Laura Cataldi has a PhD in Political Science and her fields of research include deliberative democracy and participatory policies, political institutions and analysis of public policy, local governance (democratic innovations) in Italy (especially Piedmont and Lombardy) and beyond. She has worked with local, national and international research groups, as well as for public institutions in order to design innovative democratic practices, trends processes involving stakeholders and citizens in decision making. Her most recent research projects are focused on public participation and deliberation processes on (environmental) conflictual policies, urban participatory policies, the industrial policy in western countries and bottom-up diffusion of quasi-regulatory policies. This especially applies to participatory process planning in Piedmont and elsewhere in Italy.