Maastricht University and Pomilio Blumm Join us at Summer School 2023

Institutional Communication:
Narrative Design for Value Sharing

Start28 Aug.
Duration5 Days
In elective partnership with Pomilio Blumm

Maastricht University

Have you ever tried to communicate your ideas to a large target audience such as European citizens? Did you find the language barrier or cultural diversity challenging? Maastricht University in collaboration with Pomilio Blumm has designed a summer school course for you.

With a multitude of domestic and international issues that Europe is facing today, there is an increased need for imaginative ideas and innovative strategy. Even the most visionary plan is likely to fail if it is not paired with a compelling and effective public communication strategy. How we "sell" our ideas is essential, especially when the stakes are high and the audience is as diverse and demanding as the citizens of Europe.

This summer school is designed to show how to develop a comprehensive public communication strategy at the EU level. During five days of lectures and problem-based learning sessions, the participants will be introduced to the entire process of narrative building, from receiving a brief and designing creative, content-related strategic solutions to their implementation. You will be introduced to different analytical tools and theories coming from human and social sciences (social psychology, semiotics, sociology, history) that can contribute greatly to designing the best strategy to reach your objectives. The peculiarities of the citizens-institutions relationship will be analysed, as well as the importance of building trust.

At the end of this summer school participants will have mastered the tools and methodologies needed to decode a complex communication challenge and create an appealing message targeted at a diverse audience.

Key benefits

Thanks to its high-quality research and unique focus on problem-based learning education, as well as a strong focus on social engagement, Maastricht University has quickly built a solid reputation worldwide. Today, it is considered one of the best young universities in the world that is located at the heart of Europe.

Pomilio Blumm

Pomilio Blumm has over 20 years of experience dealing with institutional communication campaigns all over the world. With over 6 branch offices and 200 staff members, in 2022 it has been appointed the "fastest growing communication company" thanks to its specific expertise and innovative approach to institutional communication.

About the course

Who can attend

Professionals with 3-year plus working experience, students from communication, psychology, political sciences or social sciences. Five places dedicated to the Bachelor students from the Maastricht University Global Studies Program to grow from a professional and human point of view.


The location will be Maastricht University Campus Brussels in Av. de Tervueren 153, 1150 Brussels, Belgium.

Course date

This intensive course runs for 5 days, from Monday 28th August to Friday 1st, September 2023.

Course agenda*

9:00 - 9:45 Maastricht University and Pomilio Blumm: an elective affinity. What is institutional communication Professor Kai J. Jonas, Maastricht University Franco Pomilio, Pomilio Blumm
9:45 - 10:30 What to expect. Introduction of the summer school Professor Kai J. Jonas, Maastricht University Franco Pomilio, Pomilio Blumm
10:30 - 10:45 Coffee break
10:45 - 12:30 It's a tender world. Project design in the EU institutional bubble Paolo Vallonchini, Pomilio Blumm Giovanni Cellini, Pomilio Blumm
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 15:15 Institution-citizens relationship: trust, expectancies and vicarious experiences Professor Kai J. Jonas, Maastricht University
15:15 - 15:30 Coffee break
15:30 - 18:00 Briefing and workgroup Paolo Vallonchini, Pomilio Blumm Daniela Panosetti, Pomilio Blumm Giovanni Cellini, Pomilio Blumm
9:00 - 10:15 Participatory approaches and tailoring Professor Kai J. Jonas, Maastricht University
10:15 - 10:30 Coffee break
10:45 - 12:30 Narratives, Design and Value Sharing: the fundamentals of communication strategy Daniela Panosetti and Paola Sozzi, Intelligence Accelerator Unit, Pomilio Blumm
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 16:00 Making sense. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies for communication Valentina Bazzarin and Andrea Stochino, Intelligence Accelerator Unit, Pomilio Blumm
16:00 - 16:30 Coffee break
16:30 - 18:00 Working Groups
9:00 - 10:30 Looking up - Message framing in privileged and meritocratic contexts Professor Catia Teixeira, Maastricht University
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30 Branding and design for an effective strategy. From content to digital design Serena Toppeta and Jonathan Harney, Creative Strategic Unit, Pomilio Blumm
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 16:00 Working Groups
20:00 - 22:00 Social Dinner
9:00 - 10:30 Media and PR: threats and opportunities Giovanni Cellini, Press Office and Media Relation Unit, Pomilio Blumm Alia Papageorgiou, President, Brussels' Press Club
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee break
11:00 - 12:30 Information – disinformation: how to engineer the truth? Professor Thomas Frissen, Maastricht University
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 15:00 Public diplomacy and crisis communication Ranieri Sabatucci, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
15:00 - 16:00 Presentation of real case study Paola Sozzi, Pomilio Blumm Giovanni Cellini, Pomilio Blumm
16:00 - 16:30 Coffee break
16:30 - 18:00 Working Groups
9:00 - 10:00 Finalisation of the students' projects
10:00 - 10:30 Coffee break
10:30 - 12:30 Presentation of the Working Groups' projects
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch break
14:00 - 15:00 What does the future hold? Beatriz Ríos, Brussels, based news assistant and reporter, Washington Post
15:00 - 16:00 Certificate ceremony

