‘Futuro + Umano’ is the title of Festival della Crescita 2018, open to the general public until 21 October; here you can find our interview with its creator, Francesco Morace

Festival della Crescita 2018, Palazzo delle Stelline, Milan

Thinking and designing together a ‘happy growth’ (and a possible one), for the present / future: this is the focus of the Festival della Crescita, in its fourth year in 2018, created by sociologist Francesco Morace of Future Concept Lab. The main feature of the event, which has DDN as its media partner, is that it does not only gather experts and intellectuals from various sectors, but it also engages the public administration from most of Italy, to move on from words to action. To participate in the Milan event, from 18 to 21 October 2018, just sign up on www.festivalcrescita.it.

Francesco Morace

As a matter of fact, at the presentation of the Milan edition 2018, at Palazzo delle Stelline, where the Festival was launched in 2015, there were also councilors of the Municipalities of Milan, Naples and Parma, who are already engaged in innovative urban sustainability projects in their cities, representing the North, the South and the Center of the peninsula. During four years the message of responsible and shared growth has already been brought to 30 cities. And in 2019 the tour will go on, starting from Sassuolo and Messina.


Design Diffusion: Now that we are in the fourth edition of Festival della Crescita and near to the conclusion of the tour in 14 Italian cities, what is your final impression?

Francesco Morace: “This year I’ve had a big and pleasant surprise: if in the past we were used to submit our idea to local administrations and businesses, in 2018 they came to us – an apparent sign of the need to create a common platform.”

DD: How did the idea of ​​a Festival of this kind come about?

FM: “It happened during the last week of Expo in Milan, in 2015, to give voice to and connect to each other the different realities engaged in growth projects that already exist in Italy. This is why we include the Universities, the Public Administration and some companies. More than to speakers in the traditional sense, we give relevance to these protagonists of growth.”

DD: By the way, in 2018 you are announcing 300 ‘Ambassadors of Growth’ .

FM: “Yes, in our call to action we call Ambassadors of Growth those who develop positive visions of the future. These subjects, on the Festival platform, have the chance of carrying out exchanges.”

DD: There is also a ‘Manifesto della Crescita’.

FM: “It was formulated in 12 points in 2016, but it is always in the making. The two main points are the collaboration between generations and sustainability. In Italy, in particular, transgenerational action is fundamental; as far as growth is concerned, we want to somehow oppose the ‘happy degrowth’ movement, without denying the importance of the ideas of Serge Latouche, which, ten years ago, at the beginning of the economic crisis, were nevertheless enlightening.”


Among round tables, talks, dialogues and exhibitions (‘Attraversamenti‘ by Alberto Maria Prina and ‘Italian Sound‘ by CUT – Carlo Cazzaniga) scheduled in the busy program, taking place in four halls, there is also room for books concerning topical issues linked to the themes treated during the festival, not only because some of their authors are among the speakers, but also because the books are actually present in the cloister of Palazzo delle Stelline. A very valuable selection of books. For example, we have found ‘Reinventare il capitalismo nell’era dei Big Data‘ (various authors, published by Egea – English language edition: Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data), the handbook ‘#Galateo Linkedin‘ (Valentina Marini and Giada Susca, published by Giunti), ‘Fuori dal gregge – Il pensiero divergente che crea innovazione’ (Massimiliano Magrini, published by Egea). Of course the new essay that is most in line with the Festival is ‘Futuro + Umano – Quello che l’intelligenza artificiale non potrà mai darci’ by Francesco Morace (Egea ed.).

Silvia Pozzi all’Open Hub del Festival della Crescita: workshop sull’esperienza dell’apprendimento del cinese con esercitazione calligrafica

An example of the variety of approaches adopted by Festival della Crescita is the workshop (held the first day) on ‘experiencing cultural diversity‘, held by Silvia Pozzi of the Milan-Bicocca University, focused on how westerners approach Chinese language. Because