The industrialised world is currently facing the most severe crisis of the economical and productive system of the last 500 years: 90% of all the planet’s resources, including knowledge, know-how and intellectual property, belong to the 17% of its inhabitants. As we speak, this system is falling apart. The symptom of this crisis have been evident since 1991, but it is only from 2008 on, when it hit the richest industrialised countries, that the whole model of development has started to be questioned. The economic indicators, the climate change, and the exhaustion of the vital natural resources are imposing to re-design the foundation of our civilization and create a new one, where the destruction of main natural, human, and cultural heritage of vast areas of the planet would not be inherent to economic growth.
We are all now at the starting line, however there is huge inequality in the distribution of knowledge, know how, and in the abilities for the development and utilisation of individual and collective talents: the human capital.
The deepest form of poverty for a country is the underutilisation of its human capital, which takes the form of unemployment, underemployment, migration and the inherent fragility of the education and training systems.
The scientific systems (universities, research institutions, policy makers), as well as the business system, must develop new awareness on social responsibility and not just be promoters of individual freedom (which of course must also be defended from forms of biased impositions).
In this framework, we need to rethink deeply the concepts underpinning international cooperation policies and in particular those concerning Europe and the poorest and most fragile countries geographically closer to us.
In an extremely complex context, we believe that a main way is the construction of common scientific and research infrastructure (laboratories, research teams), for training of young scientists, researchers, leaders of high-tech enterprises, fully aware of the social challenges and their economic and leadership role, without distinction of origin.
They will share knowledge and together find solutions to problems that arise in different contexts. The scientific systems of Southern Italy can play a pioneering role in this regard and encourage the flowering of a new civilization that avoids the risk of destructive conflict and natural disasters connected to an unwise use of the planet’s resources.
ARTES is engaged primarily in this effort, and it has built and continues to expand and strengthen a multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary network committed to promote knowledge sharing and creation as the major lever to achieve regeneration and development of the economy and labor, as well as quality of life improvement for all. In this context and in the framework of a memorandum of understanding that brings together more than 12 European and African universities and chambers of commerce, a series of international meetings will be realised in the network’s partner universities, in Italy and abroad. We start with UNICAL with a first opportunity to meet and debate. On March 27th in UNICAL CAMPUS – RENDE, Caldora room, from 14,30 to 17,30, Tindaro Paganini World Bank Senior Trade and Competitiveness expert, will present his book: “World Bank: an opportunity for Young people and enterprises – work with an international organisation and fight world poverty.”
By Lilia Infelise