The #forges of the #knowledgelab

#Forges. Perspectives for shaping today and tomorrow.
In collaboration with the Corriere del Ticino.
#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knowledgelab #forges

Some of the major challenges of today and the role that knowledge can play in understanding and addressing them. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of USI, starting from the goals of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we propose a series of ten articles in which, through the views of USI experts, we present and reflect on the fields of knowledge in which our University is active - architecture, communication, law, economics, informatics, medicine and biomedicine, public health, computational science, data science and humanities - and on their role as "forges" of ideas, perspectives and visions to help shape the present and the future. Each week, on the pages of the Corriere del Ticino, we will cover a UN objective with three perspectives: a full-length feature item and two short additional views.

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The series

By definition, a university is an institution devoted to the development and transfer of knowledge, serving the community and in dialogue with society.  

An editorial by our Rector Prof. Boas Erez and an interview with Yves Flückiger, President of swissuniversities, introduce the series of feature articles dedicated to the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knowledgelab #forges

Read the editorial (in Italian)

Read the interview (in Italian)


SDG - Obiettivi di sostenibilità ONU

Reducing inequalities

While running a Google images search on "sustainability", the colour green dominates. Most of us automatically associate the concept with the environment. Among the search engine results, however, there are still plenty of images that remind us that sustainability is also economical and, more importantly, social. A more sustainable world is also a fairer world, and vice versa.

Let's discuss sustainability goal #10, "Reducing inequalities", from the perspectives of public health, communication and informatics, together with Marta Fadda, lecturer and researcher at USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences; Lorenzo Cantoni, Professor at USI Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society, Director of the Institute of Digital Technologies for Communication; and Monica Landoni, lecturer and researcher at USI Faculty of Informatics.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knwoledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)


SDG - Ridurre le disuguaglianze

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Urbanisation is perhaps one of the most spectacular events that have occured on our Planet over the past century. Today, more than half of the global population lives in cities or urban areas, with estimates of up to 70 per cent by 2050. This development brings with it many opportunities in socio-economic terms, but also major challenges, especially in terms of the carbon footprint and quality of life of people.

We here reflect on SDG #11, which aims to "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable," with Muck Petzet, architect, curator, and since 2014 Professor of Sustainable Design at the USI Academy of Architecture; Barbara Antonioli Mantegazzini, Economist and Deputy Director of the USI Institute for Economic Research; and Antonietta Mira, Professor of Statistics and Director of the USI Data Science Lab.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knowledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)



SDG - Città e comunità sostenibili

Clean and accessible energy

The climate issue is one of the significant challenges of our time. Globally, greenhouse gas emissions have increased by 6 billion tons of CO₂, equivalent to nearly 49 billion. Despite the commitment of several countries to reduce their environmental impact, fossil fuels still cover 81.3% of the energy used in the world, with a decrease, in 50 years, of only a few percentage points. Figures that help to understand how crucial it is, and anything but simple, to pursue the goal of cleaner energy.

UN Goal 7 aims to ensure access to "clean and sustainable energy" for all. We tackle the issue with Rolf Krause, Director of the USI Euler Institute; Suzanne Suggs, Professor at the USI Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society; Massimo Filippini, Professor at the USI Instiute of Economics, Faculty of Economics, and at the Department of Management, Technology and Economics ETH Zurich.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knowledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)


SDG - Energia pulita e accessibile

Gender equality

Among the first UN Sustainable Development Goals we find gender equality and empowerment of women. A fair representation of women in the world of work and in politics is a fundamental element for a country that aspires to dynamic and lasting socio-economic growth. However, the fifth SDG is still far from being achieved. In fact, according to the Global Gender Gap index published by the WEF in March, the time needed to close the gender gap on a global scale has increased from 99.5 to 135.6 years.

We reflect on the goal #5, "Achieve gender equality", from the perspective of law, economics, and communication, together with Federica De Rossa, Associate Professor of Economic Law and Director of the USI Law Institute; Sara Greco, Associate Professor of Argumentation and Vice-Dean of USI Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society; and Giulia Savio, PhD in Economics at USI and Axa fellow in Gender Economics at Bocconi University in Milan.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knowledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)


SDG - Parità di genere

Peace, justice and strong institutions

In 2017, riding the wave of the viral hashtag #MeToo, the entire Western society questions its actual ability to guarantee women fundamental rights and social justice. An example that seems to confirm the role that communication can play in contributing to a more inclusive and participatory society, capable of of reacting to inequities and shortcomings. But is this really the case? And, more generally, is our society managing to avoid socio-economic fractures that put its "peace" at risk?

