A project on circular transition funded by T.I.M.E. Association

Two research projects of the Politecnico di Milano have won a grant of 10,000 euros each as T.I.M.E. projects, one of which is coordinated by the Department of Management Economic and Industrial Engineering of the School of Management with Dr. Alessandra Neri as principal investigator.

“The role of digitalization in supporting the industrial circular transition” is the project that aims at investigating the relationship between the adoption of digital technologies and the implementation of circular economy practices within the industrial sector. The goal is to understand the supporting role offered by the digital technologies, passing from the enhancement and generation of dynamic capabilities. This would be done by conducting an international survey, providing empirical-based insights.

KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) and Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain) are partners of the project and members of the T.I.M.E. Association. The University of the West of England (UK) and Aston University (UK) take part in the project as external members.

The T.I.M.E. Association (Top International Managers in Engineering), founded in 1989, is a network of leading technical universities and engineering schools in Europe and all over the world, with a strong international dimension in teaching, research and industrial relations. The association currently consists of 57 members in 25 countries, and the Politecnico di Milano is a member of the Advisory Committee.

Besides double degree activities, T.I.M.E. promotes a series of other initiatives, including the T.I.M.E. projects, through which the association co-finances new or existing initiatives between member universities, in which T.I.M.E. can represent an added value.

For more information:
https://www.polimi.it/en/articles/two-polimi-projects-funded-by-time-association/

 

 

The Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering in a new guise

After 9 months of renovations, the building in via Lambruschini in Milan is now ready to welcome again the community of the School of Management with completely renovated spaces.
The cutting of the ribbon, together with the Department Director prof. Alessandro Perego, was attended by Prof. Donatella Sciuto, Vice Rector and prof. Emilio Faroldi, Deputy Rector of Politecnico di Milano.

 

The new spaces of the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering located in the Bovisa Campus of the Politecnico di Milano were inaugurated a few days ago.

Designed on the basis of innovative usage concepts, the new environments are characterized by better lighting, energy saving systems and a biophilic approach. In particular, they have been designed to stimulate exchange and sharing thanks to a greater availability of common areas with different functions and a highly integrated technological service.

The project aimed at both individual well-being and at favoring the encounter allowing great flexibility of use.

The Department moved to the Bovisa Campus in 2009, when the university made available some new buildings following the renovation of the gasometers area. The historic campus of Piazza Leonardo da Vinci was in fact in need of new spaces due to the increase in the number of students, as well as teaching and administrative staff and the project allowed the relocation of some Departments from Città Studi to the North part of the city.

After more than 10 years in Bovisa, the Department decided to renovate not only due to the increase in the number of researchers, but also to adapt to new working habits that in recent years have become more digital, flexible and collaborative.

The Bovisa area was rebuilt following an international competition launched in 1998 by the Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with local authorities (Municipality of Milan and Regione Lombardia).
And now time has come to complete that project started out of a vision of 30 years ago, with the creation of a university citadel whose construction should start by the end of 2022: forty thousand square meters that will become green, the two gasometers transformed into an innovation center hosting companies and two hundred start-ups, and in a four-storey wellness and sports center open to the whole city.

 

Photo gallery of the inauguration event

Credit: Matteo Bergamini, © Lab Immagine Design POLIMI
Dipartimento di DESIGN, Politecnico di Milano
labimmagine-design@polimi.it

The new spaces

WeAre 4 Children: digital technologies for sport and youth wellbeing

The Politecnico di Milano E⁴SPORT Laboratory has designed a T-shirt fitted with sensors – “smart garment” – to collect data on the wellbeing of children aged 11 to 12 during sport activities.

 

Physical activity during childhood is of the utmost importance because it builds muscle strength, develops bone structure, improves blood circulation, strengthens the immune system and teaches children how to share and socialise with their peers. However, the recent pandemic has led many children to give up doing physical activity to embrace more sedentary lifestyles.

