Short-term rental trends and the global pandemic: “emancipatory catastrophism” in a metamorphosing world

Short-term rental trends and the global pandemic: “emancipatory catastrophism” in a metamorphosing world

As Ulrich Beck taught us, we live in a metamorphosing world. We are not simply experiencing changes; we are going through a metamorphosis. Even the current global pandemic is part of this metamorphosis, which eradicates all the certainties of modern society; what was inconceivable happens now, suddenly, as a global event.

This reflection fits well in the current context and offers a way to read what is happening and what will happen in many areas due to the virus shock. One of the hardest hit sectors is tourism, paralysed by the lockdown imposed by governments and by the prohibition to travel freely. The European parliament estimates a loss of one billion euros in revenue per month as a result in the European tourism market; the U.S. Travel Association projects a loss of 4.6 million jobs through May in the U.S travel market, a figure likely to increase. Roger Dow, president and CEO of the association said that “the impact on travel is six or seven times greater than the 9/11 attacks”.

According to many agencies, such as the Engel & Völkers, the sub-sector most negatively exposed is that of short-term rentals, while for others, such as AirDNA, an online rental analysis company, short-term rentals are more resistant to the impacts of the Coronavirus than hotels, cruises, and airlines. What is sure is that in the last years, Airbnb and its competitors have transformed the travel accommodation market, reshaped cities and neighbourhoods, sometimes strengthening the hyper-touristification process. Till yesterday we have been reflecting on the impacts  of short-term rental platforms on cities, warring about over-tourism, gentrification, exacerbation of the housing crisis… (find our reflections here) and struggling to join forces and find collective solutions also among cities (see the European Network for Short-Term Rentals or the opinion on “A European framework for regulatory responses to the collaborative economy” adopted by the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) in December 2019; or again the reflections made during the 2018 Sharing Cities Summit and the 2019 Sharing Cities Encounter). Today the global pandemic has completely changed the tourism scenario, by zeroing out tourism and emptying our cities.

Headlines report: “Airbnb’s Coronavirus Crisis: Burning Cash, Angry Hosts and an Uncertain Future” (Wall Street Journal); “How the Covid-19 crisis locked Airbnb out of its own homes” (The Guardian); “Can Airbnb Survive Coronavirus?” (CityLab); “Is this the end of Airbnb?” (Wired). According to AirDNA, bookings on Airbnb are down 85 percent, and cancellations close to 90 percent: so much so that revenue generated by the platform, in March alone, fell by 25 percent (on an annual basis). Trends that will not pick up soon, since much of the world is still on lockdown and that, in the year of the Airbnb’s debut on the stock exchange, are already impacting on the company’s evaluation (from 50-70 billion dollars, to 26 billion according to the Financial Times). Nevertheless, the company remains optimistic; as declared by the CEO and co-founder, Brian Chesky, Airbnb was born “during the great recession of 2008. The desire for connections and travel is a human prerogative, which will emerge strengthened from this period of separation […] we will see a new flexibility in the world where people work and move, including a greater interest in travel closer to home”. In addition, Airbnb just cashed a billion-dollar check from two new investors: private equity giant Silver Lake and investment firm Sixth Street Partners, demonstrating to still have trust from the market.

The first reactions of Airbnb relate to its community (in line with the company narrative about the central role of the community), with the twofold goal of on the one hand helping hosts and on the other hand creating the conditions to let its community support the emergency response on a solidarity base. In terms of internal help Airbnb has reserved a donation of $250 million to hosts, as a contribution to cover the cost of cancellations following the COVID-19 pandemic (responding to the protests of apartment owners who were called to the full refund of reservations between March 14 and May 31); in addition, a Super Host Relief Found has been launched to support Superhosts who live in the accommodation listed in the platform and who need help to pay their rent or mortgage, as well as for long-time experience hosts; the fund was collected thanks to Airbnb employees who donated $1 million, while the founders put in the remaining $9 million; another $7 million has been added by investors, for a total of $17 million. Starting in April, hosts will be able to apply for grants of up to $5,000, which will not have to be refunded.  

