Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2020 UniPV Silicon Valley 2020

181 replies, 41 voices Last updated by Paolo Marenco 3 years ago
  • Jacopo

    Hi guys, sorry for my absence in these days but I had a lot of work for my thesis, however I’ve followed the speech a little bit and you’ve talked about many interesting themes.

    First of all, I want to thank who organized the meeting with Giampiero Lotito, it has been an illuminating moment for me.

    Secondly, I’ve read the articles that @ismaelepaoli linked to us. As many of you have just said, we are living in such a particular situation that needs particular controls as well. I totally agree with the sharing of personal data in order to have a clearer idea about the position of people and the state of health, I agree with the app of South Corea, I think is the only way to try to restart living. I don’t care about personal data, every day we allow to share our data without noticing, maybe multinationals just have alla data they need about us. However, as @chiarasperto said “laws are made to be broken” and italians have plenty of values, but we are also leading experts to avoid rules and many other people in the world with this mentality might follow this path. As a consequence, I’ve heard that a field which will have a great improvement, thanks to this situation, will be the microchips one, I know it sounds crazy but we have to consider that our lives won’t be the same, we have to change our perspective of view, adapting to new customs. Hence, we know first hand that privacy is something that we have been losing fo a long time because of the internet and especially because of social media, as a consequence privacy protest came out but in the end one way or another our personal data is stolen, so while we have offered it directly for useful purpose.

    I want to conclude as usual with a quote, Benjamin Franklin said “they who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety”. I think he would have an heart attack to hear what we are saying about privacy! ahahah

    See you soon guys! at the conference!!



    I think a well-informed public is strictly interconnected with trust in public authorities. Just like @andreastroppa said, we first need to create a public and shared trust of our country and this is the hardest part. Since we are a democratic country, we choose our representatives by voting and here is the point, because only a well-informed population is able to vote for “the best” politician (or maybe “the least worst”). Even if each politician is elected by the majority, it does not mean he’s going to pursue exclusively the interests of the State, personal business are very often taken into account. The only way to reconstruct the trust in authorities we have lost over the years is to have awareness of the power of ours votes and to do so, we need to educate people to check their sources of information in order to distinct fake news from real ones for example. In all our comments, we have always agreed on the importance of education. Well, I think this is the only key to help the Italian people (but not only) to rebuild their lost trust.



    Good afternoon guys!
    As for the topic started by @giorgiaamatemaggio, I would like to share an article with you. This time we play at home: this is the report of an interview with Mr. Rino Falcone, research director of the Cnr Institute of Sciences and Technologies of Cognition, published in the Science and Research section of the Bo Live of the University of Padua.

    Coronavirus: when trust becomes the goal. The results of a Cnr study.
    Let me know briefly what you think about.

    See you later!


    Hi guys!

    I believe many of the issues recently introduced in the forum have been beautifully and widely debated upon, therefore I won’t linger on them anymore as it would be a little redundant; however, I will focus on a few topics still worth mentioning.

    Firstly thank you  @serenagabbetta for drawing attention to the psychological effects of quarantine, I think they are often overlooked by our community; I also wish to point out that, concerning the domestic violence surges, in our country, victims have now the opportunity, through an app called “YouPol”, originally created to allow to warn law enforcement officials about drug dealing and bullying, to alert authorities without the need of making a call; in addition, in Spain authorities launched a WhatsApp chat for people in the same difficult situation, the chat has witnessed a 270% increase in consultations in the past month. It is essential that we find means through which keep safe that part of our society most vulnerable at the moment.

    Secondly, I completely agree with @marco-canciani, that wonderfully clarified the concept of Cookies, and pointed out that “by now the “accept and continue” automation has taken over”. I previously clarified how important I consider cyber education, however, it is worthless if users do not set aside our automatism. We should be more conscious of our behavior on the net. We must be aware of the risk of sharing data online. As @giorgiaamatemaggio diligently pointed out, we are in no position to lower our guard down, as dangers are always lurking around, especially for women. “The diffusion of personal intimacy photos shared and commented”, occurring at the moment, hideous and abominable, has struck many in our community, and although I am hopeful the offenders will be convicted, the parties concerned will forever be affected by it, mostly psychologically. When there is no protection and prevention, one must take matters in its own hands and protect him/herself, however unjust it is.