Amateur sport clubs have always been important actors in helping children grow through sport, supporting them in the creation of a mind-body equilibrium.
Today, this task can also be carried out with the use of new tools: thanks to digital technologies, this objective can be achieved using methods that were inconceivable in the past. In particular, technologies related to the Internet of Things (IoT) – such as smart garments, smart watches, smart bracelets, movement and posture sensors, etc. – once only available to the most prestigious sport clubs, could also be adopted by amateur sport clubs to gather relevant data “from the field” related to the quality of training, sporting performance, and the physical and mental wellbeing of children.

In this context, the Politecnico di Milano Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering and Department of Design, in collaboration with the U.S. Bosto Sport Centre in Varese, have developed an innovative project to understand how digital technologies can contribute to the wellbeing of young footballers, and improve their sporting performance.
The “WeAre 4 Children” research project has been approved by Politecnico di Milano Ethics Committee and will involve 20 young footballers from U.S. Bosto who, during their weekly training sessions in Capolago and friendly matches, will wear a sensor-fitted T-shirt capable of collecting data on their sporting performance and physical wellbeing. The monitoring will take place through biometric sensors installed in the T-shirts themselves, including accelerometers, heart-rate monitors and specific motion capture sensors that can detect real-time information on parameters such as cardiac activity, posture, breathing, energy consumption and mood.

Politecnico di Milano and U.S. Bosto have engaged with partners in the Varese area. In particular, TK Soluzioni (an ICT company from Saronno) will provide support in creating the platform that will be used to integrate the data collected, Alfredo Grassi (a textiles company from Lonate Pozzolo) will offer its expertise for the design and production of the T-shirt, and the Centro Polispecialistico Beccaria health centre’s Sports Medicine Unit in Varese will monitor the physical and postural data.

The project is conceived as a feasibility study, aimed at establishing whether the digital solution developed ad hoc is appreciated by young footballers, their families and their trainers, and whether the data collected are reliable and the system works correctly in different scenarios of usability (training, matches, etc.).

The Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering research group, headed by Professor Emanuele Lettieri and Dr Andrea Di Francesco, Engineer, project manager and researcher at Politecnico di Milano “E4Sport” interdepartmental Laboratory, will assess the impact that the project could have on U.S. Bosto’s extended community, as well as its economic-financial sustainability, with contributions from all of the project’s partners.
The ambition is to be able to extend the tested solution to other amateur sport clubs, including other sports in addition to football.

 

 

For further information: https://www.e4sport.polimi.it/weare4children/

BUDD-e: a project to support citizens with visual impairments

The Budd-e research project is a programme committed to improving the quality of life of visually impaired citizens to help to build a more equal and inclusive society by taking advantage of technological innovations.

 

The SARS-COV2 pandemic has significantly impacted everyone’s life, changing our habits and how we interact with others and our immediate environment. Among those most affected are people with visual impairments, who are considered to be at greater risk of contagion due to their need for tactile contact with people and spaces to be able to move and orientate themselves more easily.
Therefore, without touch, these people have seen their autonomy and quality of life become increasingly limited.

Isolation was even more severe for those with severe degrees of visual impairment. There are around 2 million such people in Italy, while at the global level they represent around 4% of the population. It is a significant “slice” of society for which technology could play a significant role in improving quality of life.

How can technological innovation be exploited to ensure independent and safe access to various spaces such as shopping centres, museums, hospitals or even athletics tracks?

Improving the quality of life of citizens with visual impairments through the opportunity to enjoy these and other spaces independently and safely is the ambitious objective of the multidisciplinary “BUDD-e” (Blind-assistive Autonomous Drive Device) research project, which was among the winners of the Polisocial Award (2021 Edition) – the Politecnico di Milano’s social responsibility programme financed with “5×1000” funds.

BUDD-e is an innovative person-robot system that incorporates a self-driving robot and was conceived based on the specific needs of blind or partially sighted people and the design of spaces made accessible thanks to the functionalities of the robot. BUDD-e will contribute to building a more equal and inclusive civil society.
BUDD-e will be capable of guiding and supporting blind or partially sighted people during their day-to-day activities – including the possibility of transporting goods – while maintaining the required speed and/or trajectory, by transmitting relevant information on the available routes via audible signals, thus avoiding collisions.

