Promoting inclusive growth: the AMNC opened in Dalian, China

huayuncp01.china_.comb8592d5b-8c87-bac4-6433-0-33eeec5c795026477b15b0ee8ac52203f429f70b.jpgThe World Economic Forum launched yesterday the Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2017 in the port city of Dalian, in China. This year’s edition will focus on the challenges related to the development of an “Inclusive Growth in the course of the fourth industrial revolution” and on all those policies, strategies and tools designed to successfully implement it.

The 2017 AMNC gathers government experts, representatives from academia and civil society with the aim of exchanging views and ideas about crosscutting political, social and economic challenges, whose global impact must be timely tackled. Continue reading

The viable progress

tim-cook-commencement.jpgI’m not worried about artificial intelligence giving computers the ability to think like humans. I’m more concerned about people thinking like computers without values or compassion, without concern for consequences. That is what we need you to help us guard against. Because if science is a search in the darkness, then the humanities are a candle that shows us where we’ve been and the danger that lies ahead.

This is how Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed MIT graduates a couple of weeks ago, in his commencement speech. The full transcript of the speech is available here. A profound and heartfelt reflexion upon the impact of technology in our lives.

What is the border between being social online and being alienated from the real world? What is the one between being well informed and misinformed due to fake news? What is the ultimate purpose of all this? Continue reading

Don’t fear intelligent machines, work with them

In 1985, aged 22, Garry Kasparov became the World Chess Champion after beating Anatoly Karpov. Earlier that year, he played what is called simultaneous exhibition against 32 of the world’s best chess-playing machines in Hamburg, Germany. He won all the games, beating 32 computers at the same time.

In 1997, he was still the world champion when chess computers finally came of age. He lost a memorable match against Deep Blue, the IBM super computer. Not that Deep Blue did it, but its human creators — Anantharaman, Campbell, Hoane, Hsu. As always, Kasparov says, machine’s triumph is a human triumph, something we tend to forget when humans are surpassed by our own creations. Continue reading

What is the purpose of your life?

A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg delivered a commencement speech to the Harvard graduates, class 2017. It was an inspirational, sincere and rich speech.

Many hints of this speech are interesting and relevant, two more than others.

First of all, the sense of purpose. Having a purpose in life is crucial, it directs us and leads us when we might be in trouble. However, hardly ever is a purpose individualist. We usually aim at a scope that has advantages for us, and for those around. That contributes to creating a more just society, in accordance to our vision of justice.

The purpose is also a sense of community. Zuckerberg explains this broad vision telling the story of the visit President JFK paid to the NASA space center. He saw a janitor carrying a broom and he walked over and asked what he was doing. The janitor responded: “Mr. President, I’m helping put a man on the moon”. Continue reading

The courage that can challenge fear

ante-coraggio-500x300.jpgTelling pain is everything but an easy task. Even more, living it. There are no words to describe the pain and suffering of the families of the victims, most of whom are kids and teenagers, who lost their lives or are struggling for it right now, yesterday night in Manchester in the horrific, coward and devastating explosion at the end of a pop concert.

As a father of two teenager boys, and as the General Manager of a university in which boys and girls in their 20s are the core of our daily job, I want to express my deep grief and condolences to families and friends, and to all of us. Continue reading

The left-handed lame: a profile of the brave innovator

Ohfajar Boucicaut is the inventor of the “Bon Marché”, the first modern mall, a store where you can find everything. In the beginning, Boucicaut worked using a strict method of classification. He organised products by category, with a precise order, well dividing them. Great success. But after a year or two, he realised the profit was not increasing. Thus, one day he mixed up all the products, putting potatoes next to clothes. And the profit went up again, because a housewife has to pass by clothes to find potatoes, and ends up buying them as well. Just like Columbus, he found what he was not looking for. The Anglo-Saxons call it “serendipity”, a lucky and unexpected event. This is one of the secrets of innovation, although it does not happen just by chance, but requires hard work, knowledge and research.

This is the example of innovation that Michel Serres gives. He is a Professor of History of Science at Sorbonne University and author of important philosophical essays, and will present his last book, Le gaucher boiteux, The left-handed lame, at the next Book Salon in Turin. Continue reading