Born in Sicily in 1953, Paolino Accolla grew up and completed his education in Milano. He has been working as a journalist for almost 30 years, mostly as a foreign correspondent. With a tv cameraman diploma from a vocational school and with a major in Chinese Language and History from Università Statale in Milano, he began his career as a free lance writer in 1980, filing feature stories on video art and new media for magazines dealing with communication and communications issues.
In the mid Eighties, after traveling through Asia and North America, he made his base in Tokyo where he worked as a reporter and a roaming correspondent from the Far East for Italian daily and weekly publications. In 1988 he was hired as a staff writer by the Italian desk of Radio Japan-NHK, Tokyo. In 1991 he was hired as a correspondent by the Tokyo Bureau of the Italian press agency ANSA. He stayed with ANSA until 2003, working as a correspondent also from London, New York, Washington and Moscow.
After going back to free lancing in 2003, he set up base in Rome and traveled extensively in the Indian Subcontinent and South East Asia, filing news reports and feature stories to the Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera, the news agency AdnKronos International, the radio network Radio24, the weekly supplement Affari&Finanza of the daily La Repubblica and various magazines of the publishing groups RCS and Rusconi-Hachette. Through the years he has co-authored books published by Editrice Gutenberg, Torino (Italy), and Casagrande, Lugano (Switzerland). In 1984 he has authored Blue Solo, a collection of poems, for the publisher Cinque Vie in Milano.
He speaks English and Spanish as second languages; French, Chinese and Japanese on a colloquial level.
Has three decades of experience in the media, first as a foreign correspondent and later as managing editor of the first Italian multi-media and multi-lingual news agency. His work as a correspondent began in sub-saharan Africa and continued for quite a long period in the Middle East, concluding with several years in the Balkans and Central Europe. From 2002 until 2007 he was deputy editor-in-chief and managing editor of Adnkronos International, supervising the production of news (written and video) in Italian, English and Arabic, a variety of editorial projects, the organization of conferences and seminars and the provision of consulting services in the media field to institutions in various countries.
During this period he also lectured at several Universities and participated in international conferences on issues related to the media in the developing world and to North-South cooperation in this field.
A graduate of the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Gianluca is a photographer and journalist. He began his career covering the war in the Balkans in the early 1990’s. Thereafter he worked on photo reportages for several Austrian and European newspapers and magazines (Profil, TAZ, Manifesto, Der Spiegel, Repubblica) from the USA, Japan, Mexico and Central Europe. He then covered the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and subsequently made several visits to North Korea: the photos from these locales have appeared in countless publications and have been shown in a number of personal exhibitions. His work has also been featured in four book publications.
Passionate about his art, Gianluca has been generous in passing on his knowledge and experience, having taught courses at the School for artistic Photography and at Vienna University. But he is especially proud of his part in the “Photo workshop with immigrant children”, organized by the Verein Jugendzentren der Stadt Wien, to which he has returned year after year.
He is a Web marketing consultant specializing in internet visibility optimization. He is working on this and similar issues on behalf of several companies, such as BusinessFinder.it, RDS S.p.a. and Adnkronos S.p.a.. He also writes for the online version of the daily newspaper “Il Giornale” in the Tech&Web section.
Lecturer and analyst of Middle East politics, security and new media, he has also a significant experience in the training field, adopting non-formal education tools and methodology.
He is now working as external Scientific advisor for Unimed, assisting its CEO Marcello Scalisi on identifying the University network’s needs; analysing Euro-Mediterranean youth’s future challenges, and finally developing the overall editorial strategy of Unimed’s information web portal “Medarabnews“. He is an independent consultant on Muslim and international security issues for private companies, public institutions and NGOs. He is providing analysis and designing cooperation projects and training occasions, aimed at developing youth conditions on the Mediterranean southern shores. He is working as a consultant for SALTO-Youth EuroMed RC as training consultant and DEOR – Dissemination and Exploitation of Results officer.
From 2003 to the end of 2010 he has coordinated Aki Crises Today, the research department of the Italian news organization Aki – Andkronos International, which produces information packages in Italian, English and Arabic. Responsible for writing, editing and commissioning in-depth reports and analyses on international issues, such as: security in the Greater Middle East area, international terrorism, crisis of food prices in the Mena region and energy security. Author of several articles on national and international journals and video interviews for the Aki television programs, also in Arabic. During the last five years he has often been invited as lecturer in Italian universities, Ecole Supérieure des Affaires de Beyrouth, education institutions of the Italian Ministry of Defence (Casd and Issmi), as well as European Defence Agency and European Defence College.
Ermete Mariani holds a master degree in Arabic Language and Civilization from the University of Venice, and Comparative Politics of the Arab and Muslim World from the Institut d’Études Politiques in Paris. He is also completing his Ph.D. dissertation on the ‘political ecology’ of the new media in Arab countries at the Institut d’Études Politiques in Lyon. On this topic he has conducted several fieldwork research projects in the UK and in the Middle East, and published eight scientific articles.
She is a multimedia producer specialized in web development, usability and databases. She first attended a multimedia college in Vienna and later studied data systems technology at the Technical University of Vienna and at the University of Munich (Germany). From 2001 – 2004 she was a resident scholar at the Ludwig Boltzmann Institut “Blickforschung”, conducting research on web usability. She later worked, again in Munich, in a Net Consulting company, developing database driven applications and backends for websites and specializing in MySQL and PHP. She is currently employed by an advertising agency, where her main tasks are planning and implementing internet solutions, using the latest and most advanced technologies, such as the Content Management System Typo3.
Roberto Tofani is a multimedia journalist and analyst covering South East Asian Countries, particularly Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Roberto travels regularly to the area, spending long periods at each location, in order to further his understanding of issues and strengthen his network of contacts, which includes government figures, but also non-state actors, such as businessmen, academics and activists.
Roberto’s first experience in Southeast Asia came in 2004, when he spent several months at the Italian embassy in Hanoi on a research fellowship. Since then, he has been writing articles for the Italy-based international press agency AdnKronos International (AKI), and contributing to various publications, among them Asia Times Online, World Politics Review, Il Messaggero, La Repubblica, Il Riformista, Il Manifesto, Il Mattino, Terra, Diario, Left, Il Venerdì (weekly magazine of La Repubblica); AKI – Crises Today, Lettera22 e Lettera43. Roberto’s writings focus on politics, economics, the environment and social issues. He is also a regular commentator on Southeast Asian current affairs for Australia’s Special Broadcasting Services.
From 2007, Roberto is charge of the website www.sudestasiatico.com (News and report about South East Asian Countries). Roberto holds a Master Degree in Peacekeeping and Security Studies and a Degree in Political Science from ‘Roma Tre University’. He has written several studies on economic and political issues related to ASEAN and Burma/Myanmar, as well as taught on the same subject at seminars promoted by University ‘La Sapienza’ (Rome).