Luca Toschi

Luca Toschi

Research director

Luca Toschi is the founder and director of the Center for Generative Communication (CfGC) and a full professor of Sociology of Cultural and Communicative Processes in the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Florence (Italy). Author of La Comunicazione Generativa (Apogeo, 2011), he conceived of and promotes the generative communication paradigm in all areas of his work.

Professor Toschi, with the support of his team of CfGC researchers, explores the broad field of communication for technology transfer in numerous areas of society, economy and culture, as guided by complexity theory, his dedication to sustainability and the culture of peace, and philological methodology. He’s committed to strong community building based on shared knowledge and developing communication able to generate common projects among subjects with different missions and visions to enrich and reinforce all involved parties with regard to their cultural, social, economic and political roles.

He was also one of the creators and founders of the Italian University Line (IUL), the online university established by the National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research (INDIRE-MIUR) and the University of Florence.

He is on the editorial board of the scientific journal MediaScapes. At the University of Florence he works closely with the PhD program in Legal Science and is on the commission for the PhD program in Sustainable management of agricultural and forestry resources within the department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry Systems (GESAAF).

In addition, he has collaborated with various European and American universities such as Salamanca University, Humboldt University of Berlin,  Stanford University, Harvard University, University of Connecticut, and Sarah Lawrence College.

Main collaboration and contributions

He collaborates and consults, with regard to the sociology of communication, with governmental entities, enterprises, companies, public and private organizations, in particular for managers, publishers and publishing groups, and research and higher education bodies both in Italy and elsewhere.

He is particularly interested in the relations between automation systems and human languages, and directs special attention to the impact of automation on cultural, social, and economic spheres. Throughout his career he has been committed to public engagement and the university’s third mission. Indeed, his Center for Generative Communication operates in various areas: from marketing of territory to agriculture and rural development, from smart cities to cultural heritage, from robotics to sustainability and in the world of communications and training.

Among Prof. Toschi’s contributions, several groundbreaking projects are worthy of note. With funding from IBM in 1991 he set up the Centro Ricerche e Applicazione dell’Informatica all’Analisi dei Testi (CRAIAT) and began early experimentation on the most innovative communication technologies for text analysis and new forms of digital publishing, opening the way toward automation processes not only for literary texts and digital literacy but also for the world of information and communication.

In this context, he collaborated with a number of well-known publishing groups (Gruppo Rizzoli, Gruppo Cecchi Gori, Einaudi, Vallecchi, Sellerio, Editoriale Olimpia, Laterza, Olschki, Il Mulino, Apogeo, Bollati Boringhieri, Edizioni Cultura della Pace, Feltrinelli, Gruppo De Agostini, Pearson). In 1995, he launched the Laboratorio di Comunicazione Multimediale for COOP-Toscana Lazio to encourage greater participation and governance among members of the cooperative; and in 1999 he began work to establish a research group focused on multimedia language to strengthen the relations between university research and the needs of enterprises in the Verona (Italy) area (Consorzio per gli studi universitari di Verona).

Current main projects

Under Prof. Toschi’s direction, his group is making advances in national and international research projects, including:

  • participation in one of the largest experimental projects for Italian smart cities (Sii-Mobility);
  • collaboration with the Region of Tuscany to put in place the Piano di Azione Nazionale (PAN) per l’uso sostenibile dei prodotti fitosanitari (Italian regulation resulting from the European Directive on Sustainable Use of Pesticides);
  • involvement in the educational robotic network to promote robotic studies in Tuscan schools;
  • and collaboration with organizations such as UNICEF, Coldiretti (one of the most important associations in Italy for agricultural entrepreneurs), and AVI (Associazione dei Vivaisti Italiani);
  • as well as others.

Academic profile

Luca Toschi began his academic career at the University of Florence in literary criticism and philology. In 1971 he was called to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for a teaching position and worked on stylistic analysis and possible forms of automation in content analysis.

Over time, his focus shifted to text analysis by digital means and subsequently to the study of social processes and the role of communication.
With regard to teaching, he contributes to various interdisciplinary programs (from first-level degrees to Master’s and doctoral studies) at the University of Florence in the areas of the humanities, communications, agricultural and food sciences, mediation and rights.

Over the years Prof. Toschi has directed numerous continuing education courses in new digital technologies for specialized training and communication, from using IWB, to techniques of digital writing, and social media strategies.


His seminal book, La Comunicazione Generativa, presents the basis for generative methodology and introduces some of the most important research areas—both distinct and intertwined—in the field of communications.

Communication—in its role as social writing/reading of the physical and symbolic dimensions of reality, and as an energy force that builds and helps build our individual and collective society—must take into account that the society of knowledge doesn’t need communication that preaches. Instead, it needs communication that puts into practice, one that puts into action through experimentation with communication/community, an approach that has not been encountered before. It also needs to make mistakes, but according to a method that sees them not as a fault but as an essential contribution along the road to building a future world that sanctions the emergence of man from prehistory and launches the writing of stories that are totally different from what we have up to now been able to imagine.

