Category

sdg 10

Italy’s ecological transition with Minister Cingolani

By ecology, sdg 1, sdg 10, sdg 11, sdg 12, sdg 13, sdg 14, sdg 15, sdg 16, sdg 17, sdg 2, sdg 3, sdg 4, sdg 5, sdg 6, sdg 7, sdg 8, sdg 9

Alongside Roberto Cingolani, Minister for the Ecological Transition, we imagined what the world will be like in 2040 when his youngest son will be 30 years old. Cingolani helps us understand why we need to act now to put all the knowledge we have to good use. Are you ready to do your part to facilitate a transition that, by the very nature of the term, must be gradual?

Cristina: How will we transition from the world we have to the one we want? We came to Genoa to ask the Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani, physicist, researcher and father of 3 children. Good morning Minister. In 2040 we’ll be 10 years away from the 2050 target of zero emissions and your youngest son will be 30 years old – what will the world look like?

Minister Cingolani: If we’ll have done a good job it could be much cleaner than it is now and above all, there should be much less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and we’ll probably start to limit and mitigate the effects of global warming. The problem is that we have to start tomorrow and install all the renewable energy we need, we have to reach 72% of renewable electricity by 2030, so 10 years before the date you mentioned and I have to say that it worries me. Paradoxically, the problem today is neither resources nor technology, nor companies that can install these large plants, especially in Italy where we have lots of know-how. Right now, the most limiting factor is the bureaucratic one. The chain of permits for the installation of photovoltaic, wind and renewable energy plants is so slow, we risk that during the 5-year duration of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), these permits will be issued too late. First of all, we need to simplify the regulatory and authorizational aspects because there is such urgency, we can no longer waste any
time.

Cristina: Let’s imagine that world in 2040 for a moment longer.

Minister Cingolani: Smart mobility, cities on a human scale, greener. Hopefully we will have recovered some biodiversity, and above all, a greater awareness of tomorrow’s adults, today’s children.

Cristina: A question about fossil fuel subsidies is inevitable. Where are we and what do you think is the right destination?

Minister Cingolani: It’s a very delicate subject, unfortunately, sustainability is a compromise between different demands, we must mitigate the damage we’ve done to the environment as soon as possible, but at the same time, we must allow people to live and work. Unfortunately this also depends on contingent situations, we are not coming out of a particularly prosperous and happy period. The subsidies must certainly be reduced as soon as possible, and if we can reduce them we can reinvest a part of these reductions in something that will help create new jobs, including the reconditioning of the transportation industry. It’s a balancing act because if we ideologize the problem we harm workers, if we neglect the problem we harm the environment, so we all need to think about how to reorganize our habits and our lifestyles knowing that nothing is free.

Cristina: Thank you Minister.

Minister Cingolani: Thank you and good luck to everyone.

Cristina: Our country’s green transition must fulfill all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. An eye on the present and an eye to the future!

On air June 12th, 2021

Bees – the sentinels of biodiversity

By ecology, sdg 1, sdg 10, sdg 11, sdg 12, sdg 13, sdg 14, sdg 15, sdg 16, sdg 17, sdg 2, sdg 3, sdg 4, sdg 5, sdg 6, sdg 7, sdg 8, sdg 9

Having taken sustainable development to heart for a few decades now and focusing on solutions to our biggest challenges, I tend to think that issues which have been brought to our attention have positively evolved. Sadly that’s not the case but I know we have all the information to evolve as a species and co-exist respectfully with the complex ecosystems that we’re a part of. Speaking with Andrea, the beekeeper I always buy honey from, he introduced me to Luca Bosco and Marco Bergero. Thanks to these dedicated, passionate and knowledgeable young men, I found out that bees and pollinators are more threatened than ever. That’s how this interview came about and I learned how much more there is to do. If you know any hazelnut or almond growers please share this story. Christina Grozinger, Director of the Center for Pollination Research at Penn State confirms that exposure to fungicides, neonicotinoids and insecticides is causing great harm to pollinators. Engaging in conversations with the people we buy produce from is critical to understanding the  impact of our choices.