* Please note that speakers and timeslots might slightly change

Join us at the First Edition of Summer School 2023

Institutional Communication: Narrative Design and Value Sharing

Get in touch


Kai J. Jonas

Full Professor of Applied Social Psychology; Head of the Section Health and Social Psychology, Department of Work and Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University. His research currently centres around self-regulation and affective approaches in the area of health and discrimination, as well as (risky) decisions.

Catia Teixeira

Assistant Professor at the Department of Work and Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University. Her research revolves around intergroup relations and focuses specifically on social inequality and social change, power dynamics and the experience of privilege, collective protest, discrimination and well-being. Her research is mainly experimental. Catia's teaching focus is on migration and identities, tolerance and beliefs and social influence.

Thomas Frissen

Thomas Frissen is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASoS), Maastricht University. In both teaching and research, Thomas focuses on questions regarding the role of digital media and technology in society, culture, and behaviour. He is currently developing his research project under the heading "Engineering Truth". In this project, Frissen is investigating the relationships between emerging digital technologies and scientific disciplines (i.e. AI-generated imagery such as deepfakes, blockchain and cryptography, and data science) and society's reality perception.

Franco Pomilio

As the chairman of Pomilio Blumm, he leads the strategic direction of the firm. With a solid academic background across the most prestigious universities of the world (MIT, Harvard, INSEAD), he is the Project Leader and the Communication Strategist of the most important campaigns run for national and international public clients including ICE, WHO, EU Commission, European Parliament and others. In 2022, as the head of Pomilio Blumm, he oversaw the designing and realising of the first-of-its-kind nation branding campaign promoting the "Made in Italy" trademark worldwide.

Jonathan Harney

As Art Director and Strategic Designer at Pomilio Blumm, he is in charge of visual communications. With his creative input, he contributed to the innovative nation branding campaign realised by Pomilio Blumm in 2022 promoting the "Made in Italy" trademark. The main clients he worked for are ICE, European Parliament, and European Commission. His work experience prior to Pomilio Blumm includes the Art Director role for the Global Digital Marketing Team at Tiffany & Co. in New York City. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Design from Pratt Institute, NYC.

Serena Toppeta

Experienced copywriter and creative strategist, she has been managing the production of complex editorial projects for Pomilio Blumm EU clients, including traditional and digital products. In 2022, as a creative director and the head of content, she was responsible for developing the architecture and the content for "Made in Italy", a nation branding campaign. Some of the main institutional clients she worked for are ICE, MAECI, European Commission, eu-LISA, EIGE and Eurostat. She holds a Master's Degree in Copywriting from Siena University, Italy.

Paolo Vallonchini

Endowed with strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and a customer-focused mindset, Paolo Vallonchini coordinates Pomilio Blumm's tender department. He has 10 years of professional experience and is responsible for managing tender processes from start to finish. His role involves identifying, analysing and responding to relevant EU tenders, coordinating with other departments and suppliers to gather the required inputs and developing and implementing proposals and quality management systems that align with the Contracting Authorities' objectives. He holds a Master's Degree in International Relations and a second-level Master in Diplomacy and International Politics at the Alma Mater Studiorum in Bologna.

