Technology: inclusion and social, economic and environmental progress

Published on Wednesday, 15 September 2021

“Technological progress is unstoppable; Resistance is futile: rather, we should try to support it, embrace the change and evolve with it.” According to Cecilia Ferranti, Head of Communications for Italy, this is the only way to achieve a just transition, which leaves no one behind, and it was the subject of her speech at the Camogli Communication Festival.

Can we identify a synthesis between the concepts of sustainability, inclusiveness and technological development? This was the question at the center of the meeting on Technology: inclusion and social, economic and environmental progress, which was held on Friday September 10. The event, which was part of the festival at the Italian seaside resort, was moderated by Furio Garbagnati (Weber Shandwick Italy). We took part, together with Maurizio Decollanz (IBM) and journalist Cristina Sivieri Tagliabue.

“We start from the assumption that technology itself is neither good nor bad - explained Ferranti - but we have all experienced, at least once in our lives, a small obstacle which at first seemed very challenging. Indeed, technology is enthusiasm, but it can also mean hard work, because it requires us to adapt.” This issue has been the subject of debate for centuries: from the Industrial Revolution to our modern digital revolution, technology is sometimes viewed with distrust due to its potentially disruptive effect and the negative impacts it can have on labor. “However, for technology to be accessible and inclusive, we must remain unbiased, this is the only way it can be transformed into progress. In the end, every major technological innovation has led to an improvement,” said Ferranti, mentioning as evidence the Just E-volution 2030 study conducted in 2019 by our Group in collaboration with The European House - Ambrosetti, which revealed the positive impacts of the energy transition on employment and GDP.

This evolution has direct implications for us, as we discuss the ongoing transformation on a daily basis, since, inevitably, it also impacts communication, understood as a set of contents and tools to convey our messages. Reshaping it to respond to the modern needs of people and their wishes is a very interesting challenge, because technology "has reached such a high level of sophistication that it allows us to tailor communication at a human level, fulfilling the needs of an increasingly demanding audience, especially when it comes to sustainability.”

Today, more than 50% of consumers want to interact with companies that protect the environment, therefore sustainability is no longer a matter of product benefits, but must be at the core of the business. “People are no longer satisfied with just owning a sustainable product, they want to perceive sustainability, they want to be able to touch it,” explained Ferranti. Therefore, communicating content that talks about sustainability is no longer enough; we must shift from storytelling to story-doing: we must implement a real strategy linked to this issue and be sustainable by providing people with concrete answers and valuable content.

Therefore, in a field like the energy transition, in order to allow technology to become progress, we need a concerted effort and great adaptability, because, as Cecilia Ferranti said, "everything depends on its use and application, which must be as inclusive as possible. We should not endure innovation, but we should revel in it.”

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