Author: Giuseppina Schiavone
I was glad to accept the invitation of Andreea Moga to give a talk for the community of students of the Enterpreneurship Club Polimi and introduce them to SAAC mission of helping companies in demonstrating transparency and accountability through the strategic use of data.
The gathering took place at the CIC Rotterdam on Friday 18 November 2022, under the TechLabs Rotterdam professional network, and, together with me, Morraya Benhammou was presenting the status of data science projects from research to actual business cases.
The Polimi group of students was guided by Francesca Binacchi in a one-week tour across the Netherlands visiting companies, tech communities and start-up ecosystems with the objectives to learn, network and build projects.
I had the pleasure to interact with very prepared students coming from different educational background, including business management, IT, computer science, marketing, architecture, engineering. I could ascertain that most of them were attuned with various degrees with the concepts of digital transformation, data science and artificial intelligence. It was strangely exciting for me to be able to use my mother-tongue, Italian, in this context. We had an interesting conversation of how academic education can still be very procedural, theoretical and conservative in Italy, which in some cases has detrimental effects on young, innovative spirits seeking for leaner, more business and/or project-oriented approaches, somehow, more common in Northern European and American education. After their experience in that week, some students were excited at the idea to continue their professional development abroad, while other where already thinking about how to they could implement what they had seen and improve their way of working in Italy.
I had a recollection of feelings around the reasons that brought me to leave my beautiful country on the first place. I’ve always loved to develop professionally in an international environment, learn from different cultures, feed my curiosity through diversity. I found the Netherlands the ideal place for it. The Netherlands had even more to offer that could please me, particularly, I got attracted by the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere around the tech, academic and business communities (the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, imec across the Netherlands and in Belgium, Wageningen University, Radboud, the Vrij Universiteit, the Eindhoven Technical University, the European Space Agency and many more): that willingness and attitude to be always at the top of innovation, to have a step ahead into the future.
At that time, after my graduation in engineering and my doctorate at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, which was and remains a center of excellence, the answer to my quest was to go out and explore. Most of my colleagues stayed and developed into successful and talented professionals. I am happy about my choices and I am also always looking for ways to bring back to Italy what I’ve learnt, the growth mindset and my instruments for resilience. This is the motivation behind the extension of my activities with SAAC to Italian organizations too.
There are opportunities everywhere for those who take the time and make the efforts to find them.
I wish the delegation of students of the Polimi to continue in their discovery path either in Italy or abroad and I look forward to our next interactions!
“Sustainability consists of fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being“
communication, knowledge and experience exchange across generations are big components of sustainable development.
I find extremely important to keep active connections with student communities for three main reasons:
- they represent my hope for a better future, they are the leaders of tomorrow;
- they are a reminder of how important is to set good examples, provide solid foundation of work ethics, listen to their needs and create a fertile field where they can grow, dream and develop healthy innovative projects;
- they are incredibly inspirational, coming up with out of the box ideas and solutions and able to spot undetected problems, their contribution enlarges our vision in space and time. They are energy sources to protect and foster!
And this is also why SDG 4 Quality of Education is part of the SAAC SDGs specialties.