Made in Italy: Innovation

(Edited by A.M. Zdrojewski)

Everything that now exists was once imagination. It’s a beautiful phrase and a true one. Perhaps it’s beautiful precisely because it’s true. Before developing any technology, one should imagine the kind of change that this technology will bring about. The wheel and later the engine increased our strength, aerostats and later planes and satellites gave us a bird's eye view to conceive new perspectives and maps, the clock sharpened our sense of time, the book and new forms of communication gave our minds a new shape. If we take a moment, we might make room for some interesting questions: what kind of life did technologies give rise to? What kind of life would we like for our future? Probably part of the answer is similar for every century and generation: we’d like more comfortable lives, less exposed to risks and reversals of fortune. Yes, part of the answer might sound like this. And human beings and their resources have moved in this direction by expanding wellbeing through technology.

Now, at the point where we are, it’s legitimate to conceive a dream and launch it into the future. To dream of higher levels of wellbeing for every person and to imagine a world where we will need to work less and less because the technology will allow it for us, taking back hours of our existence from the burden of survival. A dream that our ancestors may have dared to dream but now we can believe in it with greater confidence. That we can, we must see closer. On a planetary scale.

And what will we do with the time we have gained? How will we use those hours that are finally free? The latest innovations all seem to be working towards the same goal - speeding up, taking less and less time to ensure that human beings get what they need and what they want. And the gap between desire and fulfilment is in fact shrinking - just look at the best start-ups, at our companies that succeed in the global market. Less intermediation, less bureaucracy, less waiting time, less hassle, more efficiency and transparency. It would therefore seem legitimate to see the world of tomorrow as an extension of free time. A time that is more and more available to a larger number of individuals. In order to imagine what that time will be used for, we must have the courage to imagine the human beings of tomorrow. We must have the courage to imagine a wellbeing-oriented lifestyle, knowledge, pleasure and harmony between individuals. Machines and technologies should not invade the human sphere, rather be at the service of it.

A new way of being will have to embody that dream. And it is at this point that our country comes into play. Here in Italy, we were the first to conceive, and give to humanity, a way of life devoted to knowledge and, at the same time, to wellbeing. Our Renaissance courts devised a beauty of living, a taste for art and a new perspective of the man and his prerogatives. We were the first to place the man at the centre of the universe and even today, thanks to the extraordinary heritage of those times that is always enriched and protected, we are known for our lifestyle, for our work abilities, for our affirmation of pleasures which some might think of as a luxury - but which to us are the evolution of the ancient concept of otium that makes any day acceptable, and meaningful. The architecture of our villages and towns, the cheerfulness of our people, the exuberant range of landscapes and culinary excellence, our manufacturing and art, our way of being together, have always combined industriousness with the enjoyment of life. One cannot exist without the other. Working to live better rather than living better to work has always been our motto.

Imagination is a resource born to the right conditions, and we, a land of tourism, a peninsula of pleasures, a green strip of sea and mountains, a crossroads of civilisations, can be the place where those conditions reach their optimum alignment. We have the right frame to hold a dream of a more comfortable, elegant, sustainable, and safer future.

If we remember that inventions, novelties, techniques are only a means, then Italy, once again, will be the end. And our country will be the best residence for the human beings of the future.