    Concerning the article shared by @noemiscifo17, I find myself in agreement with @giorgiaamatemaggio, who has, in addition, already dwelt on the essential points of the text; I believe that we should not decide between privacy or health, both are fundamental rights of our society and there should be no space for a tradeoff. Said that, I really doubt it will come down to imposed biometric bracelets that monitor temperature and heartbeat, as many are already highly uncomfortable with tracking policies. My attention was especially drawn to this sentence of the article: “a<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> self-motivated and well-informed population is usually far more powerful and effective than a policed, ignorant population” that illustrates a concept that cannot be stressed enough. I think the majority of Italians have deeply understood the severity of the crisis and acted upon it with diligence and consciousness, perhaps with the aid of an incentive or two, but always willingly. The response to our government requests has been extremely positive for the majority of the time. I believe that our conduct already shows trust in scientific facts and government, (or is it just driven by fear? What do you think?). Anyhow a level of compliance as such must be built, even in the smallest part, on trust, and this trust is what has most surprised me in the past month. We have shown self-motivation. I consider myself to be highly distrusting of Italian political personalities, however, the reactiveness and level of resolution our government has shown in the past months might have created that small trust required. </span>In response to Giorgia’s question, I believe this might be a starting point in the trust-building process in our nation; to re-building trust in one’s country, honesty and good intention from the leadership are key. It is indeed a very slow process, but building a sustainable ground for it, is essential and we must take advantage of these circumstances.

    See you at the conference!





    Answering briefly to Gabriella I agree with her that for sure in the last period our government shows good outcomes gaining some points in trust. Anyway I also think, as you suggest, this is a bit driven by the fear spread in the population. In the end when you don’t know what to do and how to solve an emergency is way easier to put your trust in others hands. A part from that our country and especially our scientists (healthcare system in general) are showing the real value of Italy, his excellence. What I was wondering is if when this crisis will be over people continue to put the same confidence in our government or if everything will became as it was before. Another question I have in my mind is: will we be able to learn some lessons from this event in order to create, develop and start some programs/projects/procedures to help the country, both the government and the population to face better future crisis? or will we just so overwhelmed by all the problems brought by the crisis that we’ll forget about it? Because facing the actual crisis is for sure essential but maybe predict the future one is even more important.

    See you in a while at the conference!



    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Andrea.

    Hi everyone,

    Good questions @giorgiaamatemaggio, very good questions.

    Building trust is not simple, it’s something that requires time and patience, it cannot be obtained overnight.

    The three sources of information presented, in my opinion it’s good to divide them into two groups, because you have to look at them with different points of view.

    The distrust of public authorities derives from the fact that Italian political history is full of corruption, scandals, politicians who have never done their job and who have always thought about their interests rather than those of the country. I myself, have never been interested in politics as I have never seen any kind of concrete result, all the parties in the end have always been the same and there has never been a political figure that I could take as an example or just with whom I shared of ideas. Italy is a beautiful country but unfortunately it has many problems. Instead of finding solutions, politicians are more concerned with hindering each other and maintaining their position at all costs. It’s from here that the great distrust that exists in public authorities derives and in these moments of emergency this distrust makes itself seen and felt to the fullest.

    The progressive deterioration of trust in the scientific community is closely linked to the inability of the media to stem fake news. When you allow these news to circulate freely and even some media take these data as true and report them in their services, distrust arises in the media. Consequently, mistrust also affects the scientific community that relies on the media to provide news and discoveries.

    The solution to this problem, as @andreastroppa has already written in a very complete answer and which I share at 100%, is clearly to educate the public so that it can evaluate the information to which it is subject with greater skills.

    As far as public authorities are concerned, the road is longer and more complicated. In order to regain trust, the public authorities of the future will have to clash with what is unfortunately Italian political history and prove themselves different.

