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Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs: need of a focussed industrial strategy

A brief video explaining the meaning of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In our vision, SDG represent the objectives of a smart, inclusive and sustainable industrial strategy for developed countries. For European Union a unique opportunity to define a new long – term cultural, industrial and political leadership. Time for action is now.

The Green value of Milan Expo 2015

by Massimo Preziuso (in State of Green Economy Report 2015 – Dubai Carbon)


Expo Milano 2015 is the first universal green economy fair. A single event will give italian and international firms focused on green investments the opportunity to be exposed to new ideas and alliances while showing their best practices to a global community, during and after the event.

Mobilizing the attention of a massive audience this Expo aims to be a global best practice, in terms of its sustainable design and green procurement to be followed in the next “Great Events”.

Milan Expo 2015 is also a unique place for setting up a new era of sustainable and green growth policy that starts in Europe and directs to the UAE (through the Dubai Expo 2020) and the USA (through the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) reshaping the entire global economy.

At Rio +20, in June 2012, Heads of State and Government renewed their commitment to ensuring the promotion of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations.

Among other actions, they recognized the importance of promoting cleaner production and products and boosting green growth.

Expo Milano 2015 is a non-commercial Universal Exposition with some very unique and innovative features. Not only is it an exhibition but also a process, one of active participation among a large number of players around the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life. It is sustainable, technological, thematic and focused on its visitors. Open from May 1 to October 31, 2015, the Expo will host over 130 participants. Running for 184 days, this giant exhibition site, covering one million square meters, is expected to welcome over 20 million visitors” (Official website)

Expo Milano 2015 is so a golden opportunity for Italy and Europe to show how this can be done, by implementing workable sustainable solutions throughout the lifecycle of the event.

To this aim, Expo Milano 2015 wants to set the standard in:

–        Sustainable design, construction, dismantling and reuse

Today, the building sector accounts for 30 to 40 percent of the world’s energy consumption and about 30 percent of current world CO2 emissions. The Sustainable Solutions for the design, construction, dismantling and reuse guidelines provide suggestions and references on how to improve the performance of temporary buildings and exhibition spaces.

–        Green Procurement*

Expo Milano has introduced not mandatory Green Procurement Guidelines to provide suggestions and recommendations on how to easily include appropriate criteria to reduce environmental footprint of products and services in their life-cycle. Green Procurement is also a major driver for innovation, providing industry with real incentives for developing green products and services and stimulating the markets towards more sustainable solutions.

Expo Milano 2015 has also a tremendous potential impact onto a political and economic perspective as a unique opportunity for Europe to take (for the second time, after having led the global agenda for Climate Policy with its “20-20-20”) the leadership of a new era of Sustainable Growth and Green Investments.

For Italy it is also the opportunity to restart as a country and community after a decade of economic and cultural crisis that has partially destroyed a tradition of wellness and high standard of living. The Expo can give the country a fresh and modern image of a visionary and environmental friendly place that aims to return as a guide for the old continent and the world towards a new era of green growth, with its unique creativity that brought tons of inventions and innovative products and technologies for the past centuries.

According to a recent study on the leading export industries in various countries, “engineering products” sector results the first contributor to Italian export. This says that Italy is still a top global exporter of high value – engineering services and products to the developed and developing countries, helping world economies and societies growth and modernization. A fact in clear contrast with an (Italian) internal economy that is living a long and severe decline.

Milan Expo could give a strong boost to a sustainable production and consumption path that is already emerging as data from GreenItaly 2013 report on italian green investments shows.

The sample is made by 328 thousand firms (one out of five) that, from 2008 on, invested on Green Economy.

Data says that, despite of a crisis that still persists, Italian green industry is growing and that the exportations are increasing especially thanks to innovation.

The main consequence of green investments are increase in exportations, innovation in the productive system and turnover increase. In order to be competitive Italian firms must persist on their tradition in terms of product, but also integrate it with sustainability and quality in terms of production. Green Economy is the key for Italian industry’s recover.

To summarize:

–         Expo Milano 2015 could strongly influence the european and global political agenda by putting Environment and Sustainability at the centre of a new “green era”.