The research project – which will last 15 months and is coordinated by Prof. Marcello Farina from the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering and Prof. Emanuele Lettieri from the Department of Management, Economics, and Industrial Engineering – is characterised by the integration of several distinct areas of expertise within the Politecnico di Milano, ranging from engineering to management economics, from architecture to service design.

The research group may rely on the involvement of partners such as the UICI (Italian Union of the Blind and Partially Sighted), the ASST Niguarda Hospital regional healthcare agency, the non-profit organisations ICM (Milan Institute for the Blind Foundation), DISABILINCORSA, Tactile Vision and GSD Non Vedenti Milano (NVM) amateur sports group, as well as ASP Golgi Redaelli, YAPE S.r.l. and POLIMISPORT.
Lastly, the project will be conducted under the clinical and medical supervision of Dr Luigi Piccinini from the Scientific Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care (IRCCS) Medea.

The team of researchers from the Department of Management, Economics, and Industrial Engineering, headed by Prof. Emanuele Lettieri and Mr. Andrea Di Francesco will be committed to assessing the social impact generated by the BUDD-e project through the development of a specific methodology that allows the relevant details to be understood.

 

For further information you might refer to the website of the project BUDDE-e and to the website of the Interdepartmental Laboratory “Engineering for Sport” (E4Sport).

Green SUIte – the sustainability project involving more than 60 teams from 5 organisations – comes to an end

Agos, Enercom Group, Sparkasse, Tea Group and the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, supported by the Startup Intelligence Observatory, have promoted virtuous sustainable behaviours inside and outside of the business world.

 

Green SUIte, the environmental conservation initiative with which employees from Agos, Enercom Group, Sparkasse, Tea Group and the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano have activated virtuous sustainable behaviours with support from Up2You, the innovative B Corp certified start-up that develops customised solutions to help businesses become carbon neutral, has come to a successful conclusion.

The project, born from an idea conceived by Agos and Up2You during one of the round table sessions at the eighth edition of the Startup Intelligence Observatory organised by the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano, has attracted more than 600 users who, in recent months, have committed to performing daily tasks aimed at raising awareness and effectively protecting the environment. Out of a total of more than 19 thousand missions, 96% were completed successfully, with participants performing an average of 32 actions each. The favourite topics were the reduction of food waste and plastic and energy consumption. Thanks to the wide uptake, around 40,000 kg of carbon dioxide have been saved, 100 new trees have been planted and 50,000 kg of carbon dioxide have been neutralised.

On 3 May, in the presence of representatives from the companies involved in the contest, the award ceremony was held at the Politecnico di Milano, with participation from around 60 employees in person at the event and another 100 connected remotely. In line with the initiative’s green vocation, all of the awards given to the winners were rewarding sustainability; from individual recognitions such as the Carbon Neutral year, capable of neutralising travel emissions and food consumption with certified projects aimed at preserving ecosystems, to team recognitions such as the zero-emissions videocalls with colleagues and customers and promocodes to incentivise forestation in Italy and throughout the world.

Green SUIte has thus further enhanced the already strong partnership between large Italian companies and start-ups, to the advantage of the entire Italian innovative ecosystem, and has fostered Open Innovation within the national economic fabric, demonstrating that collaboration brings concrete and widespread benefits.

 

Purpose Talks – Sustainability and Purpose, the key to meeting today’s challenges

The idea of a ‘higher purpose’ cannot disregard the issue of sustainability. Businesses today are called upon to innovate their way of competing, leveraging environmental and social sustainability, and governance.

What are the challenges that companies face regarding these three macro aspects of sustainability?

What might be the transformations that will necessarily impact on business thinking?

How is a “sustainable” strategy developed?

On Thursday, April 21st, take part in the third appointment of our Purpose Talks on this topic. Purpose Talks is the series of events featuring lecturers, consultants, business managers and coaches who will explain how companies and organisations are moving in practical terms towards a new business model inspired by a “higher purpose”, which sees people and society as fundamental elements in creating a successful business.

