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

181 replies, 41 voices Last updated by Paolo Marenco 3 years, 9 months ago
  • Giorgia

    Hello guys,

    I would like to thank @elvira-dimascio first of all for her concern and secondly for pointing out, how in this current emergency situation we are living in, many companies have made accessible their service for everyone who is in need to keep in touch with colleagues and friends. Here is the link of the digital solidarity provided by the Department of National Innovation, she was talking about : https://solidarietadigitale.agid.gov.it/#/ 

    Regarding what has been said about culture, art and museum I would like to share my opinion. I am a traditional person: I prefer paper book than e-book, as I prefer to admire paintings or sculptures in their own real beauty, seeing them with my eyes and not through a display. I am not a great fan of “digital art”, but I was recently informed that museums of all over the World are permitting people to make virtual tour in these critical days. This has been one of the greatest initiatives because they are permitting us to bring the culture in our houses, and even if it sounds a little cheesy, there is nothing more important that knowledge. During these days we have a choice to make, we can sit in our homes and watch Netflix all day long, our we could widen our horizons: study something new, do a virtual tour of a museum we have always wanted to visit but it was always too far away. Thanks to technology and solidarity we have today access to many resources. It is time for us to use them.

    Wish you all a good day,


    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by Giorgia.

    Hi everybody,

    I’m Alessio Di Roberto and I’m currently attending the second year of the Political Science and International Relations Bachelor’s Degree.

    I’m 22 and even though I was born and I lived in Milan for 15 years, now I live in the countryside near Piacenza.

    Since I was little I always loved history and this passion, later on, brought me to develop a natural curiosity in Politics too. In the last years, I gradually understood that I could not fully comprehend history and politics without knowing all I could about economics, whose consequences are of main importance for individuals, cities, nations and, eventually, our entire world.

    I read much about this topic and a big help is given to us by technology. Almost everybody nowadays, in Italy(and many other countries in the world) can now access a lot of information almost completely for free. The pieces of information are around us, all we have to do is to search and sift them.

    I’m particularly intrigued by the Start-Up world since technology is something Italy has many times forgotten and left behind. We got the means to act and modernize our country but still, even with all the efforts, we lack behind many other European and Western Countries(not to mention countries like the US, Japan or South Korea).

    Innovation. This is the word. This is the only way a new renaissance can flourish. Will we be able to challenge the defiances and enter the future? I hope so.

    I beg your pardon for being verbose and sometimes even melodramatic. Still, I hope I got your attention and, hoping you will forgive me for my delay in writing this text, I hope we will have the opportunity to know each other better.

    Alessio Di Roberto



    Hi everybody!

    I’m Mirko Re and i’m currently attending the second year of the Political Science and International Relations Bachelor’s Degree.

    I was born in Pavia and i live in San Martino Siccomario, a little town nearby Pavia. i’m 20 years old.

    First of all, i have to apologize: this forum was opened last week and this is my first reply after a whole week, i’m really sorry about that.

    With that said, i want to introduce myself with a very short life recap: i define myself as a “360° guy” because if something makes curiosity inside my mind, i start searching informations inside books, websites and so on. still, i have some favourite topics that i prefer more than others which are technology, politics, science and geography. as i said before, i’m 360° guy so with me you can talk about everything, and if i didn’t know something you’ll be sure that i will start searching for informations about that specific topic. before the university i was a student of a commercial institute; after years of lessons about law and economy i had a better idea of the next step of my journey, so after the state exam i choose to attend the Political Science and International Relations Bachelor’s Degree; this because i’m interested about politics and also about the international relationships between nations and international institutions.

    When i saw the Silicon Valley Study Tour program i was really happy: the world of Start-Up isn’t famous in Italy because there are few companies so i hope to visit the Silicon Valley in order to learn about new opportunities and quality of life improvements made by Start-Up companies.

    And this is the end of my introduction. hope you like it!


    Hello guys! I’ve already introduced myself, but for the newcomers : I’m Federica. In this historical period I have a lot of time to reflect, particularly on what concerns technology. Okay, I am a great advocate that it is a strong instrument , but we need to use it with moderation and attention ! This is the theory, but I’m realizing that right now technology can save us from this difficult situation. Technology can help us not to fall into despair. We are close virtually, creating hope. Now I’m so grateful to have a phone, a computer and internet to communicate, to video-call with my family and friends. Also, for example, the opportunity to discover and to visit museums  virtually is wonderful although I am a real museum lover.. but I am learning the preciousness of that instrument. So the advice I would like to give is: we learn to use technology with awareness, that it is a positive addition to our lives, respecting the nature around us.


    Hello everyone!