The main goal could be with the EU – USA Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that could be strongly innovated and enhanced with new “sustainable” conditions.

–        In the same time, Expo Milano 2015 has the strong responsibility to give a successful example, in terms of organization and vision, to its successor Expo Dubai 2020 that will be crucial for a radical change of UAE economies and societies.

Milan and Dubai have to work together since now for the leadership of a new era of global “green” growth.



*Expo 2015 SpA Green Procurement

Starting from 2009, 60 tenders have been awarded for the supply of goods and/or services and consulting, for a total of €19,578,776.21. In 12 of these, regarding amounts that cover 60.8% of the total economic value, candidates were also assessed on the basis of a series of “green” requirements that bidding companies had to satisfy, such as the commitment to reduce the environmental impacts connected to providing the subject service or supplies.

Table 1 – The green tenders carried out



Express courier service   for the delivery of letters and packages Use of vehicles with low   environmental impact
Letter head Printing on recycled and   certified paper


Specialized support for   development and implementation of the climate-changing gases inventory of   Expo 2015 Commitment to reduce CO2   emissions
Services for   coordination, design, organization, implementation of events and/or services   and related suppliers, directly managed by the company Expo 2015 or by third   parties – LOT 1 and LOT 2 –  Commitment to reduce the   environmental impacts connected to organization of the Event;-  Possession of an Environmental   Management System with UNI EN ISO 14001:2004 or EMAS III certification;-    Adoption of measures aimed at reducing CO2 emissions during   the service
Activities involving the   graphical design, photolithograph, CD Rom production, printing, binding,   packaging and delivery of the Participants’ Guide –  Sustainable   processes and materials-  Adoption of an Environmental   Management System with UNI EN ISO 14001:2004 or EMAS III certification;-    Commitment to reduce the ecological footprint of activities and   products


Implementation of an   Environmental and Safety Audit Program in the work sites of Expo Milano 2015  Commitment to reduce the environmental   footprint (CO2)
Food services for workers   during operations at the site base –    Commitment to reduce the environmental impacts directly linked to   management and organization of the service;-    Possession of an Environmental Management System with UNI EN ISO   14001:2004 or EMAS III certification
Global Site   Communications Activities for Expo 2015 Reduction of   environmental impacts linked to management and organization of the site   communications activities


Management of lodgings,   cleaning, armed and unarmed security, maintenance and overall coordination of   operations at the site base –    Commitment to reduce the environmental impacts directly linked to   management and organization of the services;-    Possession of an Environmental Management System with UNI EN ISO   14001:2004 or EMAS III certification
Coordination, planning,   organization and execution of the event “Expo Days 2013” –  Commitment to reduce the   environmental impacts connected to organization of the service;-    Possession of an Environmental Management System with UNI EN ISO   14001:2004 or EMAS III certification;-    Adoption of measures aimed at reducing CO2 emissions during   the service
Executive design and   production of 20 statues –  Selection of sustainable   production materials and relative packaging for transport;-  Commitment to reduce the   environmental impacts linked to set-up, storage, handling and disposal;-    Possession of an Environmental Management System with UNI EN ISO   14001:2004 or EMAS III certification

€   11,912,627.34

Source: Expo2015

Final report from Projects for another Italy in Europe, 30 novembre 2013, Rome

massimo convegno

Projects  for another Italy in Europe November 30, 2013 , at 10-14 Via Sant’Andrea delle Frate 16 , Rome – Conference Hall , Democratic Party

National and international experts from academia , institutions , from industry and enterprise, many young people partecipated to “Projects for another Italy in Europe”.

After the messages received by the Minister Bonino, the President of the Chamber Boldrini , the Secretary of the Democratic Party Epifani , the Deputy Minister Catricalà, the Vice – Chairman of the European Parliament Pitella, a statement of support and appreciation to the initiative by the Mayor of Rome Marino, the video message from the leader of the House of Deputies Speranza opened the conference.

Massimo Preziuso , President of European Innovators , did a quick overview on the project , which started in 2006 as a place for development and design of indipendent policy, supporting the idea of ​​the urgency of establishing a new political reformist and pro-European party , remains today an autonomous movement that operates in Europe and in the world .