 

The Speakers

Francesco Ferrara, Assurance partner and ESG Leader – PwC in Italia

Josip Kotlar, Associate Professor of Strategy, Innovation and Family Business at MIP Politecnico di Milano

Antonella Moretto, Associate Dean for Open Programs at MIP Politecnico di Milano

 

The event is held in English

REGISTER HERE

Something Big is Changing. Us.

Something big is changing. Us.

Those of you who come to our campus have probably noticed this. Three words appear everywhere: Make, Connect, Ignite.

What are they? They are our new trajectory, the School we want to become.

Make, because we want to be a Business School where you can get your hands dirty, because it is by doing that you learn.
The Business School we want to be is a place to grow and to have the freedom to make mistakes. Because we learn from our mistakes. And only those who never do anything, never make mistakes.
The Business School that we want to be is a space that stimulates creativity and the ideation of practical solutions to the most important problems that companies and society are facing today.

Connect, because which place is more suitable than a School for exchanging ideas, debating, and feeling part of something big? The Business School that we want to be, in fact, is a place which we feel is ours, because it is made up of the authentic relationships that we build on every day.
The Business School we want to be is the one where we know that we are part of a whole, united in successes as well as challenges.
The Business School we want to be is one capable of creating connections, because it is from connections that innovation is born.

And finally, ignite, because a spark is enough to give birth to great ideas. It only takes a spark to make a difference. A spark is enough to build a better future for everyone.
Guided by our purpose, we want to be that spark.

Make, Connect, Ignite. Three words that arise from a profound path of change that starts from afar, from the reflection – which started at the beginning of 2020 – on what were the founding values of our School, what was our purpose.

Accompanied by The Mind at Work, we have come to understand who we want to be, where we want to go, and  ̶  above all  ̶  why we want to take this path. We have found in our purpose – we are committed to inspire and partner with innovators to shape a better future for all – a beacon that guides  our actions and which will continue to do so in the future.

This is only the first step. Are you ready to discover with us what comes next?

Rob Napoli

We are delighted to catch up with New-York-based MIP Ambassador and entrepreneur, Rob Napoli, a “burst of energy” who is one of our most proactive alumni, remaining closely involved with the School. Rob was awarded the Master in Marketing Management, IM4, in 2016, and has gone on to have many successes in his chosen field. Here, he recounts his story, shares his current thinking, and based on his experience, provides some good advice to potential students.

Please could you give us a brief outline of your background and tell us what has brought you to where you are now?

My career started out in recruitment in the Midwest before I met my now wife in small-town Iowa. Shortly into dating, she mentioned she was going to move to Europe to get her master’s degree and asked me to follow her or break up… So I followed her to Milan, Italy, where I got my Master at MIP and while in Milan, I also coached professional American football and was Head of Content and Brand for a Polimi-based startup. I helped that startup scale and went to New York City as part of an accelerator program before transitioning into a large global corporation, where I was in charge of recruiting marketing professionals. In 2019, I got fired for the first time in my life, not for performance, but for passion. This is when I started two companies, Hapday Group which is/was a US go-to-market entry company helping companies enter the US market with sales-as-a-service. We grew this company almost 100% Year-over-Year and were acquired in February 2021 by Move Ventures, where I have stayed on as a Board Member. I currently run Rise Up Coaching (soon to be rebranded as Rise Up Media), where I create and lead training and development programs for startups, scaleups, and corporates.

What would you say are the specific influences of your IM4 course, and your time at MIP in general, on your life and work today?

It was my time at MIP where I realized that my career passion started. When I came to MIP I thought I wanted to work in Big Data Marketing for large corporates, but during my time in Milan, I fell in love with the idea of entrepreneurship and startups and chose to work for a small Polimi Hub-launched startup and turned down an internship to work at Nielsen on the Mars brand in Belgium.

