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Regenerative Hospitality Summit 2024 – A Creative Gathering


Casa Ratiu, Turda, Transylvania – 5th to 8th May

Co-hosted by The Oxford Cultural Collective and Ulster University


Book your place – and view Summit details



A creative gathering for hospitality, food, drink and tourism professionals, alongside academics, campaigners and policy makers, who recognise the potential of hospitality to help communities, places and natural eco-systems thrive.

The highly distinctive format, including active participation of all delegates, reflects our aim of achieving value, impact and legacy from the Regenerative Hospitality Summit.


Themes. The programme is built around three interconnected themes – Place, Food System and Higher Education, which present distinct opportunities for the application of regenerative thinking, in ways that could have transformative impacts.


Creative engagement. We are aiming to create ideal conditions for the free flow of creativity and generation of new ideas. Unlike traditional conferences, featuring a range formal keynote presentations, delegates will be invited to actively participate, sharing personal perspectives, learning from each other and mapping out future priorities.

Conversation. A range of ‘in conversations’, focused on the experience of particular contributors, will open up discussions with all delegates, on broader topics.

Outcomes. The Summit’s outcomes will be determined by delegates. Whilst we cannot predict what plans will be agreed, they could include exciting new collaborations, acceleration of existing projects and reshaping of higher education provision.


Outline programme

(note – additional case study contributors still to be added)


Sunday 5th May


Afternoon: Optional cultural activities

Evening: Welcome reception and dinner hosted by Pamela Ratiu, Executive Director of the Ratiu Forum


The Regenerative Hospitality Summit host, Pamela Ratiu, is Executive Director of the Ratiu Forum, a project run in partnership with the London School of Economics IDEAS Think Tank, which explores challenges to liberal democracies in central and eastern Europe, and she is Executive Director (Romania) of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation. She initiated the Ratiu Dialogues on Democracy, a series of lectures on visions for democracy and civic engagement. Pamela has developed Casa Ratiu, the seat of the Ratiu Family, as a social ecosystem operating in the field of hospitality, which provides recruitment and development opportunities for local people. She is a former Patron of the Oxford Cultural Collective.



Monday 6th May


Morning: Regenerative Hospitality – principles and application

A deep exploration of the concept of Regenerative Hospitality, the need for change in the management and expression of hospitality in order to achieve regenerative impact and the application of regenerative principles within hospitality businesses.


Lead facilitators: 


Bill Reed is Principal of Regenesis Inc, a regenerative design, living systems and education organisation, and an internationally recognised planning consultant, design process facilitator, lecturer and author in sustainability and regeneration. An architect and planner by profession, Bill is known for application of regenerative / living systems principles to the design and development of places and their communities. He works on projects worldwide, and most recently was retained by Destination Canada to articulate a regenerative design approach for the future of tourism development in Canada.




Anna Pollock, founder of independent consultancy Conscious.Travel, has 50 years experience serving the international  tourism sector with a particular focus on destinations; understanding what forces change in the way tourism is marketed, managed and delivered; and thinking creatively about alternative business models that can help us thrive in a post-modern world. She has been researching and pioneering regeneration, applied to tourism and hospitality, for over 10 years and is educating and inspiring practitioners internationally via her talks, writing and courses. Anna is a Patron of the Oxford Cultural Collective.




Afternoon – theme: Place

The concept of Place lies at the heart of regeneration. We will explore how hospitality, by recognising and embracing its higher purpose, can be a catalyst for connectivity – a prerequisite for helping places flourish.


Case study contributors: 


Eugen Vaida, Director (Romania), King’s Foundation. Born in Altîna, Transylvania, and an architect by training, Eugen is the founder of the ‘Ambulance for Monuments’ programme, focused on restoring built heritage and the social fabric of rural communities. He is Director, for Romania, of the King’s Foundation, which advances King Charles III’s restoration projects in Transylvania in line with his ‘Harmony’ agenda, which encourages business, architecture, planning, the arts and education to become closely aligned with nature.




Michele Shirlow MBE, Chief Executive, Food NI. As the founder of Food NI, Michele is responsible for the creative promotion of Northern Ireland as a food and drink destination, based on the quality of produce and the talents of growers, farmers and chefs. She conceptualised and ran the successful Year of Food and Drink 2016, which delivered positive economic and cultural impacts, and was responsible for securing the accolade ‘World’s Best Food Destination’ for Northern Ireland, at the International Travel Trade Awards.




Peter Millican, Chairman, Parabola. Peter established Parabola twenty years ago to build two award-winning urban developments in Newcastle. Subsequently, he went on to create Kings Place, the pioneering complex that mixes arts and commerce in central London. Peter continues to chair the Music Foundation at Kings Place and the conference and catering company Green and Fortune. He is currently developing the 50-acre ‘Edinburgh Park’ site into a new cultural, hospitality, arts, business, education, sport and residential ‘quarter’ for Scotland’s capital city.


