Considerations on the # event let's discover the cards. By Fulvio Ananasso

The event took place last Friday 9 June, at the Appia Antica Regional Park #let's find out the cards, organized by our association States General of Innovation. The conference had as its theme "Work, Governance, Learning, Resources and Health in the Sustainable Development paradigm” (UN Agenda 2030), a day of confrontation and generative dialogue to think about ainnovation agenda in Italy, 'playing' with a special deck of cards: le Innovation Cards. Each of them is generated starting from one of the "words of innovation”, with an image capable of stimulating critical reflection on important topics for the world of innovation, and constitutes an augmented reality access door to other images, sensations, thoughts that emerged from the minds and hearts of the people who participated in the dialogue generative of the "coaching circles" (U.Lab MIT, "Leading to the emerging future”) conducted in recent months precisely to explore from different angles concepts considered extremely relevant for the future of our country.

The innovation cards therefore have the purpose of stimulating the emergence of ideas and intuitions starting from the concepts represented therein. Play together on each of the 5 tables mentioned (work, governance, learning, resources and health) according to different schemes (eg Tarot), the cards invite you to reflect on the themes represented in relation to the topic of the table, according to random (and therefore often unusual) associative logics in search of new points of view.

The particularity of generative dialogue is to be (i) systemic, (ii) focused on listening to oneself and others and (iii) rhythmic and fast, aimed at bringing out something new instead of stopping to simply field their positions on the issue under discussion. Each of the 3 generative dialogue sessions (“co-creation”) was preceded by an introductory report by as many keynote speaker, which have helped to build frames of meaning from a sociological, economic and environmental point of view, providing elements and inspirations for subsequent dialogic reflection, in which the cards of innovation, soliciting the emotions and the imagination, they have helped to get out of the 'already known', combining the principles and methods ofOpen Space Technology and of Theory U.

A similar generative dialogue scheme has also recently been used within the OECD, for example in the Bridging Divides OECD Forum of 6-7 June last (where the last one was presented Global Economic Outlook 2017), which alternated between plenary sessions and “Idea Factories”,  workshops thematic with kenote speech / introductory remarks followed by small group discussions through a collaborative process led by a facilitator.

Cards are available on our site and aim to stimulate reflection on a single concept through an evocative phrase and a projective graphic space. Also, using the "Aurasma" app for augmented reality, aiming each card with the aim of the smartphones, it represents the gateway to a dimension of digital content that presents all kinds of suggestions for people interested in the topic. Among these contents there is a file audio of the definition of the lemma offered in thee-booksThe Words of Innovation“.

As mentioned above, in order to facilitate the generative dialogue, the cards of innovation were extracted and analyzed using the three classic schemes of Tarot reading: (i) 'advice' scheme (the extracted card suggests an 'advice' on a situation / specific issue referred to by the paper with respect to both the keynote speech earlier than the theme of the table); (ii) the 'time line', past, present and future (3 cards are drawn, one representing genesis / past, i.e. the events that led to the current situation, another the current reality, i.e. the true nature of the situation as it is now, and the third the probable future development); (iii) 'simple cross' scheme (5 cards are drawn, to try to understand what happened, what is happening, what will happen, unconscious and conscious motivations, in terms of ambitions, desires, goals).

With the event #let's find out the cards, General States of Innovation has set itself the ambitious goal of developing, in a participatory and creative way and in a systemic logic, a vision of the desirable future in some crucial areas of personal and collective life (work, governance, learning, resources and health), a process of co-design which aims to provide institutional decision-makers with stimuli and proposals in their fields of responsibility, and to strengthen the States General of Innovation in its identity as think tanks innovation at the service of innovation in a systemic perspective.

The day represented the culmination of a preliminary work conducted in a participatory manner with many associates who met online in some coaching circle to build the cards of innovation in a generative way, while the conclusions of the day's collaborative work constitute the starting point for a proposal for an Innovation agenda for Italy by the States General of Innovation, which will be subjected to further moments of generative reflection and (once finalized) disclosed as concrete proposal of strategic direction to be proposed to those who make decisions at a political, economic, social and educational level.

As anticipated, the 3 reports of keynotes, preparatory to 3 moments of co-creation with the participants concerned sociological, economic and environmental aspects.

Peter Dominici, professor of public communication at the University of Perugia, reasoned on: "Inside the asymmetrical society: rethinking education and training for an inclusive innovation".

We are increasingly witnessing the weakness of linear systems and our inadequacy in the face of the complexity of the phenomena that surround us, characterized by a large number of parameters and variables at play. We continue to distinguish between humanistic and scientific education, between nature and culture, skills and knowledge, theory and research / development, etc. forgetting that they are all interconnected variables, while interdisciplinarity (an essential element that should characterize our knowledge society) is in fact discouraged if not banned.

