Telecom Italia and Expo 2015: Announcing the "Changemakers" Laboratory for Innovative Projects

09/14/2012 - 05:00 PM

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Newly-launched initiative will identify and support the development of ten new ideas from talented under-30-year-olds capable of enhancing quality of life for at least ten million citizens. Project presented at EXPOVISIONS, the first in a series of events to stimulate debate and investigate innovation and experimentation with figures from business and the institutions

Expo 2015 and Telecom Italia are launching “Changemakers for Expo Milano 2015”, a new venture conceived to identify and support the development of ten projects that are capable of enhancing the life of at least ten million people, helping to solve social and environmental issues by leveraging the latest digital technologies.

The venture was unveiled today at the first Expovisions event. Expovisions is a series of meetings organized by Expo 2015 and Telecom Italia, a Global Service Partner of the Universal Exposition, as part of the lead-in to Expo Milano 2015. EXPOVISIONS invites leading figures from business, academia and the institutions to discuss how innovation and technology can improve quality of life in our cities, and to translate ideas and suggestions for the future into effective leading-edge solutions. Speakers at the first Expovisions event – “Smart ideas for a better life” – held at the Piccolo Teatro Studio in Milan included Giuseppe Sala, CEO of Expo2015; Marco Patuano, CEO of Telecom Italia; Andrea Sironi, Full Professor at the Bocconi University of Milan; Undersecretary to the Prime Minister’s Office Paolo Peluffo; and expert new technologies journalist/writer Steven Berlin Johnson.

The “Changemakers” project has been conceived for young, talented people under thirty to bring together and select the most promising practicable proposals in areas of key importance to economic, social and environmental development. Aspiring “innovators” are invited to present their ideas on the hallmark issues of the 2015 Universal Exposition, in which the introduction of new digital technologies is capable of having a particularly large and effective impact. Topical subjects include personal mobility; sustainable energy consumption; access to basic education; citizen/government relations; accessibility for the differently-abled; managing tourist flows; and the sustainable production and fair distribution of food resources. Candidates may submit their projects to the http://changemakers.expo2015.org/ website from 1 October.

The winning changemakers will be put into special teams and spend two months at an ad hoc laboratory in Milan where they will have access to advanced technological equipment and high-level expertise.

The selected teams will be able to develop their projects, drawing on support from senior consultants and national and international mentors and experts, and will benefit from ongoing exchange and dialogue. Local institutions and partners will also be able to contribute to the laboratory’s activities.

The most groundbreaking projects will be presented to potential investors and partners keen on backing implementation. The most impressive results will be publicly presented during the Universal Exposition and on the Expo 2015 and Telecom Italia websites.

“This initial Expovisions event provides a major opportunity to debate and further investigate issues of key importance and, above all, tackle them through tangible initiatives,” says Telecom Italia’s CEO Marco Patuano. “With the ‘Changemakers’ project, we are offering the most talented young people a chance to make a positive change not just to their own future but to millions of people’s lives. We want the ideas and projects generated by and for the Expo to ‘outlive’ the event itself and continue to benefit the community, just like the infrastructure and advanced services we are building for the exposition site in Milan as we transform it into the first digital Smart City. Italy’s national growth and development are closely bound up with the take-up of digital technologies, an arena in which Telecom Italia can make a key contribution through its Smart services and solutions.”

“Today, technology is everywhere,” explains Expo 2015 S.p.A. CEO Giuseppe Sala. “Networks, terminals and leading-edge high-tech services are with us throughout our day: at work, at home, in the park… The idea of transforming the Expo Milano 2015 exposition site into a digital Smart City is by no means science fiction: it will serve as a template to which cities around the world will refer. The commitment and leading-edge solutions that our technology partners are finalizing in support of our project will increasingly take form and become a reality through initiatives like EXPOVISIONS and ‘Changemakers’. Today, we can envisage a ‘smart’, interconnected and sustainable future. It is up to talented young people to make this a reality. Expo Milano 2015 and its partners have the job of providing the tools and guidance to bring their projects to life.”

The meeting concluded with a roundtable attended by leading figures from business, research and the institutions: Stefano Ceri (Politecnico di Milano), Massimo Banzi (Arduino), Riccardo Donadon (H-Farm), Alessia Mosca (Chamber of Deputies), Valerio Zingarelli (Expo 2015) and Salvo Mizzi (Telecom Italia).

Milan, 14 September 2012