Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2018 Milano Silicon Valley 2018

124 replies, 13 voices Last updated by JiaLiang 5 years, 4 months ago
  • Paolo Marenco

    Here we are! Ready to start the selection of Milano Universities attendees to SVST, August 2018.

    We start with a conference in UNI Bicocca, IBicocca project, on December 15, 2017 . Emanuel Cukaj SVST 2017 Alumno, will be speaker with me.

    Stefania Tibiletti

    Hello Guys!!
    I’m Stefania and I’m a student of Innovation Management at the University of Trento, and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa.
    I did the tour in August and was one of the most exciting experiences of my life! I can’t wait to share with you my experience and to give you some tips and tricks about San Francisco and the Silicon Valley!

    But now it’s your time.. let’s start!

    Here we have an article about diversity.. but there are also other topics that you can use to tell us something interesting! Like education, internet access and also what the Government do to foster the job demand..


    Read it and share with us your ideas! But don’t forget to introduce yourself!

    I hope to hear something from you!



    I’m Elisa Ivancic, I’m studying marketing at Bicocca university, I’m attending my last year ! I also work as hostess in many events in Milan.. why do I talk about my job? That’s because I’ve had the opportunity to get in touch with an association , ValoreD, that made of diversity its scope. This firm wants to solve the gender gap in companies realities throug a several educational workshops where they present how important is having women in high levels. This association is composed by more than 100 companies (such as Johnson&Johsons, Enel, and more).

    ValoreD asks to graet women, who have really important jobs, in  companies boards and, above all, have a degree in STEM faculties, to go to schools and talk to girls about their job. This to give them an idea of what they can become, so they can think not just to become a lawyer but also a scientist! This women become their role model. I think is very important to educate little girls and also open their mind.

    Paolo Marenco

    Thanks Elisa for yr prompt presentation! happy of that . Great valoreD ..in my manager life i appreciated the quality of women in job…I think that my thinking is confirmed by Stefania Tibiletti choice to lead Esade Group that I told you yestarday. Happy you opened this discussion…more to come!

    Lorenzo Stevenazzi

    Hi everyone,
    I’m Lorenzo Stevenazzi and I am now on my final year of my Bachelor in Physics at University of Milano-Bicocca. Thank you Stefania for sharing that article with us. I particularly agree with Facebook statement about the necessity of diversity to grow a business in the future. I think diversity is an added value to a team, since people from culturally diverse background could have different point of views on the same problem, so new ways to face it.

    As the article underlines, there’s an educational gap between low-income social classes and the upper ones. In my opinion, technology and the net could solve this issue. For example, there are several websites which allow people to learn new programming languages for free, giving them also other resources to keep studying that specific course although they’re not attending university.
    In addition to that, a lot of prestigious universities from all around the world offer MOOCs, which stands for Massive Open Online Courses, for free as well. That’s, for instance, the case of MIT and its OpenCourseWare project.

    Regarding to gender diversity and what Elisa wrote before, I can give the example of CERN, run by a woman, Fabiola Gianotti, since the beginning of 2016. She is the first woman holding that position, supporting the Gender in Physics Day and the International Day of Women in Science. These two events are aimed at inspiring women to pursue a career in science. If you want to read more, here’s the link to the article I’m referring to:

    Finally, I think the SVST itself is a way to embrace diversity, as it gives students the opportunity to open their minds to get to know themselves more and, as a consequence of that, respect people from different backgrounds while working on a common goal.

    Paolo Marenco

    Thank you Stefano, Fabiola Gianotti a great example.

    Staying in our story, one top  female story to be told is that one of Carola Pescio Canale (Carola PC on Facebook) She is 26 now and has a long exciting story after the SVST 2013, when she was undergrad student in Economics in Genoa University. She told it in Confindustria Genova talk 2 month ago.


    Hi everyone, first of all I want to tell you that I’m so excited to be part of such a great community so thank you in advance for the opportunity to share and discuss so many important themes with you and thank you also for the amazing event yesterday at Bicocca University!