Due to these and other (self) cultural limitations, we often give 'blank proxies' to technologies as an element of modernity, and we favor political-institutional decisions based on costs-benefits (linear systems) rather than real human and strategic value created by the various decisions of policy – that they should consider nonlinear systems on the basis of the hyper-complexity / connectivity of variables. In reality, innovation should be (but is not) inclusive, ie for everyone, while society is increasingly asymmetrical, and the "digital" will not be sufficient to make it more fair and supportive.

It is therefore necessary to redefine training / education in the age ofhyper-complexity, promoting interdisciplinarity, inclusive innovation, critical thinking, empathy, ... in order to be able to adapt to ever more sudden changes and oppose ever faster obsolescence.

Scarlett Sobrero, president of Koinetica and expert in social communication, sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR) discussed “Business models for responsible innovation”.

Today, businesses are required to be attentive to profit - without which economic development and well-being cannot be generated - but to consider it not the ultimate goal but rather the means to achieve other objectives: to give continuity to one's business by innovating and adapting to changes needs of the market, participate in the development of the area, protect the environment. In addition to generating work for its employees, ensuring quality products for its customers, guaranteeing suppliers punctual compliance with commitments, etc. New realities are also appearing on the market: the number of companies is growing in Italy Benefit Corporation, (B-Corp) companies carrying on business of business where the achievement of profit goes hand in hand with the objective of having a positive impact on society and the environment by formally assuming obligations of transparency and responsibility towards all stakeholders.

Today people are asking companies to innovate by putting social and environmental values first. An approach that takes into account sustainability offers solutions capable of responding to needs by using, for example, fewer resources and reducing the environmental impact. It is not sustainability that needs innovation but it is innovation that needs sustainability, its values and its methodologies to obtain significant effects on economic and social development. Highly sustainable companies "perform" better, also in terms of financial results, than those without codified CSR processes and adequate employee involvement strategies. stakeholders.

Being responsible, transparent, coherent is no longer enough: the very way of conceiving relationships in decision-making processes and communication strategies must be changed. We are moving from a tactical approach to a strategic vision of sustainability: organisations, especially businesses, have understood the importance, on the one hand, of adopting responsible policies, and on the other, of engaging the stakeholders internal and external. A path towards shared value where a communication online – that is, capable of integrating strategies offline And online – makes it possible to enhance the organisation's social and environmental commitment.

Antonello Pasini, climatologist of the CNR And Professor of Climate Physics for the master's degree course in Physics at the University of Roma Tre, he finally dealt with the topicWinning the climate challenge”.

Climate change represents a challenge for science and for society, because the climate is a complex system like many other systems we have to deal with today, from the globalized economy to the internet, and in today's world there is no culture of complex systems — See Piero Dominici's considerations above. Also, many think it's just a matter of "sweating a little more": it's not like that! The impacts on territories, ecosystems and man, with his health and production activities, are and will be significant. The presentation tried to make the causes and consequences of global warming comprehensible and evident, together with the possible remedies. It is a question of understanding that the problem is global but also entrusted to each of us; that it is a question of changing the register, but also that the final solution also concerns the ethical and international equity sphere. Much innovation will be needed, and we will have to choose between 'walls' or 'bridges'. There research must also and above all be focused on the modeling analysis of the climate system, both to understand the causes of change on all spatial scales, and to produce scenarios on a local scale, necessary for impact studies.

A summary of the group work follows, edited by the coordinators of the 5 tables, the keyword emerged and the requests posed, thus creating the first traces of a path of discussion and action. Action, which is already reflected in the numerous projects involving members of the States General of Innovation.

"Learning" table (Elisa Forte).

Inspired by Piero Dominici's considerations on the society of hyper-complexity, the Learning work table questioned non-linearity And bounded rationality (which needs to be complemented by emotional basis, empathy And creativity) and on dichotomies, no longer necessary and to be reassembled thanks to theelasticity.

A collaborative approach creates the conditions so that the opportunities that come from the outside can be seized in a process of product based learning for the benefit of others learner or the community.

We need to elastic heads and we need to new skills able to generate, that is 'stem' skills. How to teach them and how (learn to) learn them?

Companies launch one call to customers turned into consumer-actors And co-designer of the product, sensitive to the coherence of values. Through this learning process companies change their strategy, as Rossella Sobrero tells us, who talks about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and of benefit-corporation (B Corp).

Let's think about learner as one with the producer-consumer (prosumers), in a process of learning and self-education capable of stimulating awareness and responsibility.

The global climate scenario, described by Antonello Pasini, questions us about the resistance to innovation, about knowing but not doing, about the limit, about the need to produce equity.

Exploration keywords are:

  • stem skills
  • problems as opportunities
  • elasticity
  • produce learning
  • learner = prosumer
  • learn to learn

The question is: what what it means today to be citizens of / in the world?

"Governance" table (Tiziana Medici)

Participants at the table of Governance, through the suggestions and ideas provided by the cards of innovation, have given rise to fruitful generative dialogues.

The insights gained from listening to the reports on society, ethics, business and the environment further enriched the discussion to the point of formulating three questions regarding the governance. These are also the three open questions to think about in the coming months:

  • which and how many are the models of governance necessary for an increasingly complex and fast-paced society?
  • how to ensure that the concept of "innovation for all" can be implemented?
  • there can be one governance economic and fair ethics?