Tuesday 7th May


Morning – theme: Food system

The hospitality sector is uniquely well-placed to effect change in the flawed food system, to ensure growers, producers, distributors and chefs work together to achieve regenerative impact. We will explore creative tactics for accelerating change.


Case study contributors:


Skye Gyngell, Chef and author. Skye is one of Britain’s most acclaimed chefs. She moved from Australia to London to work at The French House, before becoming head chef at Petersham Nurseries. In 2014, Skye opened Spring as her first solo venture. The restaurant brings Skye’s acclaimed ingredient-led cooking to the New Wing of Somerset House, the renowned arts and cultural centre in the heart of London’s West End. Skye is also Culinary Director at Heckfield Place, known for its commitment to regenerative farming and gastronomy, which holds a Green Michelin Star.




István Szabó, Conservation Enterprise Director, Foundation Conservation Carpathia. István is helping to create Europe’s largest self-sustaining wilderness ecosystem, spanning 250,000 hectares across the southern edge of the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania. He is specifically responsible for the development of a new, non-destructive economic system that benefits biodiversity and local communities. This includes support for businesses focused on food production, ecotourism and regenerative agriculture.




Dr Lucian Cuibus, academic and campaigner. An academic in the Faculty of Food Science and Technology at the University of Agricultural Sciences of Cluj-Napoca, Lucian is also Director of Slow Food Cluj and Deputy Director of  The Romanian Academy, the country’s leading cultural forum. He advocates for local food systems and community supported agriculture and is closely involved with the growing movement of independent producers and chefs who are redefining Transylvania’s culinary culture.




Afternoon – theme: Higher education

Higher education, at its best, advances knowledge, enhances skills and builds confidence. We will explore the role of educators in developing the next generation of change-makers – those who will ensure that hospitality businesses actively contribute to the regeneration of people, places and natural ecosystems.


Case study contributors:


Donald Sloan, Founder and Chair, Oxford Cultural Collective. Donald’s work is focused on food, drink and hospitality as catalysts for positive social, cultural and environmental change. From 2003 to 2017 he was Head of the Oxford School of Hospitality Management at Oxford Brookes University, which during his tenure was often ranked in the world’s top ten academic schools in its field. He is laying plans for the UK’s first independent higher education institute dedicated to hospitality and gastronomy, which will be defined by its commitment to achieving positive social and environmental impact.



Dr Lynsey Hollywood, Director, Food and Drink Business Development Centre, Ulster University. A specialist in food marketing and consumer behaviour, Lynsey leads a centre of excellence focused on supporting Northern Ireland’s local food and drink industry, through applied research and education. She is playing a central role in the development of hospitality, culinary arts management and tourism as flagship areas of provision for Ulster University, signified by its investment in extensive new teaching, learning and commercial facilities in Belfast city centre.




Professor Ioannis S. Pantelidis, Head of the Department of Hospitality Tourism and Events Management, Ulster Business School. Ioannis leads an academic department that has recently witnessed significant investment, reflecting Ulster University’s commitment to hospitality education. He contributes actively to the field, including as an author (‘Routledge Handbook of Hospitality Management’ and ‘Food and Beverage Management’) and editor of numerous hospitality-focused academic journals. Born into a family of hoteliers and restaurateurs, he is personally invested in promoting the regenerative power of hospitality and higher education.


Wednesday 8th May


Morning: Plenary

Summary of issues to emerge from Summit

Social Programme – resident chefs

Our resident chefs will work alongside a team of hospitality and culinary arts management students from Ulster University


Romy Gill MBE is one of the UK’s best loved chefs, and is a food and travel writer and broadcaster. She is one of the regular chefs on BBC1’s Ready Steady Cook and has appeared on many other TV programmes including Sunday Brunch, BBC’s The One Show, Country Life, Celebrity MasterChef, The Hairy Bikers’ Comfort Food and James Martin’s Saturday Morning. Romy is a regular on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme and she often appears on Channel 4’s Packed Lunch. Romy writes for The Sunday Times, BBC Food and the Telegraph. She also contributes to national and international publications including The New York Times. She has published two books, to considerable acclaim: Zaika – Vegan Recipes from India and On The Himalayan Trail.



Paul Bloomfield is recognised for his deep interest in the connections between food and culture, which informs his eclectic repertoire, encompassing the cuisines of Asia, the Mediterranean and the UK. Paul draws inspiration as much from his extensive travels as he does from close collaboration with other chefs, food writers and broadcasters. As Chef Consultant to the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, he ensures this major cultural event is known for its myriad of gastronomic occasions, not only as a book-lovers’ paradise. He has been visiting and working in Transylvania for many years, and is a close partner of the Ratiu Family Charitable Foundation. Paul is a Patron of the Oxford Cultural Collective.



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