    See ya at the conference!


    Hi guys,

    Thank you for your prompt replies over the questions I have proposed, I am glad to hear many opinions.

    I am in full agreement with your points of views regarding the rebuild of trust in our country. However, it is true that during these past weeks people seems to trust more, but the really question which also @andreastroppa exposed is – will people trust scientists, authorities and media even after the emergency is over? For example the “No-Vax” movement, they had no trust in scientific researchers even though they provided explanations of why vaccines are one of the greatest resources to fight different kinds of illness, but nowadays many “No-Vax” advocates are waiting and hoping that a vaccine would be find soon for Covid-19, I find it a paradox. When this will be all over will their trust in pharmaceutical companies and scientists disappear as nothing ever happened?

    Another fundamental doubt about the future is whether “will we be able to learn some lessons from this event in order to create, develop and start some programs/projects/procedures to help the country?” I think that many changes have been made in order to continue our lives from home. Just yesterday the ministry of education during the conference has admitted that the system employed until today to hire teachers, is not efficient. Most of the procedures have still to go thought post, documents and paper to be sing and send throughout Italy in order to complete a simple action. We have now the chance to bridge the gaps we are discovering. My hope is that from this period we will improve the technological advances procedures that still today require too many paper works which slow down the functioning of ministries and government.

    We learn from our mistakes and limits, as also Mr Lotito said in the last conference. This unfortunate event is our chance, as many of you pointed out, to rebuild the trust. In order to do that in my opinion public authorities, scientists and media should collaborate and cooperate, to achieve the same aim: spread knowledge to create informed citizen. 

    See you soon,



    Good morning everybody,

    Thanks to Ismaele for the topic and to all the people who took part in the debate.

    Personally, I think that tracking data is a quite divisive topic and this is the reason why it is a very closely concern in our society. Everybody knows that tracking data has been useful in some Eastern countries, such as China, Taiwan and South Korea to stop pandemic; but in the Western world it’s mandatory to find a break-even point between tracking and privacy. I made a bit of research about what ways of tracking data have been implemeted in Italy and in other countries to contain pandemic and to spot new hotbeds and in my opinion, some of them can be more shared than others.

    On 27th of March, Minister of innovation Paola Pisano announced: ‘ today it starts the work of ‘ data driven Group’ composed of numerous experts of health and privacy field.The objectives are the recognition of technologies useful for coping with the emergency and the elaboration of policies through data’. The idea is to use the GPS  for obtaining aggregate data and the Bluetooth for tracking people in a more specific way. Here there are some examples of apps:

    Covid Anonymous tracker was projected for monitoring devices close to yours in an anonimous way. Let’s imagine every mobile device was provided with an anonymous ID which can be remotely installed by Bluetooth. Covid Anonymous Tracker continuously scan in proximity of the place where we are and collect the anonimous ID of people close to us. Thanks to the tracker, doctors can update data through the IDs of devices belonging to people infected by Covid-19 and if they find out that they have been in touch with other people in the past 14 days, these people will receive some guidelines to follow.

    App del centro medico Sant’Agostino- this app uses GPS and can track the movements made by the infected person and discover who was in contact with in the previous weeks.

    AIxAI app- this app was projected  by University of Pisa and uses Bluetooth to track people in public places, for example pubs, in order to have an idea of many people are gathered. In the places where this app is in use, there’s a sign which warns people about the treatment of their data. If a person gets coronavirus, through this system it’s possible to know in which places she has been.

    Private Kit- this app was created by MIT in Boston and matches GPS with Bluetooth. This app warns the users if they had some contacts with an infected person. In a first phase, personal data are only on the device of the users, but when somebody of them gets infected, their data are stored in a centralized server in a coded way.

