TEDxCortina, a return to origins

Published on Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Presenting new ideas and promoting the spread of a green, sustainable culture – that was the aim of the event organised with the sponsorship of the Cortina d’Ampezzo municipal authorities and the Fondazione Cortina (“Cortina Foundation”) 2021.

 “We’re the first Italian TEDx to boast a team dedicated to sustainability,” said Jacopo Pertile, licence manager for TEDxCortina. “We regard holding a sustainable event and educating people about these increasingly important subjects, which are crucial not only for Cortina but also the world as a whole, as absolute priorities”.

#iOrigine (“iOrigin”) was the hashtag promoting the event, and the theme for the talks. Human beings are the common denominator in achieving a turnaround in behaviour patterns to combat climate change and protect our planet. In this context TEDxCortina 2019 placed the region’s origins at the centre of discussions – the wood.

An evocative installation called “A thousand trees,” which was created in collaboration with architects Marco Cellini, Giulia Pecol and Francesco Carraro, gave visitors the opportunity to experience a fragment of Alpine woodland which had been reconstructed in the town centre.

An entirely green event emphasising its circular nature: plastic free, the use of objects produced from recycled, biodegradable materials, paper from certified forests and food products served during the event sourced mainly from local producers.   

Enel wholeheartedly shares this approach, and the company supported the event as National Partner of Fondazione Cortina 2021. We are already involved in a number of projects - “Recycling”, for example, is a collection of bags, purses, beauty cases, shoe pouches and casual backpacks made entirely from recycled materials used for the PVC or TNT banners advertising events linked to the Ski World Cup over recent years. This “sustainable fashion” project also involves the collaboration of the “Rio Terà dei Pensieri” Cooperative, which provides professional rehabilitation for inmates of the Santa Maria Maggiore men’s prison in Venice.

The talks and brainstorming sessions at TEDxCortina 2019 featured personalities from a range of areas, all of whom share a commitment to promoting the culture of sustainability.  

Andrea Colombo, co-founder of U-Start, Italy’s main investment club, emphasised the importance of prioritising technological innovation and ideas. For Oscar Di Montigny, an expert in innovative marketing, relational communications and corporate education, our planet will (between 2020 and 2045) be shaped not only by new drivers like population flows, but also by our values and behaviour.  

Taking the public on a voyage into the cosmos, Maria Alessandra Papa, Senior Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hanover, explained how discoveries in the field of astrophysics could soon be put to use in our day-to-day lives. One such example is that of gravitational waves: they were originally hypothesized by Albert Einstein, and their existence was confirmed in 2016. Another example that has become a regular feature in our daily lives is GPS technology: this was originally developed using the theory of relativity and today it can be found on smartphones everywhere.

The discussion of the art of learning was led by Monsignor Adrian Ruiz, secretary for communications at the Vatican, who emphasised that humankind should learn to manage the possibilities, even through simple actions like picking up a plastic bottle someone has dropped.  

To close, Alessandro Benetton, an entrepreneur and the founder of Fondazione Cortina 21, highlighted the importance of “having the courage to leave behind what we know and go beyond worldly success to think on a larger scale.”

All in all, this was an afternoon of circular sharing, an opportunity to reflect on our origins and build a better future for everyone, one that is more innovative, cleaner and, of course, more sustainable.

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