In terms of external help Airbnb has extended its already active program, Airbnb Open Homes, creating a program for healthcare workers, starting from Italy and France, with the goal to provide complete accommodation to 100,000 professionals worldwide, enabling them to maintain isolation. Airbnb therefore waived the costs of these accommodations, allowing operators to focus on assistance. In addition, the platform is providing guidelines for house cleaning.

In Italy other platforms have launched a similar support campaign: Altido, CleanBnB, Halldis, Italianway, Sweetguest and Wonderful Italy, six of the main Italian companies managing apartments for short-term rentals. They have signed an agreement to support the efforts of medical and nursing staff through the campaign #stateacasanostra [#stayinourhome]. The cost of renting the properties for those who participate in the campaign is totally absorbed by the promoting companies, which will only ask guests for a contribution for the final cleaning and sanitization.

Furthermore, several reactions from the market can be detected:

1- a rural revival. Beside the falling down of revenue from the listings in urban areas, we are observing a revenue increase for the listings located in suburban areas and in particular in rural areas, especially in the United States, where 73% of March Airbnb’s revenue was indeed made outside large urban centres. AirDNA reports the following data:

  • Airbnb revenues in rural areas: $1.32 billion in March 2020, up from $1.04 billion in March 2019.
  • Airbnb revenues in urban areas: $631 million in March 2020, down from $706 million in March 2019.

It should be underlined that this sudden burst of rural demand has not always been accepted by residents. In some jurisdictions short-term rentals have been temporarily banned or non-residents stays have been prohibited (as recently reported by BuzzFeed News).

The rural revival is not yet recorded in Italy for example, but it is conceivable that accommodations in less-travelled areas will be preferred in the near future if the short-term rental will survive.

Source: airdna.co

2- a traditional hotels’ payback. As underlined by professor Michael O’Regan of the UK’s Bournemouth University, when the travel industry will start to revive, traditional hotels could benefit more, since people “might be less inclined to book Airbnb […] due to perceived cleanliness issues”; and there is who predicts a possible swing toward a previously niche sector: apartment buildings run by hotels.

3 – a flow reverse. A question comes up: as in the past house units have been moved from the traditional real state market to the short-term rental market, will we see the flow reverse? The theory is that as the short-term market drops off a cliff, the listings from platforms like Airbnb will be moved onto long-term platforms, or reintroduced in the traditional housing market. As a result, due to the surge in supply, the rates of monthly rentals will be cut. By date, even if some owners are moving their listings to the traditional real estate market – subtracting in this way accommodation units from the tourist sector and re-introducing them into the long-term rental market – real estate economists have confirmed that there is no surge of short-term rental listings  going into the long-term rental market.

Urban planning professor David Wachsmuth of the McGill University has been studying for years the urban impacts of short-term rental platforms and contributed to a 2019 Canadian study on Airbnb, finding that the company had pulled more than 31,000 units from the long-term rental market in Canada. Today, he expects that the health crisis will result in “a significant reduction in the number of units available in the short term”, but he invites to be prudent, since it is still too early to tell whether there is actually a reverse flow from short-term to long-term rentals. He talks of Airbnb as a “crater”: for people who rent spare bedrooms or use the platform to supplement their primary income, this is not the end of the world but simply the loss of a reliable secondary income; for the more aggressive speculators, who bought condos with the intention of renting them all year round, this can be a financial ruin.

As many researches have underlined, all over the world this last one is the biggest group; Airbnb listings are mainly owned by hosts with at least one other listing or by multiple owners, namely companies that manage rent-to-rent properties; i.e. in US, as reported by AirDNA, 600,000 listings out of 1.1 million are of multiple owners and are available for more than six months of the years, data that assimilates these properties more to hotel rooms and less to sharing economy holiday rentals. Greg Chauve, a Canadian property manager, is already perceiving the transformation of the business models for the category of multiple owners: those who used to have a tourism-oriented business are now looking for medium-long term tenants.

This perception is confirmed by the analytics firm GlobalData, according to which “Airbnb could lose significant portion of host community to long-term rental sites”; GlobalData affirms that a growing number of Airbnb hosts are deleting their listings and moving them on the less lucrative but more reliable monthly market. As reported in a recent Wired article, monthly rental listings startups such as Homads or Kopa, are recording a tenfold increase in hosts and listings in their platforms, letting the “Airbnb effect” become more visible than ever before. The same Airbnb is now offering long term rentals, at least one month. The famous housing activist Murray Cox, founder of InsideAirbnb, sees a very positive side in this temporarily reduced numbers of Airbnb’s listings: municipalities are having a clear picture of how pervasive are short-term rentals in their territory and might impose regulations to force extra short-term units off the market, as well as preventing new unit conversions.