It was my time in Milan that really motivated me to be more involved in the startup ecosystem vs the traditional corporates. Because of this realization, I have had many stops along my journey. I went to New York City to go through a global accelerator, where I pitched to a number of Investors, Angels, and VCs and won a number of pitch companies. I wanted to prove that I could make it in a global corporate, so I went into a corporate environment for 18 months where I built a new line of business and was promoted. I confirmed what I had realized in Milan… I wanted to work in startups. I stayed in touch with MIP and have been able to give guest lectures and talks, as well as stayed on as an IM4 Ambassador; it has been amazing to remain involved in the ecosystem. In fact, because I am an alumnus of MIP and Polimi, I have made a number of connections and even closed clients who are alumni. This has led me to work with organizations and partnerships such as the Italian Trade Agency in NYC.

You are incredibly active on social media, with your work, podcasts and you have even found time to write a book! Is this spontaneous activity or do you spend a lot of time planning? Do you find the time management and decision-making processes easy?

I have clinically diagnosed ADHD and undiagnosed low-grade OCD, so it is equal parts spontaneous and process. If I am too spontaneous, I have great ideas and poor execution, while if I try to put in too much process, then I get lost in the details with OCD and end up trying to perfect everything vs getting good out. For me, the goal is time-blocking  ̶  my calendar is my NUMBER 1 Communication Tool: if it is not on my cal, it doesn’t happen. So what I do is time-block out tasks and activities on my calendar and once that block is done, I move on to the next thing. 

In which direction do you see yourself  ̶  and your areas of interest  ̶  heading in the future?

I want to continue to develop Rise Up Coaching to media services and create a space and a place for more content like a Rise Up Podcast network, as well as launch my own line of branded courses on entrepreneurship and brand. 

Sometimes what I want to build feels overwhelming and daunting, while on other days there is full clarity. It is an ongoing process. We are told that during our time at University and if we go through a master’s degree, we should know what we want to do and how to do it. I can see what I am building go a number of ways, and I also want to demystify this idea that we have to have life figured out. Life is an ongoing process and as we age, we grow, so I want to embody that and show that you can have a non-linear career path and still make great things happen. I live by the idea of ‘staying curious’ because when you are curious, you learn, and when you learn, you build.

With reference to both your LinkedIn profile and the title of your recent book, what does the concept of “soul” signify to you?  

I talk about the “Social Soul” in the light of who we are online; we need to be our real selves, as that is how real, authentic relationships are formed. And to do this, we need to show our souls online: this is us, who we are, the good, the bad (the tough lessons we learn), and everything in between. 

What advice would you give today to anybody considering studying marketing at MIP?

Build a value-added network early! Connect and build relationships with your classmates, other students at MIP, the professors, guest lecturers, etc. And start connecting and following industry leaders that you can learn from. Building a network early will open up so many opportunities, as well as enabling you to be at the forefront of innovative marketing strategies.

Self Executive Career Coaching

In the age of pandemic disruption, what do managers have to focus on to manage their professionalism at their best?
Organizational skills and personal reputation are at the forefront.

We are in the age of pandemic disruption.
Globalization and re-localization are changing their paradigm; the managerial talent pool continues to increase due to diversity and new generations, but skills shortage and war for talents are a matter of fact. Moreover, businesses are becoming increasingly less pyramidal and less top-down. So today Managers should focus on self-value, growing professionally and working on self-development, rather than just building a career. The notion of executive career is therefore based more on organizational skills and networking than on preconceived knowledges.
Growing professionally means being aware of one’s own organizational skills and managerial actions, as well as asking superiors, partners and coaches for feedback. It is important to pay attention to your soft skills, to have your own action plan and to be aware of your personal brand. In short, self-career management.

CONTINUOUS LEARNING

Continuous learning is necessary to keep up with the market and to be aware of your own managerial wellbeing.
It begins with defining your goals, identifying the skills to achieve them and analyzing at what stage of this path you are.
“If I leave this specific company with my current background, will I be able to reposition myself in the market adequately?”
If yes, it is best to “stay on the market” because the business and professional worlds are constantly evolving.
If the answer is negative, managers shouldn’t feel discouraged, but rather continue to improve themselves according to specific guidelines.

