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Knowledge to innovate

The governor of the Bank of Italy speaks once more about the relationships between teaching, innovation, finance and development

 

Innovate or perish. This increasingly appears to be the dilemma facing not just individual businesses but also, and above all, entire production systems. A question of skill, and therefore knowledge, but also of possibilities, and therefore the necessary technological and – even more importantly – financial resources. In any case, a good part of the (serious) debate on the development of individual businesses and the country itself revolves around these concepts.

Reading the introductory speech of Ignazio Visco, governor of the Bank of Italy, at the opening of the 2019–2020 academic year at the University of Cagliari is certainly a good idea if you want to learn more about the real crux of the aforementioned issues.

In his speech, ‘Innovazione, conoscenza, finanza’ (‘innovation, knowledge, finance’), Visco begins his argument with an observation on the changes that have taken place in Italy in recent years before underlining how ‘investing in knowledge’ is the ‘best tool we, both young and not-so-young, have for transforming the risks that come with these changes into opportunities.’

The governor then explains the nature of the agents of change – innovation, globalisation and demographics – before moving onto assessing the consequences of this change, noting that, despite everything, these have mostly been positive, but also identifying the ‘costs’ of this change.

Focusing more closely on Italy, Visco then explains: ‘In Italy the production system has not managed to quickly adapt to the major changes that technology and globalisation have produced over time; the productivity and growth potential of the economy have suffered as a consequence.’ The author then moves onto examining the financial aspects and those relating to knowledge. As regards the former, he states how ‘the scepticism of the public’ can threaten ‘the activity of the financial system at its very root’ and therefore ‘potentially compromise its effectiveness, given that the entire financial world is built on the trust of investors and cannot therefore overlook the importance of ethical behaviour.’ As for the latter, Visco explains: ‘The availability of suitable expertise is the fundamental prerequisite for successfully dealing with the uncertainty that will surround the jobs of the future.’

As ever, Ignazio Visco’s talk is clear and comprehensible to all even when he tackles complex issues: a speech to both read and keep hold of, then.

 

Innovazione, conoscenza, finanza
Ignazio Visco

Introductory speech at the University of Cagliari, inauguration for the 2019–2020 academic year

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