Will these unexpected developments finally benefit local residents, people looking for a stable house in a constantly in crisis market? Will these changes open new hopes for the general housing market? Aligning with what Beck called “emancipatory catastrophism”, we can claim that a progressive and structural social change brought by a crisis, a metamorphosis coming out from a disruption, can become an opportunity – at least in this sector and with the previous premises.

Is this new scenario possible? Will we observe a shift oriented towards sustainable innovation rather than profit? As also Jeremy Rifkin stressed in his latest book, we need a pact for a socially responsible economy and for the planet. In his work Rifkin reflects mainly on climate change, but the connection between the current outbreak and the broader environmental dimension is evident; and it’s clear that short-term rental platforms are one of the sectors that need a change; or do we really want to come back to the existing wicked market? Can we aspire to a metamorphosis that, recalling Beck’s reflections, “goes beyond the theory of the world risk society” and “does not concern the negative side effects of goods, but the positive side effects of evils”? (p. 6).

The invitation is to reason in terms of “emancipatory catastrophism”, realizing that the threat that oppresses us could lead to a turning point in a cosmopolitan sense[1], making us look to sustainable innovation, to a better environment for local resident and to a more sustainable form of tourism, probably an “undertourism” (Higgins-Desbiolles, 2020). Beck is not alone in his optimistic approach to the crisis: among many others Jim Bendell talks of “deep adaptation pandemic of love” and Sandrine Dixson-Declève and colleagues of “crisis-as-progressive-opportunity”. We need to think beyond the apocalypse and to guide the metamorphosis, starting from what the pandemic has revealed regarding our broken and decayed political and social system.


[1] Beck uses the term cosmopolitan revising it: for him the ‘cosmopolitan gaze’ means that in a world of global crises and dangers generated by progress the old distinctions – between inside and outside, national and international, us and others – lose their binding character and that we need a new realism, a cosmopolitan realism. Read more here.

“Reggio Emilia, come va?” Il Comune di Reggio Emilia lancia un questionario (e invita altre città a usarlo)

“Reggio Emilia, come va?” Il Comune di Reggio Emilia lancia un questionario (e invita altre città a usarlo)

L’emergenza sanitaria ha rivoluzionato il modo di vivere di tutti noi, al lavoro, a casa, nel quartiere dove abitiamo. Sono cambiate le relazioni, la socialità, il nostro modo di percepire la città.

Reggio Emilia, come va?” è un questionario per ascoltare i cittadini, la prima tappa di un progetto a cui faranno seguito collaborazioni, interviste, cultura partecipativa, ascolto, buone pratiche. Per ritrovare quella condivisione che contraddistingue il Comune di Reggio Emilia, negli intenti e nella volontà.

‘Reggio Emilia, come va?’ è anche un progetto collaborativo: un modo per aprirsi al confronto con altri Comuni italiani e ragionare insieme, a partire dalla lettura dei territori, su scenari e soluzioni future possibili.
Per questo, il Comune di Reggio Emilia mette a disposizione questo strumento ad ogni amministrazione locale interessata ad usarlo, a titolo gratuito e secondo i criteri internazionali Creative Commons. L’intento è di fare un’azione utile per i cittadini dando vita ad un progetto collaborativo trasversale tra amministrazioni.

Il questionario, che si compone di sei diverse sezioni, è stato sviluppato nell’ambito del progetto collaborativo QUA, Quartiere Bene Comune del Comune di Reggio Emilia, in avvio del processo per la realizzazione collaborativa dei piani strategici dei Quartieri e di partecipazione al Piano Urbanistico Generale di Reggio Emilia.

Sono autrici del questionario messo a punto dal Comune di Reggio Emilia: Graziana Bonvicini, Elena Farnè, Nicoletta Levi, Giulia Sgarbi.
Hanno partecipato all’elaborazione del questionario anche gli Architetti di Quartiere del Servizio Politiche di Partecipazione, il Servizio Urbanistica e il Centro Elaborazione Dati del Comune di Reggio Emilia.

