THE PROJECT

The Dolomiti Paganella Future Lab

A project designed to decipher the changes we are living through, thereby making the local community of the Altopiano della Paganella more resilient, capable of conceptualizing their future and elaborating development models appropriate for current challenges.
It was conceived as a constantly evolving platform, unique in Italy, in order to define a balanced vision for the long term development of tourism in collaboration with the community, based on the day-to-day convenience and quality of life of residents and visitors.
The work process is articulated into different stages of consultation, involving the local community and tourists, in order to build together and share a development model that enhances the value of the local territory over time.
The project continued during the COVID quarantine, because we believe that the DPFL is even more relevant during the current phase of history, when we have to profoundly examine our existing development model and we are obliged to try to predict the future in order to avoid becoming its victims.

Our Vision

Our vision of Dolomiti Paganella is a location where the mountains confer regeneration, with one foot solidly planted in the timeless heritage of the Dolomites, and the other taking a confident step into a future comprising residents and visitors who share our territory as responsible actors, where nature and culture can co-exist through innovation.

Our Mission

Interpret the development of tourism on the Altopiano della Paganella as a positive force in order to establish a tenacious, cohesive, and resilient community, capable of managing the risks and opportunities that the future has in store with greater awareness and balance.

Who we involved

We wanted to hear the points of view of the people who live,
work, and take their holidays on the Altopiano, establishing what they think about the 4 fundamental issues underlying the project and asking them to imagine tourism in 15 to 20 years from today.

TOURIST OPERATORS AND ADMINISTRATORS,
who took part in the round-table meetings organized in the villages of the Altopiano.

WINTER AND SUMMER TOURISTS,
who expressed themselves through a questionnaire distributed during the 2019-2020 season.

YOUNG PEOPLE OF THE ALTOPIANO,
who answered an online survey

LOCAL RESIDENTS,
who received a booklet at home presenting the intermediate project results and replied to an online survey.

What we looked for and who we asked

THE FOUR KEY ISSUES FOR THE DPFL

Our design laboratory concentrated
on 4 main themes:

01
DNA

First we analysed which features had characterized the DNA of the tourist area up to now and which could (or should) remain characterizing features in the future. This gave rise to reflection on the past, present, and future of the resort, seeking to establish what current areas of success we want to take into the future, as well as things we would like to have in the future that are lacking today, and which of these we should work on.

02
New Generations

“The future interests me because it’s where I will spend the rest of my life”.
This amusing quotation from Groucho Marx applies to everyone, and above all to our youth, who have more future to look forward to. What are the prospects for the young women and men of the Altopiano? What is the relationship between the different generations? How do young people receive adults? And how do adults receive the young? These are profound and complex questions, that cannot be answered in banal terms.

02
New Generations

“The future interests me because it’s where I will spend the rest of my life”.
This amusing quotation from Groucho Marx applies to everyone, and above all to our youth, who have more future to look forward to. What are the prospects for the young women and men of the Altopiano? What is the relationship between the different generations? How do young people receive adults? And how do adults receive the young? These are profound and complex questions, that cannot be answered in banal terms.

03
Climate change

They say that climate change will be the greatest challenge humanity has to face. However, the response so far has been very bland, both in politics and lifestyles. Perhaps COVID has taught us something in this respect. We have realized what it means to deal with a global crisis and how important it is to anticipate problems so that we can face them with greater awareness.

04
Tourism in balance

Maintaining balance is easier in motion than at rest, as cyclists know so well. This also applies to a tourist resort like the Altopiano where, compared to less than 5000 residents, in 2019 more than 2,000,000 tourist visits were recorded. Having a clear objective makes it possible to activate local resources and achieve common aims to deal with the significant challenges of a tourism development model more in tune with the current and future DNA of the local territory.

04
Tourism in balance

Maintaining balance is easier in motion than at rest, as cyclists know so well. This also applies to a tourist resort like the Altopiano where, compared to less than 5000 residents, in 2019 more than 2,000,000 tourist visits were recorded. Having a clear objective makes it possible to activate local resources and achieve common aims to deal with the significant challenges of a tourism development model more in tune with the current and future DNA of the local territory.

OUR FOUR STATEMENTS FOR THE FUTURE

Based on the results of the research conducted to date, we have reformulated our key questions into four statements that represent the future we desire for our tourist destination.

Altopiano della Paganella, October 2030

01
The DNA
of our holiday resort

The natural environment, rural economy, and cultural heritage of the mountain population are fundamental to the DNA of the Dolomiti Paganella as a holiday destination. Even though tourism has been the main engine of the economy in recent decades, these three components
remain the real reason for our success and should never be forgotten. They represent what we are today, have always been, and want to continue being. They unite us and make us more than simply a tourist resort comprising five local councils acting together – they are the spirit of the place. Thanks to our DNA, we have preserved what is genuine and unique from mountain life, constantly renewing and reinventing ourselves, our community, our home.