The interventions , thanks to the distinguished speakers have pointed out – hoping for new directions of political and economic growth for Italy in Europe and in the world, in a context characterized by the difficulties of the United States , the complexity of the Chinese and Indian growth , the new opportunities from southeast Asia, and the natural but culturally difficult convergence with reality like Turkey or north Africa – the urgent need to strengthen the italian strategy and industrial policy.

It also became clear that Italy can be a leader in the software industry and know how based industries , and how the project European Innvoators , building collaborative networks for the promotion of Italian talents in the world is the lifeblood for the revival of a joint project to support Italy and Made in Italy in the world.

It  has been so easy to go to the final session, remembering how European Innovators has already given way to political experiences with independent programs based on a new policy-making aimed at the transformation of smart cities and their governance in progressive optic .

From the conference, it is clear the need for a country that produces wealth and consumption in all the territories and put in a new network knowledge and production, in which medium towns and large cities, around a Smart Capital, remain the protagonists.

The need to give breath to a wider European movement , shared with many of the featured speakers, in a collaboration with the different pro-European organizations, based on the hot topics and more than actual 2014 european elections (during the 2014 first semester of Italian Presidency of Europe the real construction of a Euro-Mediterranean community , with a ”South of Italy” leadership, will be necessary), will see European Innovators as a protagonist of the Italian revival in Europe, starting with the next election campaign.

The construction of an Italian leadership in Europe and in the Mediterranean passes exactly by a renewed capacity to develop complex long-term projects. This will continue to be our goal and our commitment .

Here’s why Italy should actually have the strongest economy in Europe

“Totalmente d’accordo. Se supera come si deve questo 2012, l’Italia rischia di tornare alla testa d’Europa e di diventarne l’economia principale nei prossimi 5-10 anni” Massimo
leaning tower of pisa
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Presently, Italy’s economy is the fourth biggest in Europe, according to the International Monetary fund.  Italy sits behind GermanyFrance and the United Kingdom

Really, Italy should be the biggest economy in Europe, and should be able to overtake Japan too which would make Italy the third biggest economy in the whole world.

To be honest, with its reputedly stagnant economy, Italy is not doing all that badly to be in fourth place in Europe and in eighth place in the world.  Just imagine where Italy would be if its economy started really motoring.

Powering past the world leaders, the USA and China would be hard seeing as Italy has neither the manpower nor the area to compete with the big two.  Eventually maybe, countries such as Russia or even India may overtake Italy in terms of economic horsepower, but growth in these two nations will be of benefit to Italy.

Now, why do I think Italy should be the biggest economy in Europe?  When you think about it, it’s not too difficult to understand.

Here are the areas in which Italy could really shine, and most probably will, if the current forward thinking Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti manages to overcome the many obstacles obstinate Italy is likely to throw in his path.

Just look at what Italy has to offer on its home turf:


Italy is a holiday destination par excellence.  It has got absolutely everything any tourist can possibly desire:

  • A great climate – which lasts from mid-April all the way through to then end of October.  If you count winter sports, Italy’s climate can attract tourists to significant sections of the peninsula all year round.
  • Fabulous beaches – not all of which are too organized.
  • A fantastically rich cuisine.  Honestly, if you cannot find something you like in Italy, they you probably don’t like food.  The meat is good, the fish is lovely and the vegetables and various condiments are superb too.  And there is all that cheese!
  • Wine.  The world is starting, through no fault of its own, to discover the joys of Italian wines, both still and sparkling wines, such as my personal favorite: prosecco.  Enjoying Italian wines in Italy adds another, very positive, dimension to experiencing this incredible country.
  • Landscapes to die for.  Mountains, lakes, seascapes, city and townscapes, Italy has them all – in abundance, and then some!
  • Historic cities like Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, Bologna, Turin, Palermo, Verona, Bergamo, Milan, Genoa -the list goes on and on.  Then there are all the magnificent churches, ruins, villas, monuments, villages and even charming castles everywhere.
  • Shopping.  Where can I start?  Fashion – clothes, men’s and women’s wear.  Footwear, accessories, jewelery, leather goods, and children’s wear.  Food and drink – not just wines, but also spirits such as grappa, and all those digestive and bitter drinks, as well as limoncello and liquorice liqueurs.
  • Sport.  Skiing, Formula One, football, rugby, golf, rallying and historic rallies.  Water sports: water skiing, yachting, jet skiing, and a few more – and Italy makes fabulous boats too!
  • Cruises.  Italy’s coastline is, generally, spectacular, so going on a cruise is something many will enjoy – and it adds yet another dimension to Italy.