Il questionario è disponibile qui: https://www.comune.re.it/retecivica/urp/retecivi.nsf/DocumentID/C717B4359E3ED373C125854D003F352A?Opendocument.

LabGov 2020 Urban Clinic’s new password: resilience

LabGov 2020 Urban Clinic’s new password: resilience

Italian version below

The Interdisciplinary Urban Clinic of LabGov 2020 did not stop in the face of COVID-19 and managed instead to adapt to new working methods in order to carry out its project idea.

The sudden closure of Luiss Guido Carli University, due to the Ministerial Decree of March 4, surprised the Urban Clinic team, who found themselves facing a totally new scenario. In fact, in less than 24 hours the entire teaching activities of the university were moved to an e-learning platform to allow students to carry out their lessons regularly online, establishing a primacy on a national scale. The Clinic’s activities were no exception.

In a few days, the tutors of the Urban Clinic 2020, supported by the entire LabGov team, had to rethink how the remaining modules of the course were to be carried out, adapting them to new needs. On the weekends of March 13 and 14, April 3 and 4 and April 17 and 18, the theme modules “Building a narrative for Open and Collaborative Innovation for Sustainable Fashion”, “Ux Design for Open and Collaborative Innovation for Sustainable Fashion” and “Legal design” took place online.

The first module was moderated by Process Design expert Dr. Azzurra Spirito, who guided the students in their approach to themes such as storytelling, design process as well as service design. The second module was carried out with the support of the NTT Data team, which introduced the concepts of user experience, digital data and innovation as a means of understanding new markets and consumer needs. The Clinic then ended with the legal design module in collaboration with the team of This Is Legal Design, an expert start-up in the sector, which allowed us to analyze the legal touch points between user and seller.

The work was carried out in view of the final session of May 5, which will take place via webinar and will be the occasion for the students to present their ideas in front of notable guests. The experience of these workshops and alternative co-working sessions has helped both the students and the whole team to approach different tools and platforms for remote cooperative work, thus being able to maintain the focus on the goal and carry it out collaboratively while working in different locations.

The design idea of the Urban Clinic itself was also influenced by the crisis period we are facing. The team, driven by the valuable feedback of Prof. Christian Iaione and DG Luiss Giovanni Lo Storto, rethought the final product by demonstrating how resilient the approach used throughout the Clinic was. In light of the above, the project now envisages two final outputs. Firstly, remaining in line with the original idea, we will continue working on sustainable fashion by creating “Ri-Made In”, a brand focused on the local and community dimension. ‘Ri-Made in’ will transform clothing waste by giving them a second life and the whole process will be carried out inside the neighborhood from which the clothing item comes. The concept of “Ri-Made In” will then be completed with the name of the neighborhood itself. The garment recovery process involves a first stage of collection, followed by a regeneration and personalization moment and by a sale that can be carried out both by current currency and by digital currency paid to garments’ donors.

The second output, in line with the current situation, provides for a “Ri-Start Kit” to be distributed to students. It will consist of a shopping bag created by sensitive local actors from recycled clothes, which will contain a reusable mask created in the same way as the bag, and a manual with practical instructions on how to deal with the delicate period that lies ahead with the due hygienic and behavioral precautions.

For the Urban Clinic team, as for many others, it was not easy to adapt to this new conditions, but commitment and dedication allowed us to achieve these results. The most important thing is that we stayed at home and in spite of everything we didn’t stop!

 The Urban Clinic modules continue online

Versione Italiana

La Clinica Urbana Interdisciplinare di LabGov 2020 non si è fermata di fronte alla problematica COVID-19 ed è riuscita ad adattarsi a nuovi metodi di lavoro per portare avanti la propria idea progettuale.

La chiusura improvvisa dell’Università Luiss Guido Carli, a causa del Decreto Ministeriale del 4 marzo, ha sorpreso il team della Clinica Urbana, che si è trovato di fronte ad uno scenario totalmente nuovo. L’intera didattica dell’università infatti è stata spostata in meno di 24 ore su una piattaforma di e-learning per permettere agli studenti di svolgere le proprie lezioni regolarmente online, andando a stabilire un primato su scala nazionale. Le attività della Clinica non hanno fatto eccezione.