Cristina: Today is World Biodiversity Day, and the UN wants to bring our attention to the complex dynamics that govern life on earth. Biodiversity is our greatest treasure and monitoring its health is complicated. We are in the Cuneo area to meet Luca, a beekeeper. Luca, why are bees the most precious sentinels of biodiversity?

Luca Bosco: Because everything that arrives in the hive collected by bees is the result of a synergy between different forms of life and, therefore, is a result of the environment’s biodiversity.

Cristina: What do your observations tell you?

Luca Bosco: That the bee’s situation, and pollinators in general, is very serious. We often see episodes of die-offs and poisonings in our hives. Unfortunately we find insecticides, fungicides and herbicides in the matrices of the hives. One herbicide in particular, the molecule glyphosate, is very serious because its discovery, especially in the hive’s honey matrix – maturing honey, is a precise clue. The molecule that is sprayed here can end up anywhere, we find it in the water, in the air, it inevitably ends up in the soil because it’s sprayed on the ground and we also find it in plant pollen and nectar. This is a clear indication that the ecosystem’s natural filters are somehow degrading.

Cristina: Luca, which crops are sprayed the most with these substances?

Luca Bosco: Here we find ourselves in an area of viticulture and coriliculture, so grapes and hazelnuts. In recent years, thanks to the work of the beekeepers association, viticulturists have learned to use pesticides wisely, without causing direct and serious harm to pollinators. On the other hand, as far as hazelnuts are concerned, the matter is still open to discussion because it’s a new crop and, at the moment, the agronomic practices in use leave much to be desired. They are a source of direct poisoning, somehow they’re also the cause of those systematic findings in the hive matrices, especially in this area. We want to appeal to those who grow hazelnuts to follow the path already taken by winemakers.

Cristina: Luca you are about to take some samples, what is their frequency and what are they for?

Luca Bosco: They’re monthly and are used to investigate the possible presence of chemical molecules. Experience tells us that we will most likely find them because in past years, their presence has unfortunately been very assiduous. We know that these molecules are harmful to bees, also because of their somewhat unique ability to purify environmental matrices by absorbing chemical molecules into their bodies, to their own detriment of course, but especially preserving the honey. Somehow, the honey always results pure.

Cristina: How phenomenal. Do you cross-reference this data with others?

Luca Bosco: We cross this data with other measurements that are carried out in the area, in particular with those carried out on the Tanaro River, which you can see just nearby, and the two surveys confirm the same thing, the ubiquitous presence of chemical molecules.

Cristina: Thank you Luca. This story touches all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. And what can we do? Talk with beekeepers as much as possible, understand the critical issues in our area and protect it in any way we can. It pays off for everyone. Occhio al futuro

On air May 22nd, 2021

Mygrants, the first app for migrants

By sdg 1, sdg 10, sdg 11, sdg 4, sdg 8, sdg 9, technology

According to the International Organization for Migration, the number of migrants globally attempting to cross borders continues to grow: in 2000 there were 150 million while in 2020, 272 million. I hadn’t given enough thought to the fact that 90% of migrants landing on Italian shores are digital natives. Very few find work after the time spent in reception centers, but today, thanks to Christian Richmond and the Mygrants app, they can hope for a decent future. It’s a story of perseverance, vision and commitment born from the mind of a young Ivorian man, who was able to create a tool of tremendous human and social value. I’m honored to have met him and spread the word about his important initiative.

Cristina: Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, 10 years ago, about 800,000 migrants have landed in Italy, in search of a dignified life. Many of them have placed their hopes on Europe. 90% are under 35 and technically digital natives, more than half have not attended high school. After about a year and a half in reception centers, very few find work. Today there is a different possible future for them, thanks to the first app developed for migrants, available in 3 languages with more than 8,000 quizzes that assess their ambitions and talents. Good morning Chris, tell us about your wonderful initiative.

Chris Richmond: In 2017, we decided to create this educational platform for migrants and refugees with the aim of fully valuing their prior skills, backgrounds, and talents, ensuring that these skills and talents become assets in the job market.

Cristina: What goals are you setting and what results have you achieved?