    These are just some of the apps approved by authorities to track people. From my point of view the first three apps are very useful to counteract pandemic and they are not too intrusive for individuals’ privacy; but the private kit used by the MIT experts excceds what is necessary to cope with the emergency and breaks the equilibrium between security and  privacy. Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli historian, has written this: ‘ temporary measures have the bad habit to survive emergencies, moreover because there’s always a new emergency at the horizon’. Unfortunately, the matter highlighted by Harari should concern every citizen in the world, because it is strictly connected to what will happen, once this plague is over. In 2013, Edward Snowden warned the world about the inappropriate use of our digtal data from the NSA and for this reason, if in this emergency time everybody is available to renounce to a part of their privacy, in future we have to demand maximum transparency to our governments of what they want to do with it.

    Have a nice day

    Guglielmo Calvi


    I would like to reply to @noemiscifo17. When we consent to the processing of our personal data on the sites, the consequence is that these are stored in a database and very often sold to agencies. It can therefore be said that a market exists thanks to our data.

    For example, we often find a certain product on some shopping sites. As soon as we click on the site page, a screen appears asking for consent for the processing of personal data. What leaves me perplexed, however, is that if we did not agree to grant our data, we often cannot even go forward and therefore either accept it by force, or we must change site. But it’s not over! As we know, our searches are saved and from the moment we show an interest in something, in the future the web screen of our devices will be full of advertising on the product we had been looking for.

    It may also happen that the sites send the advertisements, sites that we have not necessarily visited, this confirms that our data (relating to a certain interest / purchase) have been sold to others.

    Has it ever happened to you to buy a product on a site and immediately afterwards to continuously see advertisements for products similar to what we were looking for? Rhetorical question.

    This happens because the agencies try to profile us using the data on the searches we carry out and the IP address of the device we use.

    The logic applied on social networks is the same, only that instead of selling our data to other sites, they sell them instead to networks, in such a way as to show us only what interests us.

    I would like to make a short parenthesis that perhaps could help you. In order not to see the advertisements on the web screens there are several ways that I recommend. The first is certainly the “AD-Blocker” program, the second is an encrypted browser called “Brave”. It is a web browser that allows us to block all advertisements, but not only: it offers us to see some advertisements by obtaining a refund with cryptocurrencies.

    I leave you the link to the Brave page below if you are interested in having more information: https://urly.it/35bsz

    As for the location and tracking of our positions by the government, we shouldn’t be afraid. In this quarantine period we need to be controlled so as not to cause further harm to others or to ourselves.

    China and the Israeli Prime Minister are using this method of tracking positive people in order to monitor movements and maintain a certain order.

    “Biometric tracking would help a lot more in the war against coronavirus, but at what cost?”

    As Yuval Noah Harari said, through the use of biometric control and government algorithms, one would get to know the sick even before they realize it.
    Unfortunately, some governments are in favor of this method in order to have even more control over their population.

    In my opinion, the solution to this struggle is to try to trust. Both governments and its citizens should have mutual trust, because it is mainly thanks to what we can move forward.

    I would like to quote Yuval Noah Harari again because I fully agree with what he says that: “The coronavirus epidemic is an important citizenship test. In the days ahead, each of us should choose to trust scientific data and health experts on unfounded conspiracy theories and selfish politicians. If we cannot make the right choice, we may find ourselves giving up our most precious freedoms, thinking that this is the only way to safeguard our health. ”

    A further, perhaps even greater, problem will be the economic crisis which will follow the end of the pandemic and which requires global cooperation to best cope with it. this cooperation is the hard part! Let’s think about how Europe is working, the two most important states (France and Germany) have decided to close, like all the rest of the rest ..
    These states initially took her by the leg. Let’s think when in Italy there were “only” 4000 cases in total, while in France there were 400, from this numerical difference they started treating us like plague victims, they decided not to help us. However, let’s clarify this difference in positive cases.
    Doing the math, in Italy we had 4000 cases out of 10,000 swabs performed, in France 400 cases out of 1000 swabs. The proportions of positivity on the controls are the same, but they turned their back on us equally.
    Italy that initially expected a collaboration from the European Union found itself alone.
    Until China and Albania have come to the rescue, two states that have nothing to do with the EU. but they helped us anyway.

    If all the states do not behave as China and Albania did, global cooperation can never exist, as long as a government just thinks about its own pockets, not caring about the others, there can never be a collaboration between States.


