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

40 replies, 9 voices Last updated by Stefania Tibiletti 5 years, 10 months ago
  • Anonymous

    Hi everybody!
    It’s been quite a while, anyway, I’ll go straight to the point. I’d like to spend a few words on these two issues you’ve brought up.

    I’m on the same page as Rachel when she said that letting enyone get their own 3D printer might be quite dangerous. I don’t need any article to said that just because, in the firt place, I used to surf the net looking for tutorials about how to biuld slingshots, crossbows, the glorious potato-gun and lots of other dangerous stuff myself. The problem with those things were that you actually needed some skills to craft them, but with the 3D printer, you just need to find the project online and there you have something that might be really harmful. We of course need some kind of restrictions, that’s my opinion.

    On the other hand, I don’t completely agree with you guys when you said 3D printing would bring over-consumerism. I think it would be quite the opposite instead. I’ll try to explain myself: whenever I broke something, everything, the first thing I try to do is to fix it. Maybe it needs just some glue, maybe a couple of nails, I don’t know… something I may do by myself. Now, when it comes to 3D printing, we can scan the broken part and replace it with a new printed one. I know, it depends on how’s the item broken, but I think there might be several things we could fix instead of re-buy.

    This, sided by an effective recycling system and some restricion laws, may make 3d printing something useful, harmless and eco-friendly.

    Chiara Grossi

    Hi everyone!
    Concerning about what Rachel said about people interested in producing stuff by them self, I agree with Jacopo: 3D printing has many limits first of all materials. In fact not all the mostly used materials in the production process fit to 3D printers. Even the first example brought by Stefania is a proof of this: the concrete used to build the house must have had a specific composition, with quite low density to be able to flow out from the 3D printer, a density probably not good to realize other buildings that have to sustain heavier loads. So I think that this problem must not be underestimated. We need a lot of products which are made of specific materials and that’s why I think that it would be not so probable that 3D printed products will completely take the place of large scale manufacturing.

    3D printers will be more and more useful in the production lines by reducing costs, exploitation of labour and waste of materials. For example in civil construction sector it is already in use to pre-fabricate buildings’ components by 3D printing which let to control the quality and safety of the production process. Than the pieces are carried and assembled together on the building site. This has many benefits: you can “print” all the accessory installations already in the component so there is a materials and work saving; workers’ safety is guaranteed: they operate in a workshop  rather than in a open-air construction site at meters and meters of height; manpower costs are lower for the necessity of one or two programmers and not of a 10/20 people team to produce every piece; as a consequence even the delivery time are shorter.

    But closely related to this last consideration, I have a question: how would the labour sector change dealing to automated production spread? With the robotic revolution (I mean the robots used in firms for the large-scale production) we are already seeing it: more and more workers are replaced by automatic machines but with the spread of 3D printers this phenomenon will become more evident. Probably there will be more demand of skilled workers who can fix broken machines and of programmers who can write the code that allows robots to do what they are created to do. So in my opinion another problem related to 3D printers is dehumanizing of production sector. We could arrive to the absurd point that humans has no longer the capabilities ( and necessity) to effectively DO things but they “only” know how to programme machines that do the “dirty work” for them. This would be (and in some ways already is) an epochal change for the human kind.

    I’m curious to know what you think about it, and if in your opinion it is an actual and effective problem or not, relatively to 3D printing future development.

    Stefania Tibiletti

    Hi Guys! Nice work, I really appreciate your efforts in developing this conversation about 3D printing, sharing your different points of view.

    Here I have the last two articles that are connected with your previous comments:




    Why the last two? Because if you want to finalize your application in order to have the chance to be part of the SVST 2018, you have to send me your CV within Friday 6 April at 3pm!