"Work" table (Emma Pietrafesa and Viviana Callea)

The Work table, considering the concepts of education, training and equity, started from the lever that moves the work – the need – and what you want to achieve in terms of work – the desirable future -, setting up variables such as:

  • elasticity
  • trust
  • ability
  • personal predisposition

These can represent the cornerstones on which to build a method / model / valorisation equation for aspiring workers that can be implemented to achieve desirable future.

To anchor the system to a concrete dimension, a path was identified to make a new innovative educational/training system available through a means that intervenes on users to build the work of the future together.

"Resources" table (Sergio Farruggia)

Time: here is the first possible keyword that the participants of the Resources table stumbled upon. We all agree with Piero Dominici: given the hyper-complexity of our (informational) society, to understand reality it is essential to always maintain a systemic vision, therefore theinterdisciplinarity — or the transdisciplinarity? Ability that our mind must equip itself with. Time: because it is the resource that the participants at the table feel the lack of — paradox: but wasn't the ICT supposed to free up quotas of time? That is: what can be the criterion for establishing a balance between (fixed) available time and time spent in order to be (individuals and communities) consistent with the interdisciplinary approach (time management and also propensity to listen)? Resurface the concept of sustainability, applied to resource management time.

We close this first discussion by proposing the following keywords: time management And sustainability and asking the question: “According to which modalities interdisciplinarity can be a useful tool for a knowledge that progresses in a sustainable way”?

We resume the discussion after having listened to the contribution of Rossella Sobrero. Let's immediately identify the first keyword: barter. This already primitive form of exchange of goods (but also of information / knowledge) is re-evaluated thanks to ICT. Barter as a practice that brings the production of goods back into the context of the use value of the goods themselves, contrasting an economy dominated by finance. We realize that we are considering little or no natural resources (eg water) and energy. And we're not exploring resources locally. So we brand the following keywords: barter, natural/local resources. “How can we expand experiences on resource management to spread the culture of sustainable development?” is the second question that will help us pick up this discussion where it left off, remembering that:

  • there is no innovation without sustainability;
  • it is no longer enough to communicate, it is necessary to engage;
  • the consumer-actor evolves into consumer-author.

There is no more time to lose, the climate challenge must be won. Piero Dominici's recommendations return to the discussion: overcoming (false) dichotomies. Even the cards of innovation suggest a synthesis: serendipity as a reference to visions often of the artist; georeferencing, contribution of scientific knowledge. At the end of the time, two keywords are fixed: holistic view And transdisciplinarity.

And we will look for answers to the question: “How can we enhance / use environmental resources in terms of capital to invest for sustainable development?”.

"Health" table (Renzo Provedel)

Keywords of the Health table: consumer-actor, education.

The question was: “how do you navigate the labyrinth?? We had listened to Piero Dominici's report on hyper-complexity and the discussion had developed on the patient/doctor relationship challenged by the Internet "labyrinth".

How to overcome the stereotype? Transforming the patient into a more prepared consumer, educating him to navigate in a more complex world with non-obvious relationships and behaviors.

With the second report on the company that transforms, Rossella Sobrero has transported us to a space of flexibility. The first keyword is born: elastic heads. The cards used with the 'past-present-future' triad lead us towards the second word: simplicity.

And the question becomes: “pharma is health”?

Antonello Pasini's third climate report evokes the climate / war relationship. Keywords lead us to the dichotomy peace / war and the challenge of communicating about sustainability. The keyword emerges socialize information.

The final question is: “We are in climate warfare?”

As take away of the event, result of the deepening of the 5 themes (work, governance, learning, resources and health) by the corresponding groups, the generative dialogue sessions produced (also with the help of a graphic recording) keywords and new questions related to problems to be addressed detailed above. (hyper) Complexity, social responsibility, sustainability, time management, collaboration, inclusive innovation, global citizenship, necessity of win the climate challenge And redefine education/training, interdisciplinarity, critical thinking, empathy, mental flexibility, … it's buzzwords essential to be able to adapt to ever more sudden changes and oppose an increasingly rapid obsolescence. The citizen consumerpro-sumer) will increasingly have to act as an active connoisseur and extender of his own requests (“consum-actor” / “consum-author”), in a paradigm of ever greater “sharing – sustainability, innovation, collaboration. We will work on these assumptions in the coming months to all be drafters of this together innovation agenda for the country.

Given the success of the initiative, the States General of Innovation will evaluate whether to organize more frequently these events of socialization and generative dialogue for a country's innovation agenda, with 'itinerant' events around Italy, especially where it is possible to set up, within the association, a "SGI Innovation Academy” capable of intercepting, launching and managing social innovation and promotion projects more effectively in the context of a sustainable economy.

Videos of the day are available on

other than ours page dedicated to the return of the contents of the event, where it is also possible to download the innovation cards.

Others links useful that refer to the conference States General of Innovation of 9 June 2017:

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