Have I missed something?  Quite probably and will happily accept suggestions, even if the list is quite impressive as it is.


This is the real biggie and many of the items mentioned in the tourism section above can be exported.

Italy has so many brands with a world class reputation, it is difficult to remember them all, but here are a few to be going on with:

  • Ferrari 
  • Fiat
  • Maserati
  • Riva
  • Snam

Italian fashion brands: Gucci, Armani, Emilio Pucci, Valentino, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Roberto Cavalli, Trussardi, Versace, Krizia, Etro, Miu Miu, Laura Biagiotti, Max Mara, Fendi, Moschino, Missoni, Bottega Veneta, Benetton and Brioni are but a few.  And there are many Italian accessory and jewelry brands, such as Luxottica, too.

Italian food brands: Nutella, Ferrero, Barilla, Napolina, Parmalat, and many more, including smaller brands making exclusive products for the luxury sector such as Baratti & Milano, Venchi, Bistefani and more.  Visit the Eataly Market to see reams and reams of Italian food brands.

Want more?  There are, plenty:

Italian furniture brands, and this is a mere glimpse of what Italy has to offer:

  • Alivar
  • Bonaldo
  • Casprini
  • Cattelan Italia
  • Draenert
  • Fasem
  • Gallotti e Radice
  • i4 Mariani
  • Kristalia
  • Lago
  • Lapalma
  • Magis Design
  • Morelato
  • Naos
  • Ozzio
  • Reflex
  • Team 7

Then there is Italian design, such as

  • Alessi

What about Italian motorbikes:

  • Ducati 
  • Moto Guzzi
  • Aprilia
  • Bimota
  • MV Agusta
The list goes on and on.

Italy seems to be good at just about everything it touches, and then some. 


Italy has lots of great brains, but has already, and blindly, let them export themselves away from the Boot, but many would come back and may well do so, when they deem the time is right.  I’m willing to bet that many Italian expats are watching what Mario Monti is getting up to with great interest.

What is also interesting is that Italy is not standing still, despite its problematic economy.

New companies are being formed all the time, such as South Garage Cafè, a creator of bespoke cafè racer motorcycles.  Unfortunately, Italy does not do much to nurture its baby businesses, but if the nation goes in the direction Mario Monti is pointing it, the world may well be graced by even more iconic Italian brands.

Obviously it is no good making products which nobody wants to buy, but this is not the case with Italy’s goods.  The problem is that many people outside of Italy simply do not know what Italy offers.

I’ve been told by a few Italians that Italy is not especially good at marketing itself – which is putting it very mildly indeed.  This is a pity because markets for Italian products abound.


Just about every country in the world is a market for made in Italy goods.

In some countries, such as the USA, UK, and a good few other nations, Italian brands are fairly well established; very well established, if you consider some of the big Italian fashion houses.

On top of the existing markets, which Italy could probably exploit better, there are the huge emerging markets – China, India and, eventually, Russia.

There is still plenty of space for Italy’s fine products almost everywhere.

Market, Market, Market

Italy only really needs to market its vast assortment of goods better.

If the Italian government actually starts functioning, one fine day, and with a little luck it will as a result of Mario Monti waving his technocratic wand, Italy stands to be an economy which dwarfs those of France, Germany and Great Britain.

Italy should be the number one economy in Europe.  I’m absolutely, utterly and totally convinced of this.

Go on Italy!  You can do it – if you want to.

This post originally appeared at Italy Chronicles

Interview with Sebastian Nerz – Leader of the German Piratenpartei


by Massimo Preziuso – Innovatori Europei

Sebastian Nerz (photo made by Fany Fazii) is a 28 years old bioinformatics from Berlin and Deutsche Pirate Party leader. The Piratenpartei Deutschland are a striking example of how the speed of the Internet and the creativity of people, put together may achieve real and extraordinary change in modern societies. With a mission primarily oriented to issues like the ‘”free Internet”, the “privacy” and the “open government” the Piraten are emerging as primary political actors in Germany, with their 9% in September 2011 regional elections in Berlin, obtained after the success of their older cousins ​​- PiratPartiet – in Sweden (with their 7% in 2009 European elections).