Chris Richmond: The goal is certainly to innovate the Italian, European, and international asylum system, making sure that even economic migrants and future climate migrants can move freely from point A to point B in a legal and secure manner. Finding a way to generate more trust between migrants and formal financial actors simply means making migrants creditworthy as well.

Cristina: And how many users do you have?

Chris Richmond: After 4 years we have reached over 100,00 active users on the platform. We have about 20% of users who are not in Italy, and are still in the Middle East, Africa or Southeast Asia; we’ve identified about 15,000 highly qualified profiles and supported the job placement of about 1,900 people.

Cristina: An important percentage but low in proportion to the big picture. Why do you think that is?

Chris Richmond: We didn’t set out with the ambition to do job placement, rather to emphasize skills and talent. Over time, as we analyzed the data, we realized that we could aspire to something more and in early 2018 we decided to start testing job placement. 2018, 2019 and to some extent due to the pandemic job placements were reduced and we are focusing on meeting market demands. Definitely IT and technology, translations and interpreters, definitely mechanics and mechatronics, delivery and logistics and obviously sanitation and personal services so, caregivers.

Cristina: Chris, is there a story you’d like to share with us?

Chris Richmond: There are many, certainly the story of a young Tunisian software engineer who arrived in Italy a couple of years ago, who tried to find job opportunities as a dishwasher, entered the platform and after a few weeks showed all his talent. He had 12 job offers and was able to choose which company to work for. After 3 months of internship he was hired with a long term contract testing industrial plants. This is one of the many stories that we were able to transform from a dream into reality.

Cristina:  Great job, I really wish you all the best and thank you Chris. This project fulfills six of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals: 1 zero poverty, 4 quality education, 8 decent work, 9 industry innovation and infrastructure, 10 reducing inequality, e 11 sustainable cities and communitiesOcchio al futuro

On air May 1st 2021

Alisea – circular design

By ecology, sdg 10, sdg 12, sdg 15, sdg 17, sdg 8, sdg 9, technology

Susanna Martucci Fortuna, founder of Alisea, turned a crisis into an opportunity. She created an all-Italian supply chain of advanced engineers, designers and craftsmen to give new life to industrial waste.

Cristina: Today we’re meeting a woman who turned a crisis into an opportunity. She was losing her company, and grappling with what to do, she remembered a conversation about recycling and questioned how she could give new life to industrial waste, which abounds in her district of Vicenza. She took her idea to the experts and created an all-Italian supply chain of advanced engineers, designers and craftsmen. Let’s go meet her and see what she does. Good morning Susanna, what are we looking at here?

Susanna Martucci: This is all about graphite: these are graphite electrodes and this powder is the unavoidable waste of the production process, recovered from the factories’ ventilation systems. We reclaim this dust and make it into a new material. This is a granule made with 80% of this waste. This new material, which comes from circular economy, has led us to design an innovative process to make pencils, without wood or glue to attach the eraser. Each pencil removes 15 grams of graphite powder from landfills and in a year we save 60,000 trees – we don’t think about all the wood that goes into your normal pencil.

Cristina: Did you do anything else with graphite?

Susanna Martucci: Yes, we clearly fell in love with this material. In this other case we always start from graphite powder, but add water, a process we use to dye fabrics. The young designers we work with dye all sorts of materials – wool, denim, silk, organic cotton – in a totally non-toxic way. This here, is instead recycled plastic, which we turn into rulers, record sleeves, and more, all from recycled post-consumer bottles.

Cristina: All this thanks to Susanna’s creativity and determination. These children’s puzzles are made from recycled fair stands and so are these bags. We’re running out of time, but this is also graphite with recycled cork. These are made from coffee bags and leather scraps. Susanna’s work addresses 6 of the 17 SDGs: 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, and 17. Occhio al futuro!

On air February 29, 2020

Mirrorable, the motor rehabilitation platform for kids

By sdg 10, sdg 3, sdg 4, technology

Almost 17 million children worldwide have been diagnosed with childhood cerebral palsy, caused by an injury to the central nervous system. By combining scientific research and technology, Francesca and Roberto created Mirrorable, a motor rehabilitation platform that helps young patients move the damaged parts of the body and stimulate the residual potential.