Let's discuss sustainability goal #10, "Peace, justice and strong institutions", from the perspectives of communication, architecture and informatics, together with Luca Visconti, Dean of USI Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society, Martino Pedrozzi, architect, lecturer at USI Academy of Architecture, Raphaël Parchet and Lorenzo Barisone, Professor and researcher at USI Faculty of Economics.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knwoledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)


SDG - Pace, giustizia e istituzioni solide

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

In 2016, WEF founder and President Klaus Schwab said that "we stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another." The so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution was thus made official. While on the one hand the impact of this revolution has been more sudden and visible for many of us (just think of the global spread of digital information and communication technologies), on the other hand the real long-term challenge will concern technological innovation applied to production processes to achieve greater efficiency and, above all, improved sustainability and inclusion. In fact, among the effects of "Industry 4.0" there are fears of increased social inequality due to the impact of digital automation on the workforce.

We reflect on UN Sustainability Goal #9, "Industry, innovation and infrastructure", from the perspectives of computer science, philosophy, and economics, with Luca Maria Gambardella, Pro-Rector at USI for Innovation and Corporate relations; Damiano Costa, lecturer at the USI Master of Philosophy; and Giovanni Pica and Benjamin Lerch, respectively Professor and PhD candidate at the USI Institute of Economics (IdEP).

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knowledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)


SDG - Imprese, innovazione e infrastrutture

Partnerships for the goals

The latest report on the state of health and health-care in OECD countries highlighted that the shock generated by the global health crisis due to COVID-19 has brought out, especially in Europe, a lack of coordination among the various states in adopting urgent strategies and effective and shared containment measures to respond to the emergency. This fragmentation has once again raised the issue of international synergies in a profoundly globalised world, where the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil can trigger a tornado in Texas.

We reflect on the goal #17, "Partnerships for the goals", from the perspective of data science, law, and communication, together with Antonietta Mira, Professor of Statistics and Data Science at USI Faculty of Economics and director of USI Data Science Lab; Ernst-Jan Camiel Wit, Professor of Data Science at USI Faculty of Informatics; Ilaria Espa, Senior Assistant Professor of International Business Law at USI Law Institute; and Nele Langebraun, research fellow at USI Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knowledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)


SDG - Partnership per gli obiettivi

No poverty and zero hunger

To achieve, or at least attempt to achieve, the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, one requires resources, which not everyone has in equal measure. In fact, to realise the Agenda 2030 strategy, the people of a country should neither be hungry nor hopelessly poor. And this is why the UN sets the ending of poverty and hunger as its first objectives. But how can one eat when there is no money to buy food, and how can one rise from poverty when malnourished? This is a typical vicious circle, which is difficult to turn into a virtuous one, especially in this case, given the complexity that characterises the problem of hunger and poverty in the world - a complexity that must be addressed with a systemic approach, considering the mutual interrelationships, as well as those with other issues of sustainability.

We reflect on the goals #1 and #2, "No poverty" and "Zero hunger", from the perspective of economics, communication and biomedicine, together with Paulo Gonçavles, Professor of Management at USI Faculty of Economics; Michael Gibbert, Professor of Marketing at the USI Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society; and Davide Robbiani, director of the Institue for Research in Biomedicine (IRB, affiliated to USI).

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knowledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)



SDG - Sconfiggere la povertà

Good health and well-being

Despite advances in medicine and a general increase in life expectancy, even in the most advanced countries, people's health is still threatened by several factors such as exposure to pandemics and the rise of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and other related risk factors such as smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol, inadequate diet and pollution. All of them will contribute to reshaping the challenges of medicine in the coming years.

Let's discuss sustainability goal #3, "Good health and well-being", from the perspectives of medicine and biomedicine, informatics and computational science, together with Giovanni Pedrazzini, Head Physician at Cardiocentro Ticino, Professor and Dean at USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences; Silvia Santini, Associate Professor at USI Faculty of Informatics; and Vittorio Limongelli, Professor of Pharmacology at USI Faculty of Biomedical Sciences.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knwoledgelab #forges

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SDG - Salute e benessere

Climate action

As in the city of Leonia imagined by Calvino, brand-new consumer goods are repurchased every day accumulating ever more impressive mountains of waste. We never ask ourselves, "where the garbage men take their load every day?". We live in a constant state of oblivion and distraction regarding the issue of environmental protection. Has any action against climate change been slowed down by the concept of "men at the centre of everything"? Or could this concept boost the protection of our ecosystem? And again, what can we do to optimise our actions and rethink our paradigms?

We reflect on the goal #13, "Fighting Climate Change", from the perspectives of the Humanities, Informatics and Architecture, together with Stefano Prandi, Professor of Italian Literature at the Faculty of Communication, Culture and Society and Director of the Institute of Italian Studies at USI; Cesare Alippi, Alberto Ferrante and Slobodan Lukovic, respectively Professor and Researcher at USI Faculty of Informatics; and Sascha Roesler, Professor at USI Academy of Architecture.

#USI25 #shapingknowledge #knwoledgelab #forges

Read the article (in Italian)


SDG - Lotta contro il cambiamento climatico