Alec Ross: «The future is in the hands of those who know how to take risks, Italian entrepreneurs need to be more confident»

Alec Ross: «The future is in the hands of those who know how to take risks, Italian entrepreneurs need to be more confident»

Alec Ross: «The future is in the hands of those who know how to take risks, Italian entrepreneurs need to be more confident»

Alec Ross: «The future is in the hands of those who know how to take risks, Italian entrepreneurs need to be more confident»

Alec Ross: «The future is in the hands of those who know how to take risks, Italian entrepreneurs need to be more confident»

«The land was driving growth during the Agricultural Age. Then there was iron, which started the first Industrial Revolution. Data shapes today’s economy. We are used to thinking that some key sectors of the Italian business fabric, from manufacturing to fashion, will remain forever anchored to a “traditional” vision. That’s not the case. The application of big data and data analytics to these areas will form the underlying structure for innovation during this decade».

 

As spoken by Alec Ross, American entrepreneur, best-selling author and expert in technology policies, who visited the e-Novia headquarters on 3 June, got in touch with its Enterprises and its people and spent a whole day living the unique experience offered by the Factory.

 

Advisor for innovation to former US President Barack Obama, Alec Ross now lives in Italy and teaches Geo-economics and Geopolitical Analysis at the Bologna Business School. As well as featuring on Foreign Policy magazine’s list of 100 Global Thinkers, he is also a member of the Board of Directors of Amplo, a global venture capital company, and of other companies specializing in technology, finance, education, human resources and cyber-security.

 

«At the moment, there are thirty-six billion connections to the Internet, within four years there will be seventy-five billion. This doesn’t mean that we’re about to purchase many more devices, it means that we will digitize whole new sectors, from mobility to urban planning. The companies that contribute to the creation of the Smart Cities in which we will live will fuel wealth generation over the next ten years».

 

Shifting the focus on the American context, Alec Ross outlines a series of distinctive traits of the American businessperson: «They have a very high propensity for risk, we could define them as modern-day “cowboys”. They have a high degree of confidence in their abilities, a characteristic that often results in arrogance».

 

The same goes for the Italian entrepreneur who, the expert reiterates, «cannot conceive that failure is an option and has a very low tolerance to risk (one of the major obstacles to innovation in Italy). They don’t lack talent – at Apple’s canteen, in Cupertino, there are tables where only Italian is spoken – but they lack confidence. It’s a purely cultural factor. For six hundred years, Italy has represented an innovation centre capable of combining the best technical-scientific discoveries with the arts and humanistic thought. We need a change of perspective».

 

And finally, a glance at the plans for the country’s recovery. Regarding the risks and opportunities associated with the resources used to restart Italy, the entrepreneur has no doubts: «These funds should not be thought of as “carbohydrates”, to provide the body with immediate energy, but as “proteins” capable of increasing muscle mass. It is therefore important not to succumb to the temptation to invest in programs with a short-term perspective. What are the four pillars we should focus our attention on? Infrastructure, transport, education, but above all digitization, to streamline the bureaucratic machine that today makes it impossible to do business in Italy. Right now, it’s like taking part in a race wearing a backpack full of stones».