Cristina: This is the story of a family that was able to transform a devastating experience into an opportunity for millions of children around the world. Francesca and Roberto, only a few days after the birth of their son Mario, discovered that he had suffered a stroke in utero or shortly after birth and that it had affected the right side of his brain.

Francesca Fedeli: In the beginning it was difficult for us to accept the diagnosis and we started looking for doctors, looking for solutions around the world, but above all we studied. In our research, we discovered the mechanism of mirror neurons, the cells that activate both when we make a gesture or grab an object and when we see another person making the same gesture. That’s where we started to find a winning solution for Mario. In fact, he managed to train the left side of his brain to compensate for the right side.

Cristina: Today Francesca and Roberto, these two extraordinary people, help many families improve their quality of life. About 17 million children worldwide have been diagnosed with childhood cerebral palsy, caused by an early injury to the central nervous system. By combining scientific research and technology Francesca and Roberto created a motor rehabilitation platform called Mirrorable, which helps young patients move the damaged parts of their bodies and stimulate the residual potential.

Roberto D’Angelo:Everything changed for us when we understood one very simple thing: that the best way to help our son was to help all the children in the world like him. We had the children develop a rehabilitation process for themselves and the only really important thing for these kids was playing and the ability to learn new motor skills thanks to another child like them with the same conditions. A few years ago it would have been impossible but today, thanks to technology, we can do this directly in their homes. Thanks to artificial intelligence, we were able to create a highly personalized process for the emotions of each individual child so that they can maximize the benefits. To give you an idea, during a month-long course of magic tricks, these children improved their bi-manual skills by an average of 26%. An extraordinary result.

Francesca Fedeli: The results of our summer-long Mirrorable Camp, in the process of being published, were exciting for us because we managed to demonstrate that these children improve not only their bi-manual skills, but also their learning skills, increasing the indicators of overall well-being, both the children’s and their whole family’s.

Cristina: When a problem touches us closely, more than ever we can become part of the solution.

On air February 23, 2019

Tooteko – a tactile conversation with art for the blind

By sdg 10, sdg 9, technology

Tooteko is a thesis project turned reality. Serena Ruffato, CEO, explains how their device works: making art accessible to the blind and visually impaired by integrating tactile exploration with audio data. Deborah Tramentozzi shares her experience of a Canova statue with me.

Cristina: We’re in Rome in a space that is now a restaurant, but was once the studio of Antonio Canova. We’re here to tell you about a technological application that’s also an important human experience. Serena, how does the application you created work?

Serena Ruffato: This technology combines audio and touch to allow everyone, even the blind, to experience works of art. It uses this ring, an NFC sensor reader, to recognize the sensors we place on the art work and transmits audio information to a smartphone.

Cristina: Altering the art means that you work with copies.

Serena Ruffato: Absolutely, we take the original piece, select it, scan it, reproduce it with 3D printing and then apply our sensors.

Cristina: Deborah, tell us how you’re equipped to live this experience and what it tells you.

Deborah Tramentozzi: I’m wearing this ring, which has an antenna inside it. This antenna communicates with a tag that is placed here on the statue, which I will now touch with a finger. The moment I put it on the tag, the ring emits a vibration and communicates with the smartphone. Which will start an audio guide. Now I’ll show you how it works. This technology, by connecting the two senses that I use best – touch and hearing – allows me to have a vision, I like to call it that, of the work of art without any filters. I come from an artistic environment, so I have always experienced guided tours through the filter of another person, who gave me an idea allowing me to interpret the work of art. This way, it’s me and my personality who get an idea of ​​the work of art and I can literally see just how each of you would. I think this is a great gift because giving the blind the independence and freedom to choose to enter a museum, something that is second nature to everyone, for me is truly a frontier that I thought would be impossible. Can I ask you to close your eyes, and I’ll start the next tag and touch the statue with you?

Cristina: Absolutely, thank you. It’s exciting, because it also allows me to enter into a kind of empathic resonance with Deborah’s experience. We hope that this project will allow as many people as possible to experience art in this new way. Occhio al futuro

On air November 17, 2018