XIII Alumni Reunion: Multiplying Opportunities

9 July 2019

Saturday, June 29th, the Bologna Business School Community met at Villa Guastavillani for the annual event dedicated to the discussion on management and the current issues of society.

The morning opened with the Choir of the Cantori Gregoriani of Cremona and the Managerial Meditations of Lorenzo Forni, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Padua, as well as author of the bestseller No meal is free. Why politicians and economists don’t get along (Nessun pasto è gratis. Perché politici ed economisti non vanno d’accordo). “Credibility is everything in economics. It is not always so in politics, where it is often more important what appears or what you want to show,” Professor Forni explained to those present. What, though, is credibility? “It is the ability to get the announced results, while at the same time meeting resource constraints. Because without constraints and restrictions we are all capable of keeping our promises.”



The Stories of Multiplied Opportunities, 5 workshops dedicated to sustainability, inclusion, internationalization, work and digital, have given the Community of BBS the opportunity to discuss the main transformations taking place in today’s society. In each workshop, five Alumni of the School, supported by as many Faculty members, shared their professional experiences and the opportunities arising from some challenges faced in their business context.

The workshop Inclusiveness Challenges investigated, through the experiences of Francesco Baruffi (Emilbanca), Federico Zambelli Hosmer (PayPal), Rita Melcarne (Ducati), Pietro Ravagli (Società Dolce) and Francesco Raphael Frieri (Emilia-Romagna Region), the challenges posed by the theme of inclusiveness to companies and public bodies. “Today companies have accepted the challenge of inclusiveness also because they take advantage of it in their organization,” said Paola Giuri, BBS Associate Dean for Research. “Today there is the need to build relational models on a horizontal level, where subjects interact on equal terms, without hierarchical models.”

For Ducati, inclusion highlights the need to incorporate different people into an organization where they can feel valued and respected, and therefore encouraged to participate. Diversity also increases the possibilities for innovation at all company levels. According to Pietro Ravagli, in fact: “diversity and innovation are two equally important components for growth.” Inclusion also means understanding different skills. “People with disabilities have strong skills and their understanding increases the value of human capital,” concluded the debate with the Director General for Resources, Europe, Innovation and Institutions of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Francesco Raphael Frieri.

If until a few years ago the most widespread theme in the debates of citizens, companies and institutions were the Smart Cities, today the new global macrotrends are sustainability and the circular economy. “Every year around 330 million tons of plastics are produced worldwide, of which only 9% are recycled, 50% is used for less than 12 months, while 56% is lost,” said Federico Bronzini, Gas Distribution Manager InRete of the HERA Group, during the Sustainable Transitions workshop.

In the company, sustainability does not only come from the product, but also and especially from the process that made its realization possible, through smart working, which reduces costs by optimizing workstations by leveraging on the centrality of the person, and the digital workplace, connected to the idea that the new generations of Millennials have about work. Maria Luisa Parmigiani, Head of Sustainability of the Unipol Group, also underlined the importance of the role of trade unions in these processes, reaffirming the gap between need and implementation time. Among the Alumni who shared their experiences were also Francesco Malaguti (Camst), Alessandro Frondella (Ferrarelle), Elena Binacchi (Opem) and Gian Luca Testa (Philip Morris).

“The digital must concern the whole society, all the realities that accompany this transformation must be involved, from the suppliers to the customers, to any person who interacts with the company itself,” said Sandra Ricciuti, Principal Consultant of Capgemini, during the Digital Renaissance workshop. On the other hand, according to Augusto Valeriani, Co-director of the Master in New Media and Marketing Communication at BBS: “in recent years the most used keyword is hybridization, or the idea that individual and social experiences should always be read as hybrid, in the idea of ​​overcoming the distinction between physical and digital reality. Thinking of the consumer, one must imagine a subject whose buying experience moves on multiple levels and it is therefore crucial to focus on the mobile.”

However, digital innovations also bring to the fore the issue of privacy, as pointed out by Sara Valentini, Associate Dean for Alumni at BBS: “the data is fundamental to be effective. This is however linked to the interdisciplinary theme of privacy, not just from a legal point of view but also from the point of view of the pervasiveness of the technology and the application of its systems. In this context, Privacy is more a value or a threat?” The Alumni Christian Pezzin (Sapio Group), Alessandro Rizzoli (Getconnected), Marco Bubani (VEM Sistemi) and Giorgio Montanari (Beghelli) also contributed to the workshop.

The fourth workshop dedicated to the experiences of former BBS students saw as protagonist the (Re)invented Jobs, or the new professions that require above all the ability to continually put themselves on the line in a market, sometimes fragmented, and still succeed in inventing themselves every time again from scratch. In this process, the key factors are courage and passion, but above all reputation. But what does reinventing specifically mean? “It means both rethinking yourself and your role, and facilitating your employees to face the same process,” said Dario Ciampoli, IT Director of Leonardo Aerostrutture. Today it is fundamental to have the courage to make things happen and to accept a possible failure.

Chiara Sonaglioni, Head of Strategic Marketing at Lamborghini and Linda Serra, CEO of Work Wide Women, shared their experience in reinventing themselves as women and professionals. “I reinvented myself six years ago, when I decided to leave my old job. I started volunteering in making women understand how to approach work and help them find it, so Work Wide Women was born. To reinvent yourself, courage, foresight and resilience are needed,” concluded Linda Serra. Deborah Buttignol (Badenoch & Clark) and Francesco Bianco (Vodafone Group) were also among the participating Alumni.

Global Trades, the last workshop of the XIII Alumni Reunion, focused on the opportunities generated by the internationalization of companies and the global market. Andrea Bizzi (Chiesi Farmaceutici), Anna Girotto (Gucci), Franco Valentini (Elettronica Santerno), Sara Caffino (Adidas Group) and Simone Mulargia (Acma), shared some of the challenges faced by their companies. “The concepts of Made in and Original vary a lot from country to country, and can be exploited to our advantage,” explained Anna Girotto, “for example by putting the car into production, it can be considered Made in Italy if it consists of at least the 45% of components produced in Italy. In contrast, a t-shirt can have the same brand even if all its parts are produced elsewhere, provided it is assembled entirely in Italy.”

Franco Valentini, General Manager of Elettronica Santerno, has instead introduced into the debate the political problems that can arise when working in countries in conflict with each other: “since the United States no longer conduct business in Iran, the possibilities for Italian companies have grown enormously there. But we need to understand the impact of loosing our American customers and evaluate all the risks very well. “



To conclude the XIII Alumni Reunion, the actress and presenter Geppi Cucciari with the speech Generative Storytelling and Storywriting, dedicated to expansive narratives, that is the planning and sharing of stories of any kind, through traditional and digital platforms, for entertainment, marketing or the achievement of social changes. “There are mediocre ideas told in a brilliant way, as well as brilliant ideas shared very poorly. You have studied and are prepared to give the world an important contribution, but you must learn to share it in the best way to convince others and make a difference. “


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