Other recent publications:

Toschi, L. (2018), La comunicazione generativa per i servizi alla carriera e per la Terza Missione dell’Università e degli Enti di ricerca, in Vanna Boffo (a cura di), Strategie per l’Employability. Dal Placement ai Career Services. Pisa: Pacini Editore

Toschi, L. (2017), L’albero, l’artificio e l’energia della complessità, Prefazione a Ferrini, F., Fini, A., Amico albero. Ruoli e benefici del verde nelle nostre città (e non solo). Pisa: ETS, pp. 9-26

Toschi L, Coppi M., Marchionne I., Pandolfini E. (2017), Carne, latte e cereali: dalla comunicazione del prodotto alla comunicazione nel prodotto in “ComunicazionePuntoDoc”, n. 16, luglio 2017 pp. 279-98

Toschi, L., D’Alessandro, L., Morcellini, M. (2017), La relazione dinamica tra cibo cultura e comunicazione. Dalla quantitĂ  alla scelta in ”ComunicazionePuntoDoc”, n. 16, luglio 2017, pp. 9-16

Toschi, L. (2016), Una filologia da battaglia, in Bruscagli, R. e Tellini, G. (a cura di), Per Lanfranco Caretti. Gli allievi nel centenario della nascita.1915-2015. Firenze: Società Editrice Fiorentina, pp. 313-20

Toschi, L. (2015), Cuando las nuevas tecnologías dejen de ser nuevas, ¿qué será de nosotros?, in «Hachetetepé. Revista científica de educación y comunicación», n. 11, pp. 15-28

Toschi, L. (2015), Il digitale che voleva cambiare il mondo, in «In-Formazione – Il digitale tra di noi. Educazione, famiglia e responsabilità sociale», anno X, n.13, pp.16-25

Toschi, L. (2015) Una formazione continua aperta per una scuola aperta: esperienze in corso presso la Italian University Line, Teach Different! in Proceedings della Multiconferenza EMEMITALIA2015. Genova: Genova University Press

Toschi, L., Cia Bemposta, A., Pandolfini, E., Sbardella, M., Simonetta, G. (2015) Well being, Landscape and Sustainability of Communication, in Proceedings of Sustainability of communication, Well-Being International Forum – Florence, SWIF, Firenze, 4-6 giugno, 2015, pp. 602-8

Toschi, L., Sbardella, M., Simonetta, G.; Pandolfini, E., Cia Bemposta, A. (2014) Pilgrimage Routes, Augmented Reality and the Sustainability of Communication, in The European Pilgrimage Routes for Promoting Sustainable and Quality Tourism in Rural Areas, International Conference proceedings 4-6 December 2014, pp. 933-44

Toschi, L. (2013) La comunicación generativa: mas allá de los confines del viejo mundo, in Leda Maria Rangearo Fiorentini [et al., organização], Estilos de aprendizagem, tecnologias e inovações na educação, Brasília: Universidade de Brasília, Faculdade de Educação, Departamento de Métodos e Técnicas, pp. 217-228

Toschi, L. (2013) Think local, Act global? Territori di lotta, in Costalli, S., La città co-operativa. Milano-Torino: Pearson Italia, pp. IX-XII

Toschi, L. (2013) Prolegomeni ad una futura comunicazione (digitale e non), in “La Professione. Medicina Scienza, Etica e Società”, a. XIV, n. 1, pp. 47-69

Toschi, L., Orlandini, L., Sbardella, M., Simonetta, G. (2013), Museums Outside Museums: Districts of Knowledge, in Proceedings of “Eva 2013 Florence. Electronic Imaging & the Visual Arts, Firenze, 15-16 maggio 2013”. Firenze: Florence University Press

Toschi, L., Simonetta, G., Chipa, S. (2012) Museum Outside the Museum. Storytelling in the Real Environment. A case study: 150DIGIT – Italy of schools, in ECLAP 2012 Conference on Information Technologies for Performing Arts, Media Access and Entertainment. Firenze: Firenze University Press

Toschi, L. (2012) Diritto di memoria. La comunicazione cooperativa come strumento per una nuova visione dell’economia, in Mannari, E.; Ghisaura, A.; Gualersi, M. (a cura di) Custodire il futuro. Milano: Mind Edizioni, pp. 33-60

Toschi, L. (2012) Prima lezione di comunicazione generativa, in Anichini, A.; Boffo, V.; Cambi, F.; Mariani, A.; Toschi, L.; La comunicazione Formativa. Milano: Apogeo, pp. 3-38

Toschi, L. (2012) Eppur aumenta, in Communication Strategies Lab, in Communication Strategies Lab, Realtà aumentate. Milano: Apogeo

Toschi, L. (2012) Convergere/Divergere, in Anichini, A. (a cura di), La didattica del futuro. Milano – Torino: Pearson, pp. 95-133

Toschi, L., Simonetta, G., Chipa, C. (2012). Territorial Knowledge, National Identities, Social Media, a Case Study: 150 Digit – Italy of Schools. In: DIDAMATICA 2011, Torino, 4 – 6 may 2011, IGI Global Publishing, vol. Handbook of Research on Didactic Strategies and Technologies for Education: Incorporating Advancements, pp. 398-407

Toschi, L. (2012), Loro, Introduzione a Diaw A. M. C., in I Sopravviventi. Firenze: Morgana Edizioni, pp. 5-15