Daniela Panosetti

Is the coordinator of the Strategy and Analysis unit at Pomilio Blumm. A semiotician and a journalist, she holds a PhD in Semiotics from Bologna University and a master's degree in Communication Sciences from Sapienza University. Before joining Pomilio Blumm, she was a lecturer at courses, seminars and conferences on the topics of the semiotics of literature and of text in general. She has published several articles and books including "Semiotica del testo letterario" (Carocci 2013), "Vintage" (2015).

Paola Sozzi

Is Analyst and Strategist at Pomilio Blumm. She holds a PhD in Semiotics (2017) and a Master's degree in Semiotics (2012) from Bologna University. Her thesis focused on general semiotics and semiotics of spaces. She took part in the IRSES Marie Curie project "MEMOSUR - A lesson for Europe. Memory, trauma and reconciliation in Chile and Argentina", working on the reuse of ex torture detention centres as places of memory. Her previous research was dedicated to a fascist memorial for the First World War in Italy.

Andrea Stochino

Is the coordinator of the data analysis unit of Pomilio Blumm, with a background in Political Science and Economics. His team develops research design & implementation for impact evaluations of communication activities, including survey design and analysis, and big data management. He has conducted research for the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and collaborated with KPMG UK.

Valentina Bazzarin

Is a PhD in General and Clinical Psychology and now, after 10 years in the Academy as a researcher, she works as a freelance analyst, strategist, consultant and external expert. She teaches Cognitive Neuroscience in the USAC program hosted at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. She has a multidisciplinary background and a transdisciplinary approach to research and data management. Her current main research interests are data feminism and data-driven public policies.

Giovanni Cellini

Press Officer and Media Relation expert in Pomilio Blumm, where he deals with the communication of international public institutions. He has been a journalist, awarded movie director/ screenwriter/author, radio/TV host and station manager. He has been in charge of the radio lab of the University of Teramo, where he also was an assistant to the chairs of History of Media, Radio Communication, and Science Communication. He was European Parliament Press Office Intern.

Alia Papageorgiou

Is the President of the Press Club Brussels Europe. A reporter with solid international experience, she reported for many important media, such as BBC News, Athens News, The Bulletin, Yahoo, and Maktoub News. She is the founding Artistic Director of the Writers Festival of Belgium and she has been the Vice President of the Association of European Journalists; she was a candidate in the 2019 European elections and Press Officer at the EU Delegation to Australia. She also currently consults on media affairs.

Ranieri Sabatucci

Is the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the European Union to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. From 2016 to 2020, he served as the Ambassador of the European Union to the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Prior to this, he served at the European Commission (from 1986 to 1989), at the Division for the Pacific and at the Division for South East Asia and ASEAN, and at the EU External Action Service (EEAS) in Brussels, Belgium.

Beatriz Ríos

Is the Brussels correspondent of the Spanish TV Telemadrid and a news assistant and reporter at the Brussels Bureau of the Washington Post. She has reported on EU affairs since 2014 for a number of Spanish and international media including El Mundo, Antena 3, Cadena SER, Euractiv, BBC, Euronews and Al-Jazeera. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University Complutense of Madrid, and a Master in International Relations, Peace, Security and Conflicts from the University Free of Brussels.

We are investigators of efficient innovative language engaged to spark interaction between motivated representatives, Institutions and citizens in a "value-based" growing world.
Franco Pomilio

Application information

If you are interested in attending the course, please send us an email at [email protected] Applications are going to be accepted up to a maximum of 30 students.


The fee requested is 1500 EUR (VAT excluded) for professionals; 900 EUR (VAT excluded) for students (proof required), and will cover:

  • 5-day intensive course
  • Coffee breaks and lunch
  • Attendance certificate issued by Maastricht University
  • 1 Social dinner

The fee does not include the costs of travel and transportation, accommodation and dinner.


For those needing accommodation solutions, the secretariat will be happy to assist you, providing discounted rates for nearby hotels. Do not hesitate to enquire.

Contact us

If you need more information

Please submit your query using the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
In addition, we will send you our printable brochure.

Download the brochure Here you will find all information about Summer School 2023 in a downloadable format. Please fill out the query form. Get the brochure
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