    I want to thank you guys, especially @giorgiaamatemaggio and  @jacopotirintilli, for raising awareness about the development and implementation of technology applied to museums, they are very often discredited; however, one must acknowledge as @elviradimascio mentioned, that this is, indeed, a valuable tool for whoever due to an illness, a disability or lack of opportunity to travel to different places and cannot benefit from them.  As a matter of fact, a couple of years ago I returned to the U.S. and had the chance to visit, what up to date I consider the most beautiful museum I have ever had the opportunity to visit: the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I fell in love with its galleries and I have the chance to keep visiting them, although not in real life, but through my computer. I value incredibly and will always consider myself immensely grateful for the opportunity to explore once more such places.

    On that note, have you ever heard about Google Arts and culture? I discovered it a few years ago reading an article for one of my high school classes; It is an ongoing, almost decade long, project; it allowed the creation of an online platform, that not only provides a series of museum tours and online interactive exhibition but also offers high resolution images of many masterpieces. One can zoom into a particular artworks and analyse brushstrokes and details with great specificity. In addition it offers the opportunity to explore various cultural sites online, such as Versailles, the Colosseum or Stonehenge to name a few. Furthermore, it has recently launched a program that will allow to explore Unesco world Heritage sites under threat due to climate change.This astonishing platform has expanded incredibly throughout the years and provides artworks from over 12000 museums all over the globe.

    It is accurate to draw attention to one of the downsides that is the selectiveness and soggettive connotation of the platform, not every artwork is included, only the ones our society considers most lustrous. Even technology takes its own time to further refine itself and with time, I am positive, we will get to benefit from a broader number of art pieces and further fill in this existing gap. Another gap filled by technology is the social one, development and innovation allow us to tare down social barriers like never before.


    I will leave you with a question that may open a really interesting discussion: “in which other ways has technology smothered social differences in our population?”



    Good morning people.

    My name is Enrico Bottini, I’ve just turned 26 and I’m enrolled in the master course of Studies of Africa and Asia(SAA) at the University of Pavia. Probably my background is a bit diffentent than most of you becouse I’ve got graduated in Languages, Cultures and Societies of Asia and Mediterranean Africa at the University of Ca’Foscari in Venice.

    Even if my curriculum is not closely related to the world of Silicon Valley, technologies or innovation, I do believe in the absolute importance of multidisciplinary and that’s the point of view that lead me every day since I started to try to develope a critical ability on any type of situation in real life.

    When i was studying Japanese language in Venice I found out the opportunity of travel to USA in order to partecipate at the Model United Nations (MUN) in New York. Then as now I had the chance of working on something apparently different from my field of work and I decided to accept that challenge.                                                                                It was a very unique experience in many ways: first I visited and appreciated the most important city in the world and that changed my idea of city and lifestyle. Then, this travel gave me courage of leaving my comfort zone and so I did later too in many occasions. At last, I got involved in world of International relations and that was probably the moment I realised what i wanted to study and brought me to do what i’m doing now.

    What I mean is that some opportunities only come once and u never know what u leave behind if you don’t try. I hope to be happly surprised by this experience as i was with others in my life and I wish it will be a revealing time for anyone who participates.

    Enjoy the forum, and I hope to meet you soon guys.

    Take care,





    Hello everyone,

    I think that @gabriellalocati question “in which other ways has technology smothered social differences in our population?” opens a great subject of discussion.

    During last days we have mostly spoken about technology aspects that benefit us people as individuals, such has assistive technologies for people with disabilities and arts & culture improvements. However, technology has also benefited people as groups and communities. Some examples we have already taken into consideration could be the digital solidarity project or the possibility, nowadays, to connect and work simultaneously with colleagues in another city, country or continent.

    Anyway, to answer to Gabriella’s question, in my opinion the way by which technology has smothered social differences is the chance that it has given to connect people far away from each other. I will make an example to clarify my point of view. Imagine to people, both with the same hypothetical problem, on the internet they could find each other via forums, just like our, and share their experiences, share their problems, find a solution together. It does not matter if one is rich and the other one comes from the suburbs; it does not matter if one is educated and the other one is not. They could discuss, as we do, they could find a solution, work together. That, in my opinion, is the greatest application of technology to smother social differences. Having a display between two people could be both a downside and a positive aspect, it depends from the use that we make of it.

    What do you think about it? Has someone any other point in favour?

    Wish you all a nice weekend,


    Hi guys, how are you?

    First of all, I completely agree with @fabianadurso,  nowadays technology is everywhere around us, and we often take it for granted and don’t appreciate its potential!

