processes of value-creation, in particular linked to sustainability and circular economy, c) delve into the role of intermediaries, temporary clusters and face-to-face interaction in the markets for creative goods and services. 

Before joining the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Mariangela worked at University of Amsterdam (UvA), IULM University in Milan, Cattolica University in Brescia, and the European Institute for Comparative Urban Research (EURICUR) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has an extensive experience in (inter)national research projects, many of them commissioned by public, private or non-profit organizations (i.e. European Environmental Bureau; Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) of the Netherlands; Eurocities/Edurc member cities; European Cultural Foundation). She has (co-)authored 44+ peer-reviewed academic articles and book chapters, 18+ research reports and 52+ conference papers (see complete list of publications in Google Scholar). She is the co-editor of the special issue in fashion capitals in the academic journal Fashion Theory. She was a member of the International Scientific Committee of the Conference "Responsible Fashion Series - Can fashion save the world?" at Antwerp University / Antwerp Management School. In parallel, she is a sought-after speaker and expert in many events outside academia. Mariangela has an extensive teaching and supervision portfolio (42+ courses taught; 8+ new or restructured courses; 80+ Master and Bachelor theses supervised; 8+ PhD co-supervised). Her education activities are consistently high evaluated. She is a pioneer in innovative and impact-driven education; while her courses are strongly embedded in research, she is driven by experimentation in new teaching methods that foster students’ engagement, critical thinking, social learning, and stakeholder involvement. She is a guest lecturer in many universities in The Netherlands and abroad, and she is often invited to take part in (inter)national PhD committees (i.e. Erasmus University Rotterdam, Radboud Universiteit, Antwerp University, Polytechnic University Milan/Design School, La Statale University of Milan, Università Mediterranea di Reggio Calabria). She is a Board Member of the DesignPlatform Rotterdam. Recently. Recentely, she co-founded along with Dutch fashion stakeholders Culture.Fashion, an open, value-driven network in the field of fashion and textile supported by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW).

Mariangela holds a PhD in Communication Economics / Cultural Economics (IULM University, Milan), a MSc in Urban Management (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and a BSc/MSc in Economics (Bocconi University, Milan).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production


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