In pochi giorni, i tutor della Clinica Urbana 2020, supportati dall’intero team LabGov, hanno dovuto ripensare le modalità di svolgimento dei moduli restanti del percorso per adattarli alle nuove esigenze. Nei fine settimana del 13 e 14 marzo, del 3 e 4 aprile e del 17 e 18 di aprile, si sono svolti regolarmente i moduli a tema “Building a narrative for Open and Collaborative Innovation for Sustainable Fashion” e “Ux Design for Open and Collaborative Innovation for Sustainable Fashion” e “Legal design”.

Il primo ha avuto come moderatrice l’esperta di Process Design, la dott.ssa Azzurra Spirito, che ha guidato i ragazzi nell’approccio di temi come storytelling, processo di progettazione oltre che service design. Durante il secondo modulo, svolto con il supporto del team di NTT Data, sono stati introdotti i concetti di user experience, digital data e innovazione come mezzo per comprendere i nuovi mercati e i bisogni dei consumatori. La clinica si è poi conclusa con il modulo sul legal design in collaborazione con il team di This Is Legal Design, start up esperta nel settore, che ha permesso di andare ad analizzare i legal touch point tra utente e venditore.

Il lavoro è stato portato avanti in vista della giornata conclusiva del 5 maggio, che si svolgerà tramite webinar e durante la quale gli studenti presenteranno la propria idea di fronte ad ospiti d’eccellenza. L’esperienza di questi workshop e co-working alternativi ha aiutato sia gli studenti che l’intero team ad approcciarsi a strumenti e piattaforme diverse per il lavoro cooperativo a distanza, potendo così mantenere il focus sull’obiettivo e portandolo a termine in maniera collaborativa pur lavorando in sedi differenti.

L’idea progettuale non è rimasta inalterata durante il periodo di crisi che stiamo affrontando. Il team, spinto anche dai preziosi feedback del prof. Christian Iaione e del DG Luiss Giovanni Lo Storto, ha ripensato il prodotto finale dimostrando quanto l’approccio utilizzato durante tutto il percorso della Clinica fosse resiliente. Alla luce di quanto detto il progetto prevede due output finali. In primo luogo, rimanendo in linea con l’idea originale, si proseguirà sulla traiettoria della moda sostenibile tramite la creazione di “Ri-Made In”, un brand incentrato sull’aspetto locale e di comunità che trasformerà vestiti di scarto andando a donare loro una seconda vita. L’intero processo di rinascita si svolgerà all’interno del quartiere da cui il capo proviene, andando a completare il concetto di “Ri-Made In” con il nome stesso del quartiere. Il processo di recupero del capo prevede un momento di raccolta, uno di rigenerazione e personalizzazione e uno di vendita, che potrà essere effettuata sia tramite moneta corrente che tramite digital currency corrisposta ai donatori di capi.

Il secondo output, in linea con la situazione attuale, prevede un “Ri-Start Kit” da distribuire agli studenti. Sarà costituito da una shopping-bag, creata da attori locali sensibili a partire da vestiti riciclati, che conterrà al suo interno una mascherina riutilizzabile, creata con le stesse modalità della borsa, e un manuale con istruzioni pratiche su come affrontare il delicato periodo che si prospetta con le dovute precauzioni igieniche e comportamentali.

Per il team della Clinica Urbana, come per molti altri, non è stato facile doversi adattare a questa nuova condizione, ma l’impegno e la dedizione ci hanno portato a questi risultati. La cosa più importante però è che noi siamo rimasti a casa e nonostante tutto non ci siamo fermati! 

Managing innovation in a post-pandemic scenario, can the innovation & sustainability manager be the answer for the economy post-Covid19?

Managing innovation in a post-pandemic scenario, can the innovation & sustainability manager be the answer for the economy post-Covid19?

