Trento Economics Festival | Meeting with Fabio Tamburini

23 May 2023

Fabio Tamburini, Director of Il Sole 24 Ore, Radio 24, and the Radiocor news agency, presented a preview of the Trento Economics Festival at Bologna Business School. With engaging passion and enthusiasm, the Festival’s Scientific Director shared the program’s highlights. He discussed the sectors and personalities involved in this exceptional event, now in its 18th edition, scheduled for May 25th to 28th, 2023.

Once again, the Festival presents a dynamic and innovative program that brings together the brightest minds from the scientific, academic, entrepreneurial, and managerial worlds. 

Alongside the main program, there is an “Off-Festival” extending the event throughout the city, offering unique content that spans culture, social media, and entertainment, using new languages ranging from education to infotainment. On stage and in the squares of Trento, talents, creators, and influencers will also take turns, along with live broadcasts by Radio 24 and television coverage thanks to Sky, allowing the Festival to reach users nationwide.

This year, the Festival has chosen “The Future of the Future” as its central theme, focusing on the world’s challenges and opportunities in an era of unprecedented change. According to Tamburini, we are living in an era characterized by an accelerated rate of change that surpasses anything we have experienced in the past. From the advent of smartphones to the rise of artificial intelligence, technological advancements are redefining our way of life and business management. This acceleration of change will intensify even more in the coming years, with a significant impact of new technologies (AI, first and foremost) on every aspect of our lives. In this perspective, the chosen theme represents a natural evolution from last year’s edition, which focused on the post-pandemic era and the transformations of globalization. “At this crucial moment,” explained Tamburini, “it is essential to understand the future that awaits us and how to tackle the challenges it brings.” One of the central aspects of the Festival is the analysis of geopolitical dynamics, with particular attention to countries that are now more than just emerging and have immense potential, such as Africa and India. During his speech, Tamburini highlighted how Africa is a young continent, constantly evolving and full of contradictions. India surpasses China regarding the speed of change, birth rate, and economic development. “It is vital,” Tamburini said, “to address these geopolitical realities promptly to avoid negative consequences and seize the opportunities they offer.”

The Festival welcomes an exceptional list of prominent participants, including leading figures from the scientific world, economics experts, and key industry figures. They are so numerous and well-articulated in various panels that, as Tamburini pointed out, it is impossible to mention them all: “We will have the presence of Nobel laureates like Joseph Stiglitz,” he said, “who will participate in the first of a series of initiatives in memory of the brilliant French economist Jean-Paul Fitoussi, who last year took part in organizing the Festival but passed away suddenly.” Other Nobel laureates present will include Muhammad Yunus, who will once again speak about sustainability and economic development; Robert Shiller, a Yale professor and Nobel laureate in Economic Sciences, who will discuss how emotions and fears influence investments; and Tawakkul Karman, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who will speak about Africa and its new frontiers. Among the Nobel laureates are Lech Walesa and an iconic figure in physics like Adam Riess.

But that’s not all. Among the various participants, there will also be 40 economists and representatives from the real economy. “In my opinion,” the Director explained, “it is a serious mistake to focus only on academia and finance since the real world operates thanks to the manufacturing industry, a key sector in our country, although we often forget it.” There will also be the new President of Enel, Paolo Scaroni, the outgoing CEO of Enel, Francesco Starace, and the CEO of Tim, Pietro Labriola, who will participate in an event with BBS Dean Max Bergami.

“We have media partners like the Financial Times and Sky, which will broadcast live, telling the Festival’s story around the city,” Tamburini added. “We will also have a representative group of top-level Italian journalists. Ezio Mauro will be there with a highly relevant speech on the relationship between the West and Russia, and Ferruccio De Bortoli will interview former Prime Minister Mario Monti.Romano Prodi, Giulio Tremonti, and the former Governor of the Bank of Italy, Antonio Fazio, are also confirmed to participate.

But can we talk about the future without looking at space and the evolution of artificial intelligence? Certainly not. Therefore, with Samantha Cristoforetti, there will be a discussion on Space Economics. At the same time, with Paola Severino, we will explore how artificial intelligence is changing the organization of work in law firms. Paolo Gentiloni will talk about Europe alongside Sergio Fabbrini, a commentator for Il Sole 24 Ore, and there will also be uncomfortable topics such as legality and tax evasion. The presence of ministers Crosetto, Valditara, and Piantedosi, as well as the Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, is also expected.

“The Festival of Economics is traditionally an event for young people, and it must remain so,” Tamburini concluded. “This year, the Festival comes of age, and it will give even more voice to young people, especially those from Trentino, who will share how they imagine their future and present some thesis papers on the Festival’s themes.”

The presentation at BBS concluded with a speech by Dean Max Bergami, who highlighted how passion is a fundamental driver for achieving any great endeavour. Without passion, a director like Tamburini would have been unable to “put together this program while doing another demanding daily job since the newspaper needs to be published every day.” The Dean pointed out how organizing such a rich, articulated, and complex Festival can represent a fascinating management case study: “It seems to last three months, but it’s only four days, although they will be intense, thanks to an uncommon organizational effort.” Finally, he emphasized how the Economics Festival reminds us that today interdisciplinary approaches are essential to broaden one’s vision and approach a future as capable and successful managers or entrepreneurs.


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