Last Friday September 21st Cesena Fiera hosted “Fattore R” (“the R factor”), the Romagna Economics Forum, organized by Confindustria Romagna, Cesena Fiera and EY, with a special focus on sustainability. The day was rich in high-level contents, thanks to the contributions of many entrepreneurs, the Emilia-Romagna Region President Stefano Bonaccini and Eric Maskin, the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics.
The potential of Romagna
An extraordinary artistic and cultural patrimony, a great capability of community-sharing, good levels of quality employment: this accounts for Romagna, thanks to its responsiveness to the tangible and intangible needs, it is a territory of great attractiveness for the quality of life and its potential. Just consider that Romagna stands out for its high level of competitiveness, which soars 10 points above the average national figures, thanks in particular to the quantity and the quality of entrepreneurial initiatives. Such potential might be furthermore developed through a strategic territorial planning.
A strategic planning for a sustainable economic development
Sara Cirone’s contribution focused on such points. Only through strategic assets can a territory develop its uniqueness, distinctiveness and joy of living. We are talking about the land of good food, of dancing, of popular folklore: the Romagna coast is widely known in the world because of its joy of living, and far better results might be reached. In order to do so, though, it is crucial to put in practice a medium-long term strategy linking the outstanding assets of tourism, manufacturing plants, Agriculture and Culture with its artistic and monumental patrimony. Growth, subcontracting, occupation, might be reached in this way: in a word, an economically sustainable growth.
A better communication to re-launch the territory
External communication is then fundamental to make the beauty of the territory and the quality of life it expresses known. Communication is a strategic activity, not just operative, as often wrongly perceived in both entrepreneurial and non-entrepreneurial environments. It is only in view of a clear strategy, with precise targets and goals, that it becomes possible to communicate what one has, what one is, wants and does. What we communicate is real, communication is an healing factor in this sense, as it compels us to meditate upon identity, our own self-assessment, and how we intend to position ourselves in the territory.
The weaknesses of Romagna
A research made by E&Y points out the presence of some critical factors in the territory of Romagna: a lack of skilled technical staff, such as engineers and analysts, a low level of innovation, since the trend is to invest in traditional sectors instead of start-ups, a scarce cooperation between entrepreneurs and insufficient infrastructure and transportation means with respect to the need of companies and citizens.
Starting off from school
Eric Maskin devotes his intervention to some suggestions for Romagna, setting out from the E&Y research. It is necessary to improve the competences, investing as soon as possible on instruction and training, ever since early child age. It is necessary that students focus on those disciplines apparently lacking in appeal and attractiveness, (such as mathematics and science), by teaching them in a passionate, enjoyable and interesting way. Finally, it is important to attract and incentivize good teachers, to improve the quality of teaching, bringing it to the requested level and useful to the work market.
Furthermore, it would be advisable that companies and University cooperate together in order to activate a program of remunerated summer internships (based on the US model), to encourage a system of on-field teaching capable to develop the professionalism of students, getting them ready for work and establish relationships which will be finalized after the end of studies.
Encouraging entrepreneurial skills
Encouraging young people to study entrepreneurial skills allows their ideas, their dreams to be fulfilled within companies. Ideally, introducing this subject in universities, such as in the US, fosters professors to follow their students’ start-ups.
That’s how the silicon valley was born.
Collaboration among companies
Facilitating cooperation among companies is of fundamental importance: it would imply a warranty of success, lower risks, and a great source of shared competences.
Improving the means of transportation
Identically, the promotion of partnership programs between public and private would be advisable, in order to improve public transportation, lower the environmental impact and all risks linked to road mobility.
A diffused well-being implies that Romagna puts all its strengths and uniqueness together and works more, and better, on the codification of know-how and assets, to communicate its high goals.
Companies, foundations, public administrations together may participate in this dialogue, by networking their competences, their points of view, their needs, to participate jointly to a territorial welfareand the development of civilization.