“The future in the Tech world? It belongs to those who can create value.” Interview with Prof. Andrea Pia

23 November 2022

In the aftermath of an exciting International Week spent in the now-legendary Silicon Valley, the international heart of innovation, Executive MBA English Edition Executive Director Andrea Pia takes stock of technologies, trends and the future for those about to enter the fascinating yet unpredictable world of new technologies. 

 Among the highlights of the Executive MBA English Edition is the International Week, which this year saw participants embark on a trip to California to visit Silicon Valley, the heart of international innovation. Could you briefly tell us how it went?

The Executive MBA English Edition is generally a very intense experience in which each educational topic is explored in depth with practical cases and the direct testimony of managers and professionals. The International Week is something of the pinnacle of this experience, during which the most innovative topics are addressed and there is a discussion of their entrepreneurial and application impact with the world’s most cutting-edge companies. Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Blockchain are just some of the topics that are addressed, alongside the most modern and effective methods of widespread entrepreneurship, performance management and organization.

The International Week is also an opportunity for participants to exchange ideas, where they seek to understand how the models presented are applicable to their own industrial and business ecosystems. BBS stands out among business schools precisely because of its ability to develop the critical spirit of its students. Taking this approach to very innovative companies is an activity that helps improve one’s standing and leadership. 

Speaking of Tech and Innovation, the Web Summit, a major international event concerning these very issues, was held recently. What are the most interesting trends or insights that emerged that our participants should keep in mind?

The central theme of the WS was Web 3.0, which is nothing more than an umbrella concept, a set of technologies and trends that are aligning with respect to a vision of a more distributed, free and accessible Internet. A vision whereby creators and users are recognized for providing more value, with the goal of avoiding the monopoly of the big giants such as Apple, Meta, Google, Amazon, etc. Enabling technologies such as Blockchain, AI, ML, VR/AR/MR, IOT, 5G, etc. are the building blocks on which this new version of the web is being built. The opportunity for students in the EMBA English edition is to approach these topics with a holistic approach that, beginning with strategy and value creation and distribution, comes to identify what applications and uses are most suitable for these types of technologies.

Back to Silicon Valley, after Twitter, Meta has also declared that it will dispense with a large part of its staff. The world is wondering if there is a crisis in the social media sphere? How do you think these giants should evolve in order to survive?

Web2.0 has shown all its limitations. The market, the users, the people -particularly the younger generations – demand more participation in value and more power as a community. Think about the concepts of digital ownership, which means ownership of one’s own data, and what I create online (content, community, software, etc.). Current platforms are struggling to intercept these new trends and evolve from a business model that is too focused on advertising, also considering the new rules on data and the use of cookies. What we teach Executive MBA English Edition participants at BBS is that in order to survive in this context we need to start with the value which, as a company, we can generate for all our stakeholders. Those who can capture this value and redistribute it will survive; the others are doomed to decline.

Are virtual reality and the metaverse really the future or have they been overestimated? 

Whilst there is currently a lot of discussion and interest around these issues, there seems to be little real time practical progress in terms of business. However, behind an overload of information are trends and technologies that are the foundations of the physical-digital world in which we now are. For this reason, the real question is not whether or not they represent the future of the Internet, but rather how they can contribute to growth and value generation for our businesses and the stakeholders who relate to them. Answering this question requires skills in strategy, creativity technology and a strong understanding of the domain in which one operates. The EMBA English Edition pathway at BBS aims precisely at developing this knowledge and this approach, regardless of the specific technological development.


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