Press Releases and Documents



March 1, 2017

A conversation on sustainability and innovation 

Milan, March 1st, 2017 – The Prada Group will launch “Shaping a Creative Future” on Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st March in Milan, a conference in partnership with Yale School of Management and Politecnico di Milano School of Management.

The event will focus on the interplay between sustainability and innovation, and feature a series of stimulating conversations, debates and discussions with leading international academic, creative and business figures, moderated by the two universities.

The first day, hosted at Fondazione Prada, will see representatives from leading businesses meet with Yale School of Management and Politecnico di Milano School of Management professors and alumni for discussions on sustainability and innovation.

On the second day, a plenary conference will be hosted at Prada’s headquarters, where reflections from the first day will form the basis of all debate. Professors will moderate a series of panels with business leaders and representatives of international organizations, who will debate the topics and add their inspiring insights and experience to the conversation. Students from both universities will contribute their research and theses on the topics to the event.

The two days of collaborative discussion will cover four themes:

  1. Brand heritage and market value: To what extent are customers driven by brand authenticity, history, and provenance? How to create sustainable value for the brand through heritage and arts? How could companies preserve craftsmanship and skills in the face of global growth and outsourcing processes?

  2. Design for sustainability through innovation and tradition: How can design driven innovation positively impact society? What is the role of innovation and tradition in generating social and sustainable outcomes? Is there an inherent conflict between innovation and tradition or can a company reconcile them?

  3. Sustainability and value creation: What are the meanings attributed to sustainability today? Can sustainability drive value creation and innovation within a business? What is the value of sustainability for customers, employees and other stakeholders? How to move away from greenwashing to build truly sustainable businesses?

  4. Driving creative excellence: How can leadership drive creativity and innovation? What organizational, management and financial structures and practices help to build a creative and innovative environment? Which is the role of designers and makers in driving creative excellence?

“The importance of sustainability for businesses and society is becoming ever more pressing. What is the connection between creativity and sustainability? This event seeks to reflect on and analyse this challenging topic with some international representatives in the business, academic and creative spheres” - said Carlo Mazzi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Prada S.p.A.

“Creativity is the driving force of any successful enterprise. Yale is excited about exploring the challenge of how to sustain the creative process through this innovative conference. Design is integral to a sustainable future; we look forward to exploring this essential topic from a variety of perspectives” - said William Goetzmann, Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies and Director of the International Center for Finance, Yale School of Management.

“Sustainability and innovation are today highly intertwined and difficult to consider separately. At the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano we put innovation at the center of our teaching and research activity. And today talking about innovation requires to focus on those innovations that are aimed at creating a better world and a more equitable society. We believe that creative industries have a high potential in contributing to find innovative solutions to the societal challenges that we are urged to face” - said Andrea Sianesi, Dean of MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business. 

About PRADA Group
The PRADA Group is a global leader in the luxury goods sector where it operates with the Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands in the production and distribution of luxury handbags, leather goods, footwear, apparel and accessories. Moreover, in 2014, Prada acquired 80% of Marchesi srl, owner of the historic Milanese patisserie founded in 1824. The Group also operates in the eyewear and fragrance sectors under licensing agreements. As of January 31, 2017, products are sold in 70 countries worldwide through 620 directly operated stores and a selected network of luxury department stores, independent retailers and franchise stores. 

About Yale School of Management
The mission of the Yale School of Management is educating leaders for business and society. The school’s students, faculty, and alumni are committed to understanding the complex forces transforming global markets and using that understanding to build organizations—in the forprofit, nonprofit, entrepreneurial, and government sectors—that contribute lasting value to society.  

About Politecnico di Milano School of Management
The School of Management - SoM - was established formally in 2003 and groups together MIP (the Graduate School of Business founded in 1979) and DIG (the Department of Management Engineering - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale), established in 1990, bringing together all research and education operations in the field of management, an area of major importance at PoliMI, with our MSc in Management Engineering being taught since 1982. In 2007, the School of Management first achieved the prestigious EQUIS accreditation (European Quality Improvement System) and joined the circle of around the 140 leading business schools accredited by EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development). In 2009, the School was included for the first time in the Financial Times rankings of top European Business Schools.


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