02
NEW
GENERATIONS

The new generations form part of the community not only as workers, but also as leaders and innovators as a result of changes introduced in local policies aiming to increase their involvement and responsibilization. Tourism has induced a transformation that imbues and influences the entire community. New career opportunities have emerged in sectors linked to the tourist economy, including the environment, management of the local territory, agriculture, welfare, innovation, new technologies, and so on. The younger generations have chosen to live, work, raise families, and invest in the Altopiano della Paganella as a valid alternative to urban life. The DNA of our holiday resort New generations

03
CLIMATE
CHANGE

Already for some time climate change has been acknowledged as an inevitable challenge and our holiday resort has responded by adapting and reacting in time. The tourist product has overcome the concept of seasonality. Skiing is no longer the sole protagonist in our winter season and new options and experiences have been developed for mountain visitors throughout the year. This evolution was possible because we were among the first to seriously initiate the design and innovation of a mountain tourism “unbounded by the seasons”

04
TOURISM
IN BALANCE

There is widespread appreciation and reciprocal commitment from visitors, residents, and all the tourist community, for the need to adopt sustainable behaviours. To achieve this we have changed the way we define the success of our resort: from crude numeric analysis of arrivals and bed nights, to more incisive measurements like the socioeconomic impact of tourism, the quality of life of residents, and a different conception of seasonality. We have also managed to make the Dolomiti Paganella one of the first mountain resorts truly accessible without using a car. While tourism remains the main source of income for the community, it now plays a more balanced role in the local economy.
We have achieved the transition from a holiday resort dependent on tourism, to a destination powered by tourism.

THE JOURNEY

Viaggia sulla linea del tempo per scoprire le attività del progetto Future Lab.

2019
EXPLORATORY RESEARCH
10.08.2019

Where it all began: the case studies that inspired us: Visit to Flanders – Visit to Copenhagen

DNA RESEARCH
20.08.2019

The work of identifying the DNA of the Altopiano della Paganella was conducted by the Director of the Paganella Public Libraries and was based on twenty years of investigating local history and archive documents.

Bringing to light any “dominant genes” (in itself already an innovative approach) from 1000 years of documented history required an original study method, and so we tackled the forest of dates and events following an experimental approach. To our amazement, the study enabled us to:
• Distil the timelines for each of the 5 local communities into a collective narrative. 
• Observe the “emergent features” of local history, from Medieval times until today, and the most marked temperamental traits of these communities. 
• Identify in the exceptional – but recurrent – events of local history the underlying features of a personality shaped over the centuries. 
• Reveal in present day collective life the symbolic antiquity of mute signs and cultural fossils, identifying their deep meaning.
• Recognize that the special features of the Altopiano emerged from centuries of learning how to live in the mountains. 
The study method made it possible to formulate historically founded hypotheses, suggestions, and provocations that were brought back for discussion in the Future Lab. 

1° MOUNTAIN FUTURE FESTIVAL 
26.08.2019

The first edition of the event dedicated to the future of the mountain, the Mountain Future Festival, took place from 27 to 30 August on the Paganella Plateau, followed by a second one in 2021.

An ideas laboratory for reflecting, swopping ideas, and a moment to appreciate the rich variety and aesthetics of the high mountains. These are places of incredible beauty but simultaneously delicate ecosystems, anthropized territories in which mankind must delineate his own future while respecting nature, of which he is part. In this context the Mountain Future Festival represents a window into the future of mountains, through which, thanks to the participation of national and international guests, experts, artists, films, shows, and activities in nature, we look at the positive things achieved to date and identify those to pursue into coming years in the light of climate change and an ever more committed and necessary view of life based on sustainability.

OPENING EVENT – 29 October 2019
29.10.2019

The first official public presentation of the Dolomiti Paganella Future Lab.

More than 500 people attended the event with great curiosity and engagement.
It was an interactive evening and after each presentation all the audience were asked to directly answer certain questions that encouraged them to reflect on what they had heard and provide the team of experts with the first important feedback for the subsequent project steps.
Participants included:
Michele Viola, President of APT Dolomiti Paganella
Luca D’Angelo, Director of APT Dolomiti Paganella
Emil Spangenberg, CEO of the company Frame&Work and previous designer of the development plan for the city of Copenhagen.
Paolo Grigolli Director of the School of Tourism and Culture of the Trentino School of Management
Alessandro Bazzanella Project Coordinator of the Trentino School of Management
Graziano Cosner, Director of the public libraries of the Altopiano
Maria Pina Trunfio, Director of the university master’s degree ‘Tourism & Hospitality Management’ at the Parthenope University of Naples
Roberto Barbiero, coordinator of the PAT Climate Observatory
Pietro Beritelli, lecturer at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland

1° Workshops with local and tourist operators
30.10.2019

Applying a method of participation inspired from the design principles known as ‘double diamond’, the participants first worked on an in-depth definition of the issues, and then discussed possible solutions to those considered most important.

A few numbers from the research

WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS
● Public administrators
● Hoteliers and tourist operators (caterers, farm guesthouse owners, and hut owner) from Andalo, Molveno, Fai della Paganella, Cavedago, and Spormaggiore
● Operators in the “activities” sector
● Uplift systems and other tourist facilities (hire outlets, entertainers)
● Associations
● Professionals and traders
● Official bodies and consortiums

14 work sessions
500+ post-it labels used
2.5 hours per session
120+ coffees consumed
131 operators involved
1000+ adhesive labels used
131 people involved

Intermediate results

The booklet

DOWNLOAD THE BOOKLET
online booklet

The documentary

Trailer

watch THE TRAILER