Let’s figure out with Sebastian how this success came and if this wave of positive change is also coming to us and in which form.

Dear Sebastian. First of all thanks for your time.

As you know, Innovatori Europei is both a (light) movement of political ideas – trying to support change in Italy and Europe – and an observatory on new and interesting happenings around the world. For this reason, we have followed with great interest the important result of the Piraten in the regional elections in Germany held this month.


1)    An unexpected success for many, but I guess long planned. How have you grown up and what are the characteristics of your success that can be transmitted to other bottom – up political initiatives born aroud the Internet?

The pirate movement originates from Sweden, where it was founded in 2006. In the same year the German Pirate Party was founded in Berlin. In 2009 the government of Germany proposed the introduction of a censorship system, designated to fight child pornography. While the goal was a good one, the means were not. Building a system that allows to restrict access to websites can only lead to misuse. This proposition led to a very intense discussion in Germany. The pirate party was among the leaders of the opposing parties.

In those days the pirate party Germany grew from roughly 800 to roughly 10.000 members. The discussions have not been nice. Pirates have been named rapists, child molesters, and whatever else because some politicians (and media agencies) did not understand that fighting a mean is not the same as fighting the problem. We kept up fighting against the “Zugangserschwerungsgesetz” law. In the end we won. The law was passed, but it was never actually enforced and has now been canceled.

I believe that this shows: Be true to yourself. Whatever you do, people will attack you for it. People will misunderstand your intentions. Well, then explain it again. And again and again and again.

Afterward the pirate party rebuilt its structures. We needed to adopt to the new situation. Discussions structures working with 800 members are not necessarily working with 10.000 members. This is a very difficult and sometimes frustrating process.

And what we had to learn is how to leave the internet. The net is a wonderful tool to lead discussions with others, to meet and talk, to publish your ideas. But you will never reach all of the people if you stay there. Develop your ideas – and then get out and on a marketplace and discuss your ideas and propositions with the people out there! They have a lot of important things to say. So listen to them. Explain your ideas. Try to work as transparent as possible. If you do it right you have nothing to loose from transparency.

But the most important point is: be honest. Politicians are making errors. This is quite normal. If you try to hide your errors, they are going to come to the light in the worst possible way. So just be honest to your voters and to yourself. And don’t shy away from things only because others are using (or not using) them. You have to find YOUR way of doing stuff and then stick to it.

 In short: Use the tools provided in the net to form a group. Meet online and offline. Discuss your ideas. Open your group for external feedback. Work transparent. Be honest. Don’t hide your errors. Don’t hide your success. EXPLAIN your ideas. Many politicians just say „do this“ – but they don’t explain it. This is not going to work for you! 


2)    Your activity as Piraten is strongly connected with the Internet, as you work for concepts like Open Governance, Privacy and Free Internet. What is your view on the Renewable energy policies, seen they are very strongly connected with the idea of “distributed political and economic power”? And which is your view on the creation of a real (renewable) energy common market at EU level ? 

The pirate party Germany is a strong supporter of renewable energy policies. Politics and economy have to stop being short-sighted. We neither have unlimited supplies of coal nor of oil and we have no idea how to handle the risque of nuclear fission plants (quite apart from the fact that there is no unlimited supply of Uranium either).

And the only way to really build a strong renewable energy market is to build a super-national market. We have lots of sun in southern Europe, there are lots of possibilities for pumped-storage power stations in middle and northern Europe, etc In addition by building a super-national energy market some of the problems (e.g. daily fluctuations of the amount of energy needed) can be solved (or at least reduced).


3)    What are your goals in Germany? You also want to look out, in countries like Italy? Are you thinking about developing a sort of federation of the Pirate Party in Europe? 

We want to change the way politics are working. Politics in Germany are traditionally held behind closed doors. Only the results of discussions are being published, how, who and why decisions have been made is seldom known.