    This is my email: stefania.tibiletti@studenti.unitn.it  moreover you have to put in cc Paolo Marenco: marencopaolo@gmail.com

    I will consider as part of your evaluation all the comments until Friday, after that you are free to use the forum to continue to share what you want! In addition if you have questions about San Francisco, the tour or do you need any kind of information, I am here and do not hesitate to contact me! 🙂

    Your CV must be in 1 page format, here you can find a template that may help you

    Have a nice weekend,


    Rachel Mazzucchi


    Thanks Stefania for the last thread.

    In the face of more and larger refugee streams, resource scarcity, pollution, extreme weather, food insecurity and an estimated +2.5 billion citizens in 2050, the environmental challenge that societies have to deal with today is indeed a hot topic.

    There are two points that popped up in my mind while reading the sugested articles:

    1. Smart cities. I find the second article especially interesting, being a smart application of a circular economy model by a municipality. The reason that I am intrigued by it is that one trend that is likely to continue is urbanization, so rethinking the city concept is quickly becoming a central debate. According to the United Nations 66 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050. In this respect, I think most of us agree that smart cities have great potential to address the need for more sustainable and livable cities, and foster an environmental change also in our mindsets and consumption patterns. Some applications of IoT technologies in the urban space are automated street lighting, smart energy meters and parking assistance and sensors and clearly these projects should help in greatly reducing energy consumption. Moreover, I read that with the 5G introduction this “revolution” in energy and waste city planning will be taken a step further since it will involve an explosion in the number and types of connected devices. Gartner predicts 4 billion connected “things”will be online by 2020. The article on Dubai presents an extremely interesting application of AI technology which, unlike these other examples I mentioned, instead of decreasing energy consumption, energizes waste. I think that these initiatives taken together have great potential. One question, in you’re interested in continuing this discussion, is if you know of any other interesting application of new technologies to promote green cities.
    2. Social media. The topic just brought to mind a brilliant business initiative that I discovered last year through Ted Talks. It’s called Litterati. I think it’s brilliant because it connects Instagram with environmental awareness with creativity and it turned the concept into a sustainable business model. Basically the founder some years ago started posting on his Instagram account nice, artistic photos of litter and garbage abandoned in the street trying to rise awareness on the issue and prompting people to pick it up and throw it in the bin. His followers quickly increased and it became popular among them to post other artistic photos of litter on both Instagram and Twitter. They became a community and called themselves the Litterati. What the founder later did is he used the data coming from these photos to map litter locations and then sold the data to municipalities and related organization. If you’re interested here is the Youtube link of the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es4w3WUcrN0. As one girl in the comment section mentioned: “pair this with Pokemon go, getting points for litter disposal would keep players’ eyes on where they’re going and make it fun to pick up litter”. Initiatives like this would indeed make it fun and easy to rise a lot of awareness on how we dispose of trash and on other environmental issues. Do you know of similar initiatives that somehow gamify or use entertainment to promote green action or simply raise awareness on issues?

    I’m looking forward to reading your inputs!


    Hi everyone!
    Thanks as usual for the new topic you introduced Stefania. Environment is an hot topic, as Rachel already said, today more than ever due to the related pollution problem: it’s not only causing serious diseases, it’s also the reason for most of the climate changes we’re facing.

    One thing I really appreciated about Dubai’s article is that it talks also about loss of land problem due to the growing number of landfills. We sadly tend to forget that anything we throw away still takes up space. Earmark lands for landfills instead of homes, parks or anything else it’s actually a cost for the citizens that they usually forget. The ‘Wasteniser’ project helps both setting lands free and recycling wastes to “to generate clean and sustainable energy”, as Mr. Dawood Abdul Rahman Abdullah Al Hajiri said.

    I think EDF’s article points out several important things we should consider when we talk about environmental innovation:

    Role model: as we already discussed talking about gender and race integration, role models help, in any kind of innovation, leading by example for the others. About that, Rachel’s mention about Litterati movement proves how much a single person can do just “leading the way”.