    I’m Luca Baldessarini, an Economics & Management 2nd year student at Catholic University, last year I’ve joined a student association called Liveconomy, where I’m currently in charge of communication, web and social media; the association was born in 2014 to bridge the gap between what we study on books and business experiences, to do so we organize lots of open events with managers and entrepreneurs, go check out our Fb page or website for more deets!

    With another association, E-Club Bocconi, to which I belong from this year, we’re bringing forward a super exciting project to connect as many Entrepreneurship Associations as we can, from any Italian University as well as from Europeans ones, (and maybe also further who knows!) to create a world class group of super talented students with common purposes, values and ambitions, but from many different academic backgrounds whom can then help, with this super association, any student with a good idea, from any area of study, reach out his full potential and support him develop his dream. Succeeding in this project means finally overtake all the big gaps between universities in the name of innovation, diversity and creativity! (Obviously feel free to join us on our mission if you want!)

    With a friend of mine from Bicocca Uni. we’re currently working, from about a year now, on mobile app for university students to help them better manage their studying time, providing throughout our platform, TakePlace, all the available study spots and study rooms in their universities, real time.

    Concerning the article, I for sure think that SV has made great strides towards inclusion and diversity but I personally think that it’s not enough at all, we all know the bay area as the “cradle of innovation”, that tech is really about equality, but in my opinion there are still some big issues to be solved, both on cultural and ethical side in the big companies, which are now more powerful and influent than ever on our society and our lives.

    This article reminds me about three videos I want to share with you, that I liked very much a short while ago: the first one is a TEDx Talk about The poetry of programming by Linda Liukas, whom has a really “outside of the box” way to expose the key issue about how we should engage and include next generations, bringing down barriers, myths and preconceptions which can maybe influence them not to join the tech world, that is the present and the future. The second video I would like to recommend you is an Apple ad. from 2016,New beginnings“, which I thinks really inspire everyone from every part the world, from any race or gender, to change things and create all together a better future throughout innovation. The third one it’s a video I’ve recently shared on our association Fb page about this theme, feel free to watch it if you want, we can discuss it here later on, it’s a Startup School lesson at Stanford Uni. from Y Combinator MOOC of this year.

    In the end, I personally think that all of this, alongside with high hopes for the future can be summarized by a quote from the video above: Tech is a meritocracy. I wanted to believe that.

    Thank you all again, have a nice day!

    Luca Baldessarini

    Lorenzo Stevenazzi

    I would like to thank Luca especially for the video by Apple which shows that the importance itself in coding is to resolve issues in a new way with everyone taking part in it. This fact reminds me of when I was selected to visit CERN with some professors of mine who work at the ATLAS and LHCb experiments there. They use a framework called ROOT to analyse data that is completely free. Technically speaking, it is distributed under a copyleft license (GNU Lesser General Public License) which allows everyone to use it and improve it. For this reason, there isn’t a proper textbook to learn it, but a forum when you can ask questions. While I was looking for some help, I was struck by the fact that Rene Brun himself, one of the project founders of ROOT, daily replied to common people and students to help them. This made me reflect upon the need of sharing in science and technology. For this reason, I’m a big fan of open source projects, which extend the possibilities of development while teaching people how to use them.

    I remember I’ve watched a talk by Charles Leadbeater at TEDGlobal in 2005, a researcher at the London think tank Demos. He underlined the necessity of creativity in innovation, which can be an effect of diversity if there is an inclusive working environment (and this is an essential condition). People with different insights surely could generate more perspectives on the same circumstance. Here’s the link of this talk:

    In my opinion diversity is the key for a team success, as the article shared by Stefania tells us about.
    Referring to the video Paolo submitted and thanking him, I agree with what Carola Pescio Canale told about the determination required to succeed in the early stages of everyone’s career (as in life) facing difficulties (although she offered to work without receiving salary). In reference to this, I particularly like a quote by Albert Einstein that states: In every difficulty lies opportunity.

    Thanking you for this sharing of ideas and hoping you have a great weekend,

    Lorenzo Stevenazzi



    Thank you @paolomarenco for the hint about Carola Pescio Canale’s talk, I didn’t know her but I think that throughout the speech she really transmits so much about her authenticity and determination towards her goals, spreading innovation as product designer, both on the technical side as well as on the creative one; and obviously congrats very much to her for the TaskRabbit thing which has, by the way, a really good business idea underneath it in my opinion.