    Good Afternoon guys!

    I thank @marco-canciani for the article Coronavirus: quando la fiducia diventa lo scopo. I risultati di uno studio del Cnr. I found it very interesting, especially with regard to the data that emerged from a Cnr survey that counted 4260 participants: a rather large representative sample! The survey wanted to investigate the relationship between the authorities and the trust of citizens: do we trust our institutions (government, Police, scientific community)? Are we willing to give up our freedom momentarily for the common good? We have said many times that this pandemic produces indications from the public authorities and also very restrictive regulations that condition the behaviour of each citizen. This change in behaviour can profoundly upset the lives of all of us and therefore also our priorities. Freedom or quarantine? Privacy or health? Safety distance or sharing moments?

    The study in question wanted to consider the concept of authority as much as possible outside of a political or partisan context, just to strip it of a possible influence on the opinion of citizens of a more strictly political nature, and therefore not always objective. The data are interesting and extremely confident: over three quarters of Italians trust the institutions and 93% are willing to give up their freedom (many also privacy) in order to speed up the time out of this pandemic. I leave you with a question:

    Is citizens’ trust in the authorities always strengthened during particularly intense crises?

    See you soon


    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Serena.

    Hi again!

    The article from @marco-canciani latest comment is enlightening, thank you for sharing it with us!

    It’s extremely interesting to understand the shift in trust habits that characterized our own country; it is also helpful to acknowledge that, what I am experiencing first hand, has actually been a larger scale trend. It is remarkable how 96,6% of the interviewed sample believes its individual collaboration to be essential for society and its public health. It shows self-motivation from our side, and it supports what I have mentioned in my latest comment. It is also encouraging the level of trust put in personalities from the scientific community and its institutions. Concerning the trust toward the scientific community, I must disagree with @niccolopuppo as I believe our country has had, in the previous decades as for the present, high consideration towards it. However, if the trust put in our political institutions is simply the direct effect of a shift of our needs as pointed out by Professor Rino Falcone, I believe the chances for this collective sentiment to be long-lived, to be scarce.

    To answer the latest questions posed by @andreastroppa I think, for what concerns Italy, our community will push toward a reform of public health services; we probably would have responded more promptly to the crisis if only our services would have not undergone the budget cuts imposed by previous governments. I agree completely with you in saying that we need to predict and prevent the consequences of the crisis, we will have to focus on rebuilding our economy, focusing on not leaving anyone behind in addition to avoiding a second wave of outbreak. The balance that needs to be achieved is a very thin line and we only can hope our government will be able to live up to such task.

    As one of the countries hit most heavily and as one of the first to institute a general lockdown, the eyes of the world are directed upon us. How we have been coping with the outbreak but mostly how we will rise again once the epidemic crisis will be over is fundamental given that, other countries will draw conclusions and direct their own conduct from our very achievements.

    See you soon!




    Hi everyone!

    In response to @giorgiaamatemaggio, the confidence of citizens in the authorities and science is the great increase, but will this trend continue even after the crisis? For me, it depends. It depends on how the scientific community will continue to be present in people’s lives on a daily basis and the importance that the authorities will attach to the scientific community. In my opinion, a big change must be made to make ordinary citizens more interested in science: a change in scientific language. Science and the media system will have to work in synergy to reinvent the scientific language (which must be more understandable, simple but not simplistic) and find more engaging ways to share it with the public.

    As @clearasperto has already said, personal data can be a very useful asset for the authorities to manage and prevent further spread of the virus, and therefore everyone should give their consent. In some Asian countries, such as China and South Korea, this practice is already underway and the results are great. However, there is a difference in mentality between Asians, who are more committed to the common good, and Europeans, who are generally more individualistic.

    It will be very important to manage the post-epidemic not only from the point of view of scientific dissemination, but also from an economic point of view: all this aid that Italy is allocating, how will it be repaid? How long will it take? Will the state finance special economic recovery plans? So far we have focused on very short-term results, through the redundancy fund, but now we will have to start in the short and medium term.