    – Cooperation between data-collecting institutes and companies: firms (and also private people) are the ones that need to change their habit going environment-friendlier, but in order to do that they need to understand what the problem is and how to fix it. They may end up putting a lot of effort in inefficient solutions. That’s were data-collecting institutes come in. They are specialized in collecting data useful in understanding the better way (costs-benefits) to solve the problem. That’s why I think the cooperation between those institutes and companies is really important.

    – Last but not least, politics: politics plays a big role in this process. It should help raising citizens’ awareness but, as we see with the Trump administration, it may end up not helping at all and being counterproductive indeed.

    So, I guess, in order to help this environmental innovation process we should identify ourself first:
    Am I an “actor” or a data collector (or both)? What can I do to be active in the process? If I’m already doing something, can I be a role model for anyone?
    These are just some questions, but I think that answering them may be a big step forward that will allows everyone to help or at least not to be counterproductive.


    Hey everybody,

    These two articles open windows facing straight to the future. First, the tale of a nation (the emirates) forced to invert its “business strategy”, investing fewer in petroleum-related business activities -once the core interest of the country- in favor of sustainable energy. Then, a different story, American enterprises getting together to promote eco-friendly initiatives. In the end, a president affectionate to petroleum (Trump), who cannot recognize one of the most profitable businesses of next few decades. Well, fortunately the citizens of the world have market leverage on their side, at this moment when not everybody is yet convinced about the benefits new technologies can have on the environment. But let’s not confuse paternalism with entrepreneurship: For enterprises, adapting to a world without petroleum is a matter of survival, and that’s why they’ve already started to proactively move towards that future. The players who invest early on in these technologies will have the most benefits out of it, and business know well this “first come first served” logic. So, private institutions are confidently investing in renewables because it’s a matter of fact that some change needs to happen, given that eventually we’ll run out of consumable resources, but I’m pretty sure that if there were a more convenient, “non green” solution to address this problem, they would go for it.

    This is why representatives of the population should move on common ground with businesses. Synergy between different players is essential to do everyone’s interests, not just the ones of the elites. If governments don’t partner with privates to guide the decisions of the big players (like it’s happening in Dubai), one day people will wake up and realize they are living in a world that doesn’t belong to them. And this is the kind of sudden realization triggered by facebook’s “data leak” scandal just recently: “how could that happen?”.

    This is why I think that, ultimately, the  biggest harm governments could do is invisible at the moment, and it’s not about being unsupportive. The real problem is a long-term one, and is based on the lack of guidelines, policies, rules and, above all, intents.

    This case exemplifies an implication of institutional uninvolvement. The “Bio” prefix made the initiative sound convincing enough to a naive local government who acclaimed a pointless green-like intervention. Don’t you think this is crazy?


    Alessia Antonuzzo

    Hi guys and thank you Stefania for suggesting this topic 😊 Even though sustainability and environment are today on the biggest companies’ agendas, I feel like this issue is underestimated and not yet perceived as what it is: a PRIORITY.  Therefore, I’m glad we are here to discuss it, because time is crucial and there is no much left.

    Just a few days ago I was spending a sunny Pasquetta in Verona with a friend of mine who studies in Denmark and walking by the city walls something got my attention. https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=1zy4Eigp&id=E7A95335E5B565E86433AB8E34DE41155EAF9C86&thid=OIP.1zy4EigplUAaJiVqeaK5AgHaEK&q=colonnine+elettriche+verona&simid=608027286650815852&selectedIndex=7&ajaxhist=0  Recharging columns for electric cars. Not very common and easy to find, but I was happy to see them and at the same time disappointed that among all the cars recharging, there was not even one Italian – so it was basically used only by tourists. I started discussing this with my friend and she told me that in Denmark most of the cars are electric vehicles. The problem is exactly the same, pollution, but the situation is completely different! And the most frustrating thing is that it’s like a vicious circle: there are not many electric cars, therefore no many recharging columns, with the consequence that not many people want to invest in an electric car because they fear they won’t be able to recharge it. How crazy is that?