In addition politicians are not honest to their voters. They are promising lots of things if an election is upcoming, but after the election has been held, everything is forgotten.

This destroyed the trust between politics and society. In recent polls politicians have been elected the 2nd least favored job. People expect politicians to lie. Thus we have an ever decreasing percentage of people actually voting (usually around 50-60%). This leads to very frightening democratic problems – if the majority of people is not participating in an election, does it really have a democratic legitimacy?

So we want to change the way politics are working. We want to achieve transparent and open politics. And our experience shows us that people are accepting errors. Politicians are human and human tend to make errors. That is okay! Hiding an error is not.

Apart from that we want to establish more participation processes. People should be able to participate in democratic processes. Politicians need their feedback in order to build working laws – so there should be a strong participation process established in our democracy. At the moment people are not able to participate apart from the regular elections. So we want to change this too.

Another important point are human and civil rights. The last years have seen quite a number of security laws being passed (data retention policies as a recent example). The balance between freedom and security has been tipped towards security. We have to re-balance this scale! Security laws have to be checked for their efficiency and whether they are really needed.

I could continue writing a long essay – about education, why its needed for a stable and democratic society and why the current educational systems in Germany are not sufficient. About a former welfare-state that has reduced its social systems to something that is not worthy of this name – but this would take too long.

In short: We want to change politics. We want to rebuild a social-liberal, democratic, free society with educated citizens, a strong social system, a transparent state that leaves the citizens to themselves and open politics allowing intense participation.


4)    Europe is undergoing a complicated time, mainly as a natural result of global phenomena: there is a huge part of the world that rapidly grows and leave western countries poorer. What can we expect in the coming months and years? Shall Europe return to be protagonist, or shall we risk it leaving the main scene?

This will depend strongly on our own decisions. Are we re-enforcing the European bonds or are we trying to hide between national interests? Are we capable of building a strong super-national, democratic society or do we continue using the EU for unpopular decisions?

Europe has a strong economy, many talented engineers and well-educated citizens. We have all the resources we need to stay strong and wealthy in a globalized world. But we have to re-invent the European idea to achieve this goal.

And we have to accept that other parts of the world have a right to live good as well! We cannot continue to live on the cost of others. Following that path could only lead to problems.


5)    What is your advice to citizens who want to commit in a beautiful country in a deep and unique crisis period (like Italy)?

Get some information about the root of the problems. Talk about them. Unite with other citizens. Don’t let yourself be frustrated, because whatever you want to achieve, it will take time and it won’t be easy. And don’t let yourself be stopped by minor problems or differences.

It is quite often that we see unification of diverse civil rights organizations working for an important common target. And then they split about some minor differences. This is plain stupid. As long as the main goal is more important then the differences one should continue working together to achieve it! This does not mean that you will continue to do so for all eternity. And perhaps you will have divergent goals in different issues.

That’s okay. Combine for your main goal, diverge for your secondary goals. That way you can achieve much more!

Another important topic is spreading information. The modern net provides lots of new and interesting opportunities to spread information! Start a blog, link with others, use Twitter, Facebook or Google+ to build networks. Yesterday I have listened to a presentation made by a German civil rights activist. She told us „Even if your blog is only read by two people, it is well worth writing it! Two people are two more then zero“. She is right. Perhaps those two are talking to their friends. And they continue to do so – and suddenly everyone is talking about your ideas!

And don’t let yourself be deflected. Perhaps you are reaching some minor goals – but this does not mean that you can stop working! Being a civil rights activist is an ongoing job. And it is one that you can never stop. Because what was won in several years can be lost in days.


6)    To end this interview with a proposal: in Italy various innovative inter – parties political initiatives are starting (i.e. The Outsiders, whose I am a founding member) and I imagine the same is happening in your country. Would you like to see Germany and Italy closer via their innovative political movements? What do you think about the creation of a Deutsche – Italian (and later European) network? I am certain it would be a great way for our countries to learn each other from different but strong experiences.

Super-national networks are very, very important. As I have already stated the pirate movement was intentionally founded as a super-national network of parties. Many of our current problems are in fact not national but super-national – so the only way to handle them is on this level!

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