    Then, like @jacopotirintilli, I’d like to talk about technology in Museums. Some years ago, in 2012 I went to Rome for a trip with my cousin. During our tour, we decided to visit a museum, whose name I can’t remember at the moment. We went into a room in which there were half-done artworks, so it seemed a piece was missing. Reading information about the author, we discovered we needed  to download a specific app on our smartphone, in order to see the entire work. After following each step, we finally saw the entire artwork through the screen of our smartphones…and it was amazing! Augmented Reality was a kind of technology I didn’t experienced before, so I was really astonished!

    It is only one of various application of technology in our everyday life, and I’m really interested in reading your experiences, especially because I’ve never studied it deeply.


    Hello guys! How are you? I will probably be one of the last to introduce myself but how do you say "the last but not the least" right? So let's start! My name is Marta, I am 20 years old and I am currently attending the second year of Communication, Innovation and multimedia (CIM).
    As soon as I read about this wonderful opportunity I immediately decided to participate! The reasons? Well there are many, first of all for the possibility of sharing experiences and ways of seeing the world with other students of my university since knowing each other unfortunately is not possible. The main reason that pushed me to be interested, however, is the wide international scope that this tour manages to give, in fact in the first presentation conference I was struck by a girl who attended last year and wanted to give her testimony.
    While she was speaking I found a lot of myself in her, even in fact, living in a small reality, I often feel "oppressed" as if I could not have a full vision of the surrounding world, do you ever have this kind of feeling? So this tour would be a crazy opportunity to really understand how the world goes. Also, I have never been able to visit the United States and I just made my passport so what better opportunity to start using it!
    The thing that fascinates me most about this opportunity is to understand what is behind the big companies, whose services we normally use. What is behind a certain decision or a marketing choice? Seeing all this facts from a business point of view and told by those who do this for work as well as being of great inspiration is also very intriguing.
    I thank in advance all those who have reached this point will have spent some time to read my presentation!
    With the hope that soon we could all meet in person, a big hug

    Hey guys!

    First things first, welcome @martaspacca, I look forward to reading your contribution to this forum!

    To continue, thank you @giorgiaamatemaggio for sharing your insight; the connection we benefit from thanks to technology is something I deeply value as a powerful instrument to bridge the existing social gap. One can also consider that, technological innovations, that have evolved throughout decades, enable us to establish, maintain and further our social network. We can keep contact with people with whom we have not spoken for years and benefit from her extended social system as @stefaniatibiletti has mentioned during the first conference.

    However, I wish for all of us to take a step back and analyse the topic from another angle; as a matter of fact, technology might as well widen the social gap rather than bridge it. Nowadays we take for granted that every household disposes of technological devices, although that might not always be the case. Many families around the globe do not have access to wifi or to technological means such as computers or telephones. Take Italy for instance, we are currently under what would be called a “general lockdown”, however our universities decided to either establish online classes, or to share information (Pdf, slides, articles etc.) through platforms such as Kiro. The entire education system was able to mobilize itself and evolve in order to overcome the difficult situation we find ourselves in. With this in mind, I must draw attention to the fact that as a society we often fail to realise that there may be people that are not able to access to technological devices at all; perhaps a household disposes of a singular device that is needed by a parent in order to work from home, or maybe two kids share the same device and struggle to follow online-classes due to schedule overlap, access to wifi may be another issue as well. In this particular scenario, technology represents a “digital divide”  that is to say, a digital disparity that takes also the form of differences in ability and participation in the digital world as well ast just a lack of Internet access. Although, through technology mediated learning, students are provided with the opportunity to search for or to analyse information, communicate and collaborate, we must take into account “accessibility” and tackle the unequal distribution of social resources (that also includes the fact that many people lack of skills to thrive in digital age).

    In addition, widely spread misinformation and different level to access that may vary from country to county (censure in China) are issues that must be taken into account and dealt with in order to bridge the social disparities. Technological means, if adequately used, and through the proper degree of inclusion can and ought to be employed to overcome existing inequalities rather than creating new ones.

    If you are interested I will leave you the link of a very stimulating article I read on the subject:




    Hello everybody!

    First, I would like to thank all of you for the amazing stories shared about the application of technology in different fields. Honestly, this has been an opportunity for me to learn many new things and I have been passionate about reading your posts!

    It is amazing to discover how technology is applied to our everyday life 😉

    Reflecting on the difficult period we are going through, technology is supporting us under many aspects. Some of you mentioned different ways through which technology helps us in shortening distances, making people feel closer. Moreover, tech is supporting schools, universities and companies, to overcome issues: think about some software tools like Skype or Zoom. On the other hand, this boosts us to change and learn new approaches and methodologies.