    I think the solution to tackle this issue has to come from higher levels, like government and companies, especially in the first phase.

    Government- Investments in this “new” technology are very much needed and hopefully in some years they won’t only have a positive effect on environment but also a good return on investment. For example, consider what I said…that my friend and I saw only foreigners’ cars.. So maybe the more recharging columns, the more tourists; and an incentive for tourism means the more money for cities as well.

    Companies- To answer Rachel’s question about new technologies to promote green cities, some companies are already working on this issue with fantastic projects: for example, Enel suggests an integrated approach using innovative platforms to make the charging easier and to promote public transport and car sharing. Check out this article! https://www.enel.com/stories/a/2018/03/electric-mobility-smart-cities-world-economic-forum

    Moreover, as in one article shared by Stefania, companies are focusing on this problem more and more: for example, most of them publish a “Social Corporate Responsibility”. This is wonderful (especially compared with the situation of a few years ago when nobody would talk about environment) but I’m wondering how much of this is just a bunch of nice words and what percentage is really implemented…

    Concerning the second article, I would love to start by saying it’s just mind-blowing how the Dubai Municipality wants to invest a considerable amount of money and try converting problems into solutions using AI. This is such a farsighted project and I believe we Italians should learn and be a little bit more risky instead of waiting for someone else to create a path for us! I believe the key difference relies in culture and awareness and as an engineer said “We don’t simply want you to live in a smart city, we want you to BE a smarter citizen!”

    For example, in Tokyo I saw how the perception on this topic is different. Since the school years, everyone must help cleaning the classroom everyday to learn the sense of responsibility for actions…and the cool guy is the respectful one! There are trash bins EVERYWHERE for recycling. https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=ylL5r1dg&id=DACF3832A47B551285BB1CBF079A13BD9A5D35EF&thid=OIP.ylL5r1dgzidW24HXvgYcTgHaFj&q=recycle+japan&simid=608000090949353699&selectedIndex=24&ajaxhist=0 Companies organize events for raising awareness, like planting trees on Mount Fuji. Italy still has so much to learn on how to create an environment-sensitive culture.

    Last, if you have never heard of it, I’m happy to introduce you to Terracycle, a company that offers recycling plans…you can even make money from your waste!https://www.terracycle.com/en-US/about-terracycle?utm_campaign=admittance&utm_medium=menu&utm_source=www.terracycle.com  It would be nice to see how they could integrate their business with AI!

    Many inputs, I’ll be happy to hear your feedbacks! 😊










    Alessia you said lots of great things!

    I’ve already heard about Terracyle and I’ve always been impressed by its history. We usually forget that every big things start with little steps, and Terracycle is a great example of how small things can actually make the difference.

    I’d like just to suggest a couple of problem I think companies are facing and that governments or institutions may help solving: the “tragedy of the commons” and the feedback problem.

    Tragedy of the commons is the fact that with our choices we may have environmentally harmful behavior, but we usually don’t pay for them.
    The feedback problem means that when we actually have these environmentally harmful behavior we don’t get any feedback about the damages we’re making.

    A solution to the first problem is incentives: awarding people for their good behavior drives them to stop some of the bad actions they’re making. Last summer I went to Berlin and I notice a peculiar thing: in any kind of supermarket they make you pay 8-30 cents more for every glass/plastic bottle you buy. Once you use it you can take the bottle back to the market where they have a trash bin that gives money (the 8-30 cents you spent before) for empty bottles. If you throw the bottle away (environmentally harmful behavior) instead of bringing it back it will cost you.

    A solution to the second one is disclosure obligation: the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act of 1986 introduced the Toxic Release Inventory. The act didn’t include any restriction or limit, it just forced companies to record how many and which chemicals substances they use on EPA website for safety matters. The information were avaiable for anyone for free.
    Than of course media created a blacklist where the riskier company ended up. And even though there weren’t any limitation or restriction for using those chemicals, a lot of firms rather than find their names in the blacklist, they reduces the substances or swap some of them for greener ones.
    Japan’s trying to implement this solutions too, including on food labels the ecological footprint of the product (the quantity of greenhouse gases they emit).

