The ASviS Festival: let’s invest in a sustainable Italy

Published on Monday, 28 May 2018

“Only sustainable innovation that takes into consideration productivity, human capital, employment and the technological aspect can kickstart the country’s economic development”

– Patrizia Grieco, Enel Chairman

Patrizia Grieco invited people to consider other aspects of sustainable development, such as jobs and transparency in corporate governance: “By 2030, according to the McKinsey estimates, 400 million jobs will be lost to automation. We have to create a circular economy for this sector today, that is, a virtuous cycle of training, employment and further training.”

The National Secretary of CGIL - Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (Italian General Confederation of Labour, an important trade union), Susanna Camusso, addressed this theme further: “Security is a part of sustainability. Why do the changes and transformations of jobs scare us so much, creating so much insecurity? Sustainability is not just an economic measurement and innovation is not sustainable alone, it has to be created with and for people.” People-centred, as the Festival slogan makes clear: “Senza di TE lo sviluppo sosTEnibile non c’è,” that is “without YOU there is no sUstainable development.”

Respect for the environment is now a fully accepted given. The pendulum of the conversation swings between two points, the economic aspect on the one hand and the social on the other. A distinction that everyone states they want to overcome. Ermete Realacci (of Fondazione Symbola) and Carlo Borgomeo (of Fondazione con il Sud – Foundation for Southern Italy) agree that social capital is the necessary starting point for development, not a simple corollary, and that the paradigm needs to be overturned. Giovanna Melandri, host of the Festival in her capacity as MAXXI President, but also as a guest as President of the Human Foundation and Social Impact Agenda for Italy, insists on the need for “social impact” in financial investments.

After all, the year 2018 began with the annual letter from Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, the largest investment fund in the world. His letter was often referred to during the Festival’s opening event to emphasise that sustainable growth is not simply a slogan, but a process that requires the investment of time and resources to create long-term value. And Italy must certainly continue on the road it has already started down.

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