Becky Riches is half English and half Irish but has lived in Matera since 2007. She graduated with a law degree in the U.K. in 1997 which included one year studying at Modena University, through the E.U. Erasmus programme. This year in Italy changed the direction of her life as she fell in love with the Italian language and culture and, subsequently, decided to complete a Master in European Business with Italian.
After 8 years working and traveling in a multinational environment, based both in the UK and Milan, she moved to Matera with her (Lucanian) husband, driven by a (since proven) suspicion that the quality of life might be higher there. A life choice made possible by a professional transformation.
She has worked in the tourism sector since 2007, promoting Basilicata with incoming packages and through the development of a sustainable tourism project, Lucania Living, specialised in welcoming new non-Italian home owners, the restoration of ancient and abandoned rural villages, forging cultural bridges and harnessing the authenticity of Southern Italy to define a sustainable future.She joined the cultural association ‘Matera Letteratura’ in 2016 and helps organise the historical literary festival, 'Women's Fiction Festival', with public and school events and its international writers’ conference.
In 2018, after joining the Matera 2019 Build Up process dedicated to Makers and Linkers, she became the project coordinator for the Development and Relations team of the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation as well as becoming project manager for specific cultural artistic projects focused on citizen participation and inclusion.
Becky is currently the project manager for the Erasmus + Sector Skills Alliances project DeuS – European Open Design School for Sustainable Regional Development for which the Fondazione Matera-Basilicata 2019 is lead partner. A project shaped around replicating and optimising the methodology of the Open Design School, pillar project of Matera 2019, to create solutions to local development by unlocking the potential of the creactive sector through education.