    Raising awareness might not be enaugh but this kind of solution have the peculiarity to be almost costless compared to lots of other strategies we’re trying out.

    Let me know what do you think guys

    Chiara Grossi

    Thank you Stefania for the new topic, it’s really interesting.

    I want to focus my attention on two main arguments which are essential for the great success of eco-friendly initiatives and that you guys have already introduced in your comments: need of funding for innovations and need of common awareness.

    -Great and revolutionary initiatives as the Emirates’ one need substantial funding to be activated, particularly at the first steps, because of the team of researchers, the development of new technologies which maybe wouldn’t work at the first test etc. But not all the countries have or more likely don’t want to spend a lot of money in a farsighted project while the today needs are already satisfied. So I think that there are two ways to incentivize governments to enact environmentally friendly projects: (1) the actual necessity because of the lack of usual energy resources (2) the competition between countries. The first one is useless because once gained that point is already too late. The second one I think is what is already happening but which needs always new and big inputs: if many governments invests in eco-friendly initiatives this would lead even to international more straight lows which will force all the countries to keep up with times.

    -The second point that I want to underline is, as Matteo said, people awareness. This is essential: there could be even the most revolutionarily devices and services directed to improve the waste of energy and resources but if people are not aware of these, they would be completely useless. So here are needed educational programs starting from the schools up to social networks and newspapers and magazines which are more likely to reach adults. I didn’t know about Litterati but that is a perfect example of how an individual can improve people awareness. Another example is Ecosia (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/dec/03/ecosia-green-search-engine), a green search engine that donate 80% of the income to rainforest protection projects. These types of devices and initiatives are winning because they deal with people daily life.

    So everyone of us can do his own part by being in touch with these innovations, use them, spread their use to family and friends or moreover be an innovator and a change leader by supporting and creating great initiatives.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by Chiara Grossi.
    Alessia Antonuzzo

    Hello guys! Even though time for SVST application is over, I believe this might still be a useful platform for us to engage in stimulating discussions – sharing entrepreneurial ideas and hopes for the future. What do you think about? 😊 #GoodKarma

    Since we talked about diversity and inclusion I would love to share with you this short video I bumped into today while surfing on Linkedin: https://youtu.be/W7Bo0Ma9gfw It’s an interview to Rich Lesser, BCG President and CEO, in which he suggests some practical tips for companies.  “It’s so important to treat diversity and inclusion like every other business priority. If you treat it as just a “nice” thing to do, it will never get the attention it deserves. Every study that I’ve ever seen says more diverse environments create more challenge to the status quo, and more innovation—how can that not be a business priority for every company?”

    And connected to this, I bet you remember I mentioned ValoreD just a few weeks ago… Well, they recently came up with a fantastic video made to INSPIRE girls worldwide to follow their dreams despite gender. Go check it out! 😉 https://youtu.be/7Oay2Cp6Ieg  “Il futuro appartiene a coloro che credono nella bellezza dei propri sogni” I couldn’t agree more…

    We also talked about big data from different perspectives so here is an article that can well summarise what we’ve been discussing: https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21721656-data-economy-demands-new-approach-antitrust-rules-worlds-most-valuable-resource?fsrc=scn/fb/te/bl/ed/theworldsmostvaluableresourceisnolongeroilbutdataregulatingtheinternetgiants

    I hope you are doing super well and I would love to keep in touch!


    Stefania Tibiletti

    Hello guys!!

    Here the eligibility for the SVST 2018 !! 🙂


    For more info about the possibility to have a sponsorship from the University, please refer to Prof. Alessandro Rossi.

    If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me!

    Have a nice week


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