    I recently read this Deloitte’s article “Social Distancing for COVID-19: Learning Technology to the Forefront”: I think this could be interesting as it gives some starting points for our reflections on technology. https://capitalhblog.deloitte.com/2020/03/19/social-distancing-for-covid-19-learning-technology-to-the-forefront/#more-9908

    What do you think? How are you activating your learning during these days? How do you think innovation can help us in this moment and how our habits will change after an intense use of online technologies like this?


    Good morning everyone!

    Thanks to Ismaele for the topic.

    For two weeks now I have been experimenting with distance learning (which I like to call smart learning). I am feeling well but I must necessarily make some considerations about it. As I am, this type of learning is not very effective, I much prefer human contact. Staying at home can be an advantage in terms of convenience, but the list of pros stops at this point. When I find myself attending a lecture at university I manage to maintain a much higher level of attention than being in front of a screen, in the three square meters of my room for hours, also thanks to the total media immersion that characterizes our way of life and which becomes the source of countless distractions.

    Technological innovation is helping us to face this period of detachment from everyday life. Many large companies have already been offering smart working to their employees for years and the challenge is necessarily played by small and medium-sized businesses, which had not yet invested in remote work. In response, tech companies are launching a growing number of free services and updates to more advanced tools to deal with the emergency we are experiencing.

    What will happen next? When everything is over the world will come out completely changed. Social habits and behaviour will surely change. Although the measures arise in the face of a critical moment, they could mark the (almost) definitive transition to digital, structurally accelerating this transformation.

    Finally, I would like to report the initiative carried out by Huawei in collaboration with Fastweb (of which you have surely heard of). The companies donated 250 devices between smartphones and tablets equipped with SIM cards to support Covid-19 patients in intensive care in Lombardy, giving them the opportunity to stay in touch with loved ones.

    Wish you a good week!


    Hello everyone!

    Given the current lockdown situation we are living in, technology has been an extreme fundamental resource. As I have already said in my last post, technology bring people together and help them to work, cooperate and collaborate from different places at the same time. It not only applies to people from different country, but as we are ascertaining, it applies also to people not physically so far away from each other.

    Many tools such as the ones @ismaelepaoli named, are opening new chances and new processes thanks to which we could study, learn and work from home. I would like to focus our attention on the future expectation of what is going to happen when we will go back to normality. Will smart working be used in tertiary realities as much as it used today? Or people will completely go back as it were before? What kind of pros and cons smart working has both on productivity and the environment?

    I agree with @marco-canciani that leaning in a classroom in person in way more effective, but I disagree on his point of view in which the only positive aspect is convenience. It is true that we are living in a time in which we are almost always surrounded by the media and distractions, but I think it depends on ourselves and how much we want to focus. It happens both for learning and working. We are aware that we are living in a world of temptations, but we could easily lock them out by switching off our phones when we want to concentrate or close the e-mail when we do not want to be disturbed. It mostly depends from our willpower.

    To continue his reasoning about what will happen in the future I agree that we will live in a changed world. It is safe to tell that the lockdown is helping our planet to restore itself: animals are moving freely, pollution has decreased, just to mention two positive aspects. By working at home, we limit number of cars moving around polluting the air, we reduce emissions and costs of heating and lighting of big companies’ buildings, we diminish costs and pollution also by not travelling for work purposes and so on… We could, and we should, learn a lesson from what we are facing. Living a greener lifestyle, helping the environment, it is possible just by using wisely technology. In these days we are intensively learning how to maximise the thousands of application and services we already have.

    We also must acknowledge what @gabriellalocati correctly said about digital divide. For this reason, I am not saying that we will have to stop going to work physically at all, I am just proposing to combine the actual system to the previous one, to have a way more effective life-workstyle. Moreover, many studies have proven that smart working could improve productivity and well-being.

    What do you think will happen after the Covid-19 emergency? What is your expectation from the future?

    Have a nice day,



    Hello everybody,

    As the epidemic is spreading at an alarming rate, our country, as many others, have been equipping themselves through technological means to respond to the crisis.

    Telehealth is now on the rise as public health officials are pressing the healthcare systems to expand their telemedicine through smartphones and other technological means. In times where seeking treatment in medical facilities, perhaps overcrowded, means risking contagion, technology can aid medical personnel to triage and diagnose patients from a safe environment, exponentially limiting contact.

    Technology is reaching out on us, in such rough times,  by helping the most vulnerable among our society. Take “Ninja robots” for instance, designed by an engineering team in order to assist medical crew in different medical facilities in Bangkok; they are able to take patient’s temperature and also permit staff to communicate with patients through videos while safeguarding the health the already heavily burdened doctors and nurses. They were designed, initially to monitor stroke patients, but were quickly repurposed in order to respond to the health crisis. The team is working to create new robots and also to upgrade them to perform tasks such as cleaning infected wards or deliver food to sick patients.  (Here’s an interesting article on the subject).