“How will the post Covid-19 future be like?”. This is the question that many  people have been asking in the last weeks. A burning question lit by reasonable doubts and sincere preoccupation for what will come. The answers, for now, may seem several and unclear. Two alternatives, can be found: the optimists, hoping to see the same social-economic recovery they saw in last century’s post-wars. Those are the people that will never forget the effects brought by the economic boom, the spread of social movements and the social cultural  and economic recovery experienced by Eu countries, who, just some years before, went through few of the darkest pages of history. On the other side of the coin, there are, as usual, the pessimists. For them, an economic upturn is not just implausible, with the 2008 recession’s scars yet to be healed, but almost utopic.

“Managing post Covid-19 digital transformation and ecological transition, will innovation managers be the solution?”. This is the first topic, out of four meetings, entirely dedicated to the analysis of social sciences transformation in the current global health emergency. 

The purpose of Tuesday’s lecture April 21st, is to give explanations on the future after Covid-19, focusing the attention on the upcoming opportunities and on the missing possibilities for those who will come during the digital transformation and ecological transition. Professionals and scholars will discuss together over the issues and challenges we will be facing in future.

It is legit to believe that innovation managers will lead us through this transition?

To answer this question, two eminent guests of the international field will guide us focusing on topics related to digital innovation and sustainability. The first guest will be the famous french economist doc. Jean Paul Fitoussi. The following guest will be dr. Federica Santini, President of Trenord S.r.l., Trenitalia subsidiary. The meeting will be moderated by Elena De Nictolis (post doc research fellow in Luiss) and concluded by prof. Christian Iaione, Director of the MSc in Law, Digital innovation and Sustainability & Co-Director of LabGov.City.

Before giving a deeper insight in the topics treated, we should first give a closer look to our guests:

Federica Santini graduated cum laude at Luiss Guido Carli University in 2007. Since 2018, she is the President of Trenord S.r.l., Trenitalia subsidiary (Gruppo FS Italiane) e FNM (Ferrovie Nord Milano). Since 2017 she has been covering the role of Strategies, innovations and informative systems director of Italferr S.p.A., a Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane’s firm, with responsibilities in business planning, extraordinary operations, competitive positioning and business development, market analysis, institutional relations, innovation, sustainability, quality, environment and security, as well as information systems and digitalization.

Jean Paul Fitoussi is a world-famous French economist. Professor Emeritus at Sciences Po, in Paris, and Professor at Luiss, Rome. Since 1989, he is the president of the French Observatory on Economic Conjunctions (OFCE). He is also a member of the scientific council of the “François Mitterrand” Institute and of “Center on capitalism and society” of Columbia University. His works is mostly committed on the topic  regarding inflation, unemployment, open economies and the role played by macroeconomics policies. In his italian-translated publications we have “La misura sbagliata delle nostre vite”. Perché il PIL non basta più per valutare benessere e progresso sociale, written with Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen, and Il teorema del lampione o come mettere fine alla sofferenza sociale.

We must find the keys for our future. Are we looking in the right places?

Historic achievements like the digital transformation, speeded up exponentially by the current global epidemic, and climate change, lay down challenges that must be faced with new tools. New professional figures will emerge in the job market. The Light post theory states that in periods of disorientation we are used to search the solution in the most obvious places, whereas in order to emerge from a crisis, we must search for a solution in unknown places. The figure of manager of innovation and sustainability, shaped in the new Luiss master’s degree in the social sciences of Digital Innovation and Sustainability, was created with the purpose to find new patterns for business and development in the darkness of insecurity, typical of every transitional period. It is precisely designed to face the issues and challenges posed by digital transformation.

In conclusion, tomorrow’s lecture will be of remarkable importance, with prominent guests and pivotal topics. The concern for the future must not be an obstacle, but rather an incentive to prepare ourselves the best way possible. 

Gestire la trasformazione digitale e la transizione ecologica nel post Covid-19, possono essere i manager dell’innovazione la soluzione?

“Che ne sarà del futuro post Covid-10?”. Questa è la domanda che molte persone hanno cominciato a farsi nelle ultime settimane. Una domanda alimentata da una perplessità dubbiosa e una sincera preoccupazione per ciò che verrà. Le risposte, per ora, possono sembrarci molteplici e poco chiare. Si distinguono, come spesso accade, due fazioni: gli ottimisti, speranzosi di vedere una ripresa economico-sociale come quelle già viste nel post-guerra del secolo scorso. Quelle persone non vogliono dimenticare il boom economico, i movimenti sociali e la generale ripresa civile delle nazioni europee, che solo pochi anni prima avevano vissuto uno dei periodi più oscuri della storia. Dall’altra parte, i pessimisti. Una ripresa economica e sociale, se già poco plausibile date le cicatrici non ancora rimarginate dal 2008, ora risulta quasi un’utopia. Una speranza per gli sciocchi.