HOW TO TRAIN

These days managers are asked to fulfill different targets simultaneously: from large-scale goals and singular functions, to one’s own professional growth.
It is necessary to have a comprehensive approach which includes acquiring technical and managerial capabilities for internal organization, as well as external relational skills.
The support of an executive coach can be decisive in this way.
It is important to prepare strategies to strengthen skills, keeping in mind coaching techniques for building relationships and networking.
If managers are particularly eager, they can start acting on their own, following a few guidelines.

WHICH BUSINESS TO TARGET?

The choice of “target companies” depends on one’s background and specific goals.
Managers with experience in foreign multinational corporations or in entrepreneurial businesses may have different paths and opportunities to choose from.
New businesses and startups are good opportunities, but of course not for everyone.

INTERNATIONAL RELOCATION: IS A MUST.

At high managerial levels, internationals experiences are a must.
They indicate an open-minded and risk-taking attitude, as well as the development of distinctive skills (i.e. ability to engage with different cultures, to negotiate at several levels with various rules etc.)

NETWORKING & REPUTATION

Networking with the sole goal of taking advantage of opportunities, thus for repositioning, is a practice that does not pay off much in the long term, and, in recent times, neither in the short period. The receiver (head hunters in primis) is usually aware of this instrumental goal and will be skeptical, though perhaps subconsciously.
Not only is networking for “learning and sharing” more noble, but also decidedly more useful.
The key combination is networking and collaboration.
Build your professional brand” is an even more relevant slogan, both on professional large social networking and in vertical communities. Reputation is important because managers have to build confidence in themselves and in their resources. This is fundamental to develop a critical thinking and to respond proactively to challenges, without letting themselves get buried by other’s expectations.

DIGITAL

Digital is another key word that some people confuse with a mere technological skill.
Today, people managers are asked to navigate the new, while appreciating (and taking advantage of) younger generations, who can bring a new approach to business (reverse mentoring), thus helping challenge the status quo. In short, to connect the dots in a different way.

DECISIVE FACTORS

Overall, the axis of current career self-management consists of overseeing your hard skills and business command, as well as soft skills like organizational and people management, as they let you be perceived as a real decision maker, enabler of change and value carrier.
Businesses need highly reliable players whose moral strength, fitting with the specific company’s culture, is clear even in the worst situations.

ERC Consolidator Grant goes to Massimo Tavoni

Massimo Tavoni, Full Professor of climate economics at the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano, is the winner of the ERC Consolidator Grant with the EUNICE project, which aims to reduce uncertainties in climate stabilisation pathways. 

 

Massimo Tavoni, Professor at the School of Management of Politecnico di Milano and Director of the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE), is one of the winners of the 2022 edition of the ERC Consolidator Grants from the European Research Council (ERC), the first pan-European organisation for frontier research.

Professor Tavoni’s research was selected from over two thousand proposals submitted to ERC, which aims to foster scientific excellence by supporting and encouraging competition for funding among the best and most original researchers.

In detail, EUNICE aims to correct errors and biases in the ensembles of climate-energy-economic models that study climate stabilisation, and to develop ways to validate and confirm scenario insights.

The main objective of the project is therefore to develop an innovative and integrated approach to quantify, translate and communicate in an effective and prompt way the main uncertainties associated with low-carbon pathways and scenarios that explore very distant futures, renewing the methodological and experimental bases of model-based climate assessments. Three key objectives for three main research lines: extending current scenarios to the “deep” future and quantifying their uncertainties; removing errors and biases from scenarios to account for short-term disruptions (e.g. extreme and unexpected events); translating maps of the future provided by models into robust and reliable guidelines; and testing how to communicate these in the most effective and timely way.

EUNICE is a project of great relevance also for other research areas: indeed the approach and innovations developed by EUNICE can also be applied to other high-risk environmental, social and technological assessments. Its unique combination of computational and behavioural science and public engagement will be an important mediation tool in debates on fundamental decisions for our society, increasing confidence in and recognition of the scientific method.

 

 

For more information on ERC Consolidator Grants 2022: https://erc.europa.eu/news/erc-2021-consolidator-grants-results