Carlo Mazzi – Chairman, Prada S.p.A., welcomed today’s speakers and guests to Fondazione Prada in Milan for Shaping a Sustainable Digital Future, the second edition of Prada Group’s ‘Shape a Future Conversations’. He opened today’s discussions by noting that digitalization makes an extraordinary contribution to sustainable development, and that taking the time to refect on what this really means by an event such as today is vital.
ROUNDTABLE 1: SOCIO-GEOPOLITICAL IMPACTS TRIGGERED BY THE DIGITAL EVOLUTION
In this session, the roundtable guests discussed how digital evolution and technology are shaping and impacting human life. The speakers looked at the role government and businesses should play to ensure people can enjoy the beneft of digital evolution and develop skills to manage new technologies as these become integral to human life.
In his powerful keynote speech ‘Beyond Digital’, Nicholas Negroponte, Chairman Emeritus of MIT Media Lab, discussed the complex interplay of capitalism, entrepreneurship, democracy, education and culture. He highlighted the destructive nature of ‘groupthink’ and proposed new ways of thinking about technology. Nicholas fagged that the greatest minds in the feld of AI have considered the deep issues of human intelligence in relation to AI – such as humor, happiness and music – rather than superfcial form and function. He argued the crisp lines that historically guided human interaction no longer exist –people need to adapt and understand technology in a more nuanced way.
ROUNDTABLE 2: WILL DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES PRESERVE OR DISRUPT CULTURAL IDENTITIES OF INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES?
Today’s second roundtable was introduced by the “Being” Project – the Yale and MIP students’ winning Hackathon presentation, which looked at the ways technology can be integrated to deploy and connect sustainable development.
The conversation then moved on to the guest speakers’ debate, which analyzed the importance of cooperation between the public and the private sectors to preserve cultural heritage and to allow digital technology to fourish.