“Gestire la trasformazione digitale e la transizione ecologica nel post-Covid19, possono essere i manager dell’innovazione la soluzione?”. Costituisce il primo di un ciclo di incontri interamente dedicato all’analisi delle trasformazioni delle scienze sociali nella attuale emergenza sanitaria mondiale. 

L’obiettivo dell’incontro di martedì 21 aprile sarà quello di fornire delucidazioni sul futuro post Covid-19, focalizzando l’attenzione sulle opportunità che sono emerse e gradualmente emergeranno durante la trasformazione digitale e la transizione ecologica. Professionisti e mondo accademico riflettono insieme sulle sfide e i cambiamenti che dovremo affrontare.

È lecito credere che saranno i manager dell’innovazione a guidare questa transizione? 

A rispondere a questa domanda saranno due ospiti di rilievo internazionale che disquisiranno attraverso le lenti dell’innovazione digitale e della sostenibilità. L’incontro prevede un intervento di circa quindici minuti da parte del dott. Jena Paul Fitoussi, economista francese di fama mondiale. Dopodiché interverrà la dott.ssa Federica Santini, Presidente di Trenord S.r.l., società partecipata da Trenitalia. L’incontro verrà moderato dalla dott.ssa Elena De Nictolis, (post doc research fellow in Luiss) e sarà concluso dal prof. Christian Iaione, Director of the MSc in Law, Digital innovation and Sustainability & Co-Director of LabGov.City.

Prima di dare uno sguardo ancora più complessivo agli argomenti che verranno trattati, presentiamo ancora meglio chi sono i relatori:

Federica Santini laureata con lode presso l’Università LUISS Guido Carli nel 2007. Dal 2018 è Presidente di Trenord S.r.l., società partecipata da Trenitalia (Gruppo FS Italiane) e FNM (Ferrovie Nord Milano). Dal 2017 ricopre il ruolo, di Direttore Strategie, Innovazione e Sistemi Informativi di Italferr S.p.A., società del Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, con responsabilità in ambito di piano d’impresa, operazioni straordinarie, posizionamento competitivo e business development, analisi di mercato, relazioni istituzionali, innovazione, sostenibilità, qualità, ambiente e sicurezza, nonché sistemi informativi e digitalizzazione.

Jean Paul Fitoussi è un economista francese di fama mondiale. Professore Emerito all’Istituto di studi politici di Parigi (Sciences Po) e Professore presso la LUISS di Roma, dal 1989 presiede l’osservatorio francese sulle congiunture economiche (OFCE). È inoltre membro del consiglio scientifico dell’Istituto “François Mitterrand” e del “Center on capitalism and society” della Columbia University. I suoi lavori riguardano principalmente inflazione, disoccupazione, economie aperte e il ruolo delle politiche macroeconomiche. Fra le sue pubblicazioni tradotte in italiano ricordiamo La misura sbagliata delle nostre vite. Perché il PIL non basta più per valutare benessere e progresso sociale, scritto assieme a Joseph Stiglitz e Amartya Sen, e Il teorema del lampione o come mettere fine alla sofferenza sociale.

Dobbiamo trovare le chiavi del futuro. Le stiamo cercando nel posto giusto?

Processi di transizione epocali come la trasformazione digitale, accelerata in maniera esponenziale dalla pandemia di questi mesi, e il cambiamento climatico, pongono sfide che devono essere affrontate con strumenti nuovi. Nuove figure professionali emergeranno nel mercato del lavoro. Il teorema del lampione ci insegna che in momenti di sbandamento cerchiamo le soluzioni nel posto più scontato mentre per uscire dalle crisi occorre cercare soluzioni in luoghi e spazi ignoti. La figura del manager dell’innovazione forgiata dalla nuova laurea magistrale Luiss nelle scienze sociali dell’Innovazione Digitale e della Sostenibilità nasce proprio con il compito di cercare le chiavi di nuovi modelli di business e paradigmi di sviluppo nell’oscurità dell’incertezza tipica di ogni transizione ed è costruita per affrontare le sfide poste dalla trasformazione digitale.