    Secondly, I’d like pick up a huge topic about @l-stevenazzi’s answer, the fundamental importance of open source innovation, which I think has the power to move mountains in any kind of industry but mainly in the tech and digital ones, helping common knowledge freely spread across the world, developing all together in this way a better society for ourselves and for the common good.

    I personally think you cannot talk about open source innovation without mention TESLA Motors (Yep I’m a huge Musk fan and supporter), this company, besides its enormous innovation and the disruption of the whole car industry, has in 12th June 2014 open sourced all its patents to really accelerate the world transition to sustainable energy; that’s from my viewpoint a really massive thing, towards which I feel lot of respect, because I sincerely believe that you’ve to be truly keen on your idea to go beyond any kind of personal egotism in this way for the greater good of the entire planet. We can also talk about Hyperloop as a big open idea, first publicly mentioned in 2012 by Elon, with a truly open sourced soul since the beginning which has lead to the creation of the huge community of Hyperloop engineering teams, whom are now more than ever pushing the boundaries of this big dream.

    In the end I’d like to make the last link with Lorenzo’s answer, regarding Physics, but also to the original point @stefaniatibiletti has made with the article, today in fact I’ve been to the one an only Startupitalia Open Summit 2017 (which was AWSOME!) and one of the first talk in the morning was about “Scientist Startupper”, with Patrizia Caraveo – Italian astrophysics of National Institute of Astrophysics and Gabriella Greison – Physicist and Author, both of them has spoken pretty deeply about their feelings about diversity and inclusion, especially in the STEM world, where too often women are not considered enough. If you’ve missed it no worries, I really recommend you the LIVE videos of the whole event on the Fb page, you won’t regret it I swear to you.

    I want to leave you with the ending quote from Musk press release about open sourcing Tesla patents back in 2014:

    “Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.”

    Have a good night,

    Luca Baldessarini


    Hi to everybody

    I’m Emanuel , I’m studying Law at Bicocca University. I was a speaker at iBicocca’s event last friday.

    I did SVST 2017, with Stefania and others 35 guys and girls from seven different University. It was an incredible experience.

    San Francisco is a beautiful city: different cultures, food and languages; Golden gate is so incredible (I ran over it and I’m not lying ); cable cars ; Lombard St.

    I met fantastic people and entrepreneur with this mentality: “Move out of your confort zone & Don’t be afraid to fail; Be afraid not to try”.

    I share with you my little article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/silicon-valley-study-tour-emanuel-cukaj/

    Thanks to Paolo for this opportunity. Now it’s your time.

    Best wishes to everyone and good luck!!!

    Lorenzo Stevenazzi

    Hi everyone!

    In my opinion innovation must be carried paying attention to the social and ethical implications. This could be considered an utopia (and sometimes not unreasonably), but it is what companies like Tesla, as Luca pointed out, and others are doing regarding to knowledge and patents. Open source projects, by the way, are sometimes perceived as a loss of ideas and a risk for the future growth as everyone can potentially develop the same concept. In a scenario such this one, the team importance is essential since it is what makes the difference. Openly research and innovation are crucial to a healthy exchange of ideas and progress improvement and they impact on society, reducing knowledge diversity gap and overcoming geographical and cultural barriers.

    Although it’s not completely open source, I think Google Brain is worth considering as an example of shared knowledge. The latter is a project focused on artificial intelligence and machine learning applications in various, but not exclusively, scientific fields, from biology to physics. Software engineers work alongside scientists implementing algorithms which do the hard work of analysing different sets of data with the same methods. AI could do it, and the crucial point is that it has a wider view on measurements at the same time. This can led to unprecedented scenarios, such as a discovery of two new planets. Christopher J. Shallue, software engineer at Google Brain, and Andrew Vanderburg, physicist from the Department of Astronomy at the University of Texas, trained a deep neural network with already-studied data of celestial bodies to identify possible exoplanets from the huge amount of raw Kepler telescope observations. Stunningly, they discovered two new planets in this way. You can read the draft of this scientific publication here at arXiv if you’re interested in. Referring to what I wrote before as the not open source nature of this project, I have to say that Google encourages employees to take part in whatever scientific research they want, freely realising parts of the useful and necessary tools. One of these is TensorFlow and everyone can use it to study MI.

