lunedì 17 novembre 2008

Voices From the Past

Some days ago, I have been invited (probably for the last time) to the Conference of the Industrial Association (Confindustria) of the Province of Viterbo (Central Italy) . I have attended this event with great attention also to understand the local entrepreneurs' point of view in this particularly sensitive period for our economy and society as a whole. The impression I had, in a broad sense, of this conference has not been particularly encouraging: a sort of a choir of voices from the past, obsolete perspectives and analyses and a general incapability in local politicians and entrepreneurs in understanding and coping with the current great and dramatic changes presently in progress at local, national and international level.

We are used enough to watch the politicians' parade with their no-use speeches: yet it is still defatigating to bear these forms of imitative retoric in local politicians from the national ones. "We have to find a co-shared moment...", "opening views...", "opening a wide discussion table...", "it should be necessary...", "it should be important...", etc. Just a heap of no-use bla bla copied from national politicians. Old stuff copied from other old stuff.

It has been sad to see the absolute lack of women in the speakers' table and in the front line among the authorities: I sadly conclude that we have no women in local politics and entrepreneurship and, if eventually they exist, it is better for them to stay at home or in the back lines. Young entrepreneurs were absent as well. Further old stuff.

Similarily, nothing about women and young entrepreneurship in the speakers' interventions as well as about environment, ethic firms, spin-offs, etc. Someone cited the construction sector as the paramount of the local industry! Even a kid perfectly knows that construction sector cannot generate local development but environmental and landscape degradation, speculations, overo exploitation of workforce in moonlighting conditions (above all illegal immigrants), richness for few individuals in the short run, heavy social cost in the long run and interferences from Mafia.

Furthermore, a lot of words about innovation (everyone wass talking about it without knowing what innovation exactly is...) in an area with scarce information about innovative processes which sistematically rejects innovation, and about the local (ghost) Technological and Scientific Park (I don't know actually what this park really is and where it is...). Many agreements between the industrial association and the local university have been cited but what exactly these agreements are producing still remains a mistery. Many (expansive) projects on paper, but nothing in the real world...

On the publications distributed I have found a lot of tables and data: it means a confusing quantitative analysis but no qualitative or impact analyses. No reflections in terms of development...

In brief, it seemed to me to attend to the usual wasted occasion: without young entrepreneurs, there is no change, creativity, spirit of initiative.It is true that Italy cannot change but maybe looking with more attention at what is going on outside our backyard could be helpful...

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