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The need for calculations and visions

A guest lecture by Ignazio Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, provides a better understanding of the current situation and its possible developments

 

An economy is based on measurements and planning, but also on visions that go beyond calculations. It must also take changes in society and history into account. Culture in the broadest sense, which blends with an economic and production culture that must increasingly combine good budgets with an important focus on the local area and people’s development. Hints of this can be found in the guest lecture given by the Governor of the Bank of Italy, Ignazio Visco, at the Gran Sasso Science Institute on 16th December. Reading it could be useful for many people.

“Economy, innovation, knowledge” is a good summary of the relationships between the movements and forces of production, the capacity for change, and consequently, the degree of education and knowledge present in social systems. With a particular focus on the situation in Italy, the Governor discusses the factors that put the country at a disadvantage even before the Covid-19 pandemic and which will therefore make the post-pandemic recovery more difficult. The reasons relate to Italian economic and political history, which in turn should be placed in the context of more general history.

After setting out a number of indicators relating to the current situation, Visco goes on to consider the main drivers of change, including research and innovation, digitalisation and “human capital” before outlining the “challenges for the future”.  It is here that the essential union between science and spirit, between calculation and vision becomes clearer and more urgent. “The rediscovery of study, both scientific and philosophical, is the true root of human and social progress, the condition for economic development”. Visco’s guest lecture is a must-read for everyone.

Economy, innovation, knowledge

Ignazio Visco

Guest lecture, Gran Sasso Science Institute, 16th December 2020