    I want to share with you also another example of shared knowledge born at UNIMIB, smaller than the ones we talked about before, which is WikiToLearn. As the name suggests, it is a collaborative textbook collection shaped around Wikipedia to which every student can add their own notes that are being corrected by professors and academics and uploaded later.

    Concerning what Luca wrote, I think StartupItalia is a great example of people who believe in the future and are determined to put effort in what they are doing. Events like this one could change young perspectives about their lives, supporting them. That’s the reason why I love iBicocca (althought I’m not an iStudent because of university classes) and keep attending their lectures.

    Thank you Emanuel for your article. I absolutely agree with the statement by Mashape founders’ but I think there are organisations that bet on new generations also in Italy – even though they are not firmly supported by the government -; that means we have the great responsibility of meeting their expectations.

    Thank you and can’t wait to hearing from you all


    How you doing @emanuel96? I’ve had the pleasure to meet you after the iBicocca event, I was talking with my colleague to Marco Pastore If you remember, another great guy.

    Really good article out there, I really appreciated you talked about Augusto Marietti, Marco Palladino and their Mashape API Marketplace, especially because I feel truly bounded and inspired by their story; I think the first time I’ve heard something about them was at Campus Party Italia this summer, where the amazing Roberto Bonzio with his absolutely original speech (pretty same as this one), gave the audience a full overview of “Italiani di Frontiera” and the Mashape story came to light. Starting from Catholic Uni. in a garage here in Milan, really SV style, their first trip to the Valley in 2009 with no money, sleeping on Travis Kalanick’s (future Uber Founder & CEO) couch thanks to his crazy “Jampad” idea, the unique mentorship received from the Airbnb team back in his very early days, and so on.
    I’ve been for real fascinated by their story, because I strongly believe if you’re doing concrete innovation in the end the tech will talk by itself; I’d like to recommend you so much the video interview of the Co-Founder & CTO of Mashape, Marco Palladino, really inspiring guys, especially when he talks about building yourself and your life first.

    Speaking about Bonzio’s talk, it reminds me when he quoted the famous SF earthquake back in April 1906 and the amazing story about Amedeo Pietro Giannini which unfortunately is not so famous here, but this Italian has done countless remarkable things for all the Bay Area; He’s the founder of Bank of America, after the SF disaster he gave investments to whoever needed with no guarantee, he played a key role helping to rebuild the entire city from the ground, starting by the Italian neighborhood, he funded Charlie Chaplin’s first movie, helped Italy through the Marshall Plan in the World War II, he funded also the project of the Golden Gate bridge and Hewlett-Packard, which garage is now considered the birthplace of the entire concept of Silicon Valley and its state of mind. He was a true and authentic dreamer who believed in the power of ideas, and he was Italian.

    Thank you Lorenzo also, for the back-and-forth about these amazing topics, I’ve heard a lot about the amazing scientific discovery of new earth like planets with AI, I think that’s an amazing step forward for the knowledge of the human race and I firmly believe that humans always need to be inspired while looking at the stars, hoping to become a full interplanetary species within the next decades, maybe soon, throughout big plans like the SpaceX BFR Transportation one.

    I know I’m quote addicted but talking about those things really excite me a lot, so I’d like to leave you with another one from the good Elon about SpaceX and the Mars plan:

    “You want to wake up in the morning and think the future is going to be great – and that’s what being a spacefaring civilization is all about. It’s about believing in the future and thinking that the future will be better than the past. And I can’t think of anything more exciting than going out there and being among the stars.”

    Bye for now!