Dunque, l’incontro di oggi sarà di notevole importanza, con ospiti di rilievo e argomenti di rilievo. La preoccupazione per il futuro non deve esserci da ostacolo, bensì deve essere l’incentivo per prepararci al meglio. 

Alessandro Alberti

The fifth module of the interdisciplinary Urban Clinic LabGov 2020

The fifth module of the interdisciplinary Urban Clinic LabGov 2020

The fifth and last workshop and co-working of the Urban Clinic, held on the Luiss Webex Platform, had as guest Joaquin Santuber and Lina Krawietz, Co-founders of the start-up “This Is Legal Design” based in Berlin.

After introducing themselves, our guests presented us the world of Legal Design, which is, in the words of Joaquin: “a way of improving people’s lives and making their life easier”. In order to be clearer about the meaning of Legal Design, Joaquin divided the word into two concepts. First “Legal”, that is the legal system that regulates our interactions in our society. For example, legal industry businesses that are provided and work with the legal system (courts, legal firms, legal departments, etc..). Second, “design” is more complicated to define. There are many design notions. Very often we are familiar with the idea of product design. For instance, service design, such as the process and steps of using a computer. In our case, it represents a creative problem-solving approach to complex challenges. When “This Is Legal Design” was founded, they needed to find an original approach, new solutions to make people’s lives better and easier improving users experience. Since the legal side touches us in every aspect of our life, they applied this mindset to the legal system and decided to conceptualize their start-up with the purpose of solving problems from the legal world, such as access to justice or helping legal firms to identify with the businesses they work with.

After being updated on the advancement of the LabGov’s project “Ri-Made”, the Legal Design team presented us some case studies of projects they created for some firms in order to illustrate what types of results we are looking for. Then, they showed us that legal aspects are everywhere, especially on the Internet. A good example might be the use of cookies on webpages. it is important to be innovative to pursue our goal, in every aspect and not only the legal ones. “How can we find innovative ways to overcome legal barriers to our sustainable fashion project?” Joaquin explained that once again the solution is something that has to do with the attitude, by looking at things critically. He then introduced the concept of “legal touchpoints” with the example of the “terms and conditions” that we have to accept every time we register on a social network or on a platform. In fact, these privacy policies are created by lawyers, which do not adapt their content to be understandable for everyone. Often, if some legal aspects are too complex to understand, using visual supports like comics or videos can be very helpful. At the end of the workshop, he left us with some questions to reflect on as homework for the following day. How could this look like in our project? How to share an idea with collaborators? How can we communicate safely our business plan?

Let’s get started with Saturday’s co-working! The students were divided into two groups, one kept on working on the Webex Platform, while the second one held his meetings on the Zoom platform.There were four blocks of activities during the day. Each block started with the Legal Design team providing some inputs to guide the two teams in the realization of innovative legal touchpoints for the project, then both teams met for a brief meeting with Joaquin and Lina at the end of each block to have some feedbacks. The goal of the day was to identify the two main Legal Touchpoints of our project and find original and innovative ways to make them more understandable for our audience. The first group focused on finding an original way to present the “terms and conditions” to the user at the moment of the registration, while the second one worked to solve the legal barriers that may occur when a user’s order is damaged and he has to return it back to “Ri-Made”.

After lunch, Joaquin and Lina asked the students and the tutors of the two groups to prepare a short video that could make the solutions that they had found more comprehensible, in order to present their ideas in a creative and visual way.In the final part of the co-working, the students showed the videos that they created. To conclude the fifth co-working the students updated the tutors on how they are handling the making of video tutorials of sustainable activities that they are filming from home. Moreover, on this last day of co-working, the LabGovers and tutors talked about the planning of the final day of the Urban Clinic which will take place on May 5th from 4 pm to 6 pm with the participation of Director General and the Provost. They will have to present their project an audience of experts, so a lot of work is ahead of us to prepare this exciting day!

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