    Furthermore, as we are all aware of, the elder portion of our society is one of the most vulnerable to the virus; although surely not a lighthearted decision, many countries decided, during the last months, to close nursing home from all kinds of visitors.

    The robotic company “Zora Bots” has deployed roughly 70 robots to retirement houses in Belgium in order to aid elders fight or at least alleviate loneliness by getting in touch with their friends and family. The robots, named nicknamed “James,” help elders communicate with the outside world amidst the social distancing sparked by the Covid-19. The company realised that they were not going to use any of the robots among the pandemic disaster and offered, free of charge, to lend their technology to those in need, in a gesture of great empathy and generosity. Mr. Goffin, co-chief executive of the company, has also assured that approximately 700 more robots are being requested from its Chinese manufacturer to be thereafter lent to nursing homes all over Europe.

    (here’s another link concerning the discussion)


    So now, what’s your impression on the implementation of these technologies? Do you consider them an useful addition?

    To provide my point of view to ongoing discussion on how our society will alter its behavior once returned to normality, I think that, besides the changes in small/medium sized businesses already mentioned by @marcocanciani, our community will probably benefit by a change in misconception regarding work from home.

    In addition, I believe that we will face a major evolution regarding voting systems around the globe as many countries as USA and France find themselves in the middle of a presidential election. I strongly believe that we will move forward electronic voting very soon. Once the first step will be taken our governments will not be able to step back and we will be able to benefit from a easier, voting method.

    Furthermore, I think that we will come out of this experience equipped with a healthier digital lifestyle; take for instance the numerous live video concert shared by musicians, or poetry/prose readings promoted through the web by authors or simply by groups of people with a passion for literature. Our community has found innovative ways to spread human generosity and empathy. Digital solidarity will remain a singular trait of our social lives.

    Finally, to answer the question about the continuity of our learning activity, as far as I am concerned I am taking my classes using an online platform, named “Kiro”;The platform has gone under various improvements in the past weeks, since it has never faced such influx, in order to allow continuity in the learning process of the students. Few courses, such as the linguistic ones or the conferences we are following for this project, are being, rather successfully, held on “Google Meet”. I do believe that our university tried to tackle as fast as possible the issue, however many professors were not able to adapt as fast since many of them lack the technological abilities and very few of them decided to implement the usage of this platform in the past; this is another reason why I too, as both @marcocanciani and @giorgiaamatemaggio highly prefer live lectures.

    Nonetheless, considering that I am a commuting student, I value online courses as extremely useful, a real source of relief, that might help me go through busy days. I also believe that if every professor was given the opportunity to lecture through “Google Meet” app in an efficient way, the differences in the types of didactic would be minimum. In my opinion our university still has to go along way an optimize the level of integration and response to the crisis taken into account the response of other universities. However the way our educational system has adjusted in the last month  is great source of praises.

    What’s your opinion on online learning? How can it be enhanced?



    Hello Ismaele,

    it’s been almost a month since the digital lessons replaced the live lessons, well what to say?

    At the moment, they are certainly the only means at our disposal to make us able to attend the lessons and continue with our studies. They are able to recreate, even if only in part, the atmosphere of the university classroom but nevertheless they are instruments that in my point of view are very limited.

    The main tools we use in our study courses are: podcasts and live shows.

    Podcasts are the best way for me to provide lessons to students. In fact, they often prove to be be clearer and with much simpler explanations, probably the result of prepared speeches and given the means, easier to follow.

    Live lessons, on the other hand, are an interesting tool but which I personally find not very useful for the purposes of the lessons, this for a very simple problem: interaction. I will go against the current with this but it’s what I sincerely think.

    Classroom interaction is a key element of school and university lessons but digital interaction is something that I don’t think fits well with these forced distance lessons. The problem lies in the communication tools, which are not predisposed to support the typical interaction rate that exists between teacher and students. This desire for interaction often turns into slowdowns, errors on the platform and declines in attention.

    I, for example, find myself much more attentive to listening to a podcast than to a live lesson.

    What will follow this global emergency I think will certainly be a major development and enhancement of these digital systems. The reason is that the coronavirus has thrown the world into a reality that no one could have foreseen, a world in which you are forced to keep a distance from your neighbor. At the end, I think that emergency platforms will be introduced and developed, designed precisely for these specific situations in order to offer the possibility of communicating and interacting remotely with the maximum possible efficiency.

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