    Luca Baldessarini


    Thank Emanuel for sharing your experience with us. Your article is an excellent reportage of your trip, looking it from different points of view, that’s what makes it smart.
    I always thought that traveling is the only way to become richer, and i still support this idea. I don’t know who i would have been if i had never traveled. This is a big opportunity to learn about a new country, new people and a new way to observe our future possibilities. It opens our mind and let us connect to something bigger and incredible.
    I appreciate above all the strength meaning of meritocracy, because it gives me hope to think that, somewhere, it works. I think that all of us have experienced the miss of meritocracy, once in life, during our school time or work time. It always drove me mad!
    I agree, also, about bad sides of American life, such as instruction. I think we have not to fear about American possible competitors. Our universities work good, we just need faith from “adults”.
    That’s the point I really want to talk about: why are we always “too young” or “too old” (in Italy) for having a job or a responsibility?
    As we have listen in Ibicocca SVST presentation, the difference between italian way of manage an idea and the American one is that they have faith in what you want to give and your ambition, even if you’re 18 years old.
    If we want that this changes, we should start doing something.
    I leave you with a quote that really makes me think :

    “Everybody knows a certain thing is unrealizable until somebody unaware of this comes and invents it.”

    Albert Einstein

    Lorenzo Stevenazzi

    Hi everyone and hi Elisa, it’s great to hear from you.
    I like that quote by Einstein (ok, maybe I’m a bit biased) you submitted which really addresses us, pointing out the importance of believing in an idea and being brave and determined to realise it. Of course there could be discouraging circumstances, such as the government and the absence of public fundings, but I think that those are tests that show someone’s attitude towards problems (and it is challenging as well, isn’t it?). Unfortunately there is a wrong understanding about what failure means. Paolo and the guys we met last Friday underlined it well. In my opinion we are taught success is what shows if a person is either worthy or not, neglecting the importance of what actually this person has done trying to accomplish their project. I am not meaning that the result is not important – I don’t want to sound neither compassionate nor cynical -, but I just want to point out the “journey” role which is not secondary.
    When I was younger, my track and field coach always told me that who fears to fail and doesn’t start anything for this reason, has already failed. This has accompanied me since then when I’m facing difficulties. This is consistent with what Augusto Marietti of Mashape said in the previous video. We need to get out of our comfort zone to do great things in life. His interview reminds me of an awesome guy I’ve met and friend of mine, Cesare De Cal. He was given two scholarships by Apple to join WWDC in San Francisco, the first one when he was only 18 year old. You should really check his video at TEDxYouth@Bologna out because it is very inspiring.
    For this reason, traveling is important to broaden their horizons. Roberto Bonzio, talking about Renzo Piano (I like him a lot), shows that. I particularly agree that young Italians should go to foreign countries to learn more firstly about themselves, secondly about how people from different cultures work on analogous tasks. This reconnects to the first topic of discussion, diversity. When you meet another person, you can see your own limits and lacks and try to overcome them.
    Roberto Bonzio also talked about Cristina Dalle Ore. She held a talk last year in Bergamo at TEDx and I liked her a lot, because of the effort of combining family and career as well. Science is worth doing to broaden humanity horizons in order to get more aware of ourselves and this is pretty the same idea of Elon Musk and his quote (Luca keep quoting, please). Working on the same project mix culturally different people without canceling diversities, but enhancing them.

    Thank you for the discussion, have a great day!

    Stefania Tibiletti

    Hello Guys!

    Nice to see new faces here! Thank you Paolo and Ema for sharing with us the video and the article!

    I saw that you are ready to start.

    I have to kindly ask to Lorenzo and Luca to relax, your comments are super interesting but you are giving us too many inputs, and we are overwhelmed by all this information. And moreover your are not giving us the possibility to comment back. Pick up one topic, deep analyze it with your thought, feelings and idea and ask some questions to your colleagues. Start to discuss, to share and we will have a beautiful brainstorming! 🙂

    I like what Lorenzo have shared with us about ROOT and open source, because as we know open source is an amazing way to have a collaboration among different kind of people. Connected to this we have also another possibility, that is crowdsourcing.

    Here you can find a short article to help you to enter in this topic : https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4025-what-is-crowdsourcing.html

    So, what do you know about crowdsourcing? Which are the benefits in using it? And the problems? How would you try to solve those problems?

    Have a nice day!


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