    See you soon!


    Ecco la registrazione del seminario di oggi con Arianna Maschietto di Plug & Play.

    Roberta Rabellotti


    I’m really happy guys, today in the seminar Arianna was really inspirational for me. We discussed for a while about so many questions in this forum and today she gave us a magnificent point of view regarding Italy and Innovation. For sure we still have some problems regarding the bureaucracy but that cannot stop us believing in our dreams. If we have an Innovative idea we must go for it, at least we have to try to develop it. As she said it doesn’t matter if we are men or  women. When we have a disruptive idea that’s what really count. Investments in VC are still fews if compared with the other European countries but we are the future. As such, we must let people know we’re talented, we want to change things and we are here to do it. It is all about us. Make a loss/crisis/defeat an opportunity!

    It was a real pleasure for me to work and exchange our ideas in this forum and it would be even more a pleasure in the future we will work together at some projects, who knows.

    Thank you so much guys and remember to add me on LinkedIn so we can always keep in touch. MY PROFILE

    Andrea Stroppa



    Hello everyone!

    We have reached the end of this experience. I would like to thank you all for sharing your ideas with me and listening to mine. Today’s conference was again illuminating. Arianna Maschietto sent me many emotions by telling her experience.

    At the end of this journey I would like to summarize what I will take home. Everything started from the various forms of innovation. To quote Mr. Lotito “technologies at the service of humanity“, able to bring many benefits to our lives, especially in this situation in which we are living.

    We also discussed a lot about the Silicon Valley model as a model to imitate. Listening to the stories of those who work with passion in the field of innovation, we understood that Italy can also be great in the world. We have always had the brightest minds and the talent to make incredible things. All the people we met during these seminars have shown that they believe in Italy and I would like to mention the last thing Arianna said “the luck for us Italians is to have talent and excellence on a global level. In addition to an important human capital“. We also understood that slow bureaucracy and taxation are the biggest obstacle for our startups. Things are moving in the right direction though. As I have already argued in a previous article, the government is investing heavily in innovation. Every obstacle can be overcome and as Arianna said “the collaboration between the different actors brings value to everyone. This will be the key to creating a strong ecosystem“. Where to start though? By us students, by us digital natives. As someone said “if not us, who can bring Italy to be great in the world?“. I strongly believe in the Italian ecosystem and I strongly believe in the work of VC like Plug and Play. The talent is there and there is also a great desire to do.

    We also discussed the effects that this situation will bring to our daily lives. When everything is over, the world will be completely changed. Social habits and behaviours are sure to change. Although the measures arise in the face of a critical moment, they could mark the definitive transition to digital, structurally accelerating this transformation. Here arises the need to invest in innovation and to quote @paolomarencoopportunity arises from problems“.

    Sometimes, however, it goes beyond the famous creepy line mentioned by Hannah Fry and here there are doubts and insecurities towards innovations. With the authorities who ask us to share our data through large tech companies, the question on the protection of our privacy returns to be felt. We have all been quite in agreement in saying that a balance should be found between the use and abuse of technology, also through means of media education. But I remain firmly convinced, and many with me, that the right to health comes first. At least in this specific season, always remembering that in legislative matters we will always be protected. Although we are outraged by the abuse of our data, we are the first to do nothing, when it would be enough (as I mentioned yesterday) to set aside the automatisms and educate ourselves to read what we have before our eyes.

    To conclude, I believe that every form of innovation is a potential benefit for all of us. As innovations are constantly evolving, it is normal for problems and critical issues to arise during the journey. But if the opportunity arises from the problem, this will only lead to a considerable improvement in all those innovative processes that we discussed together this month. To quote Mr. Lotito “... and long live the critical issues!“.


    I thank everyone again for listening to me. Thanks to @robertarabellotti and @paolomarenco for giving me the opportunity to be able to live and breathe a little of this fantastic world and thanks to @ismaelepaoli for continuously spurring us with new ideas. I would like to stay in touch with each of you and in this regard I leave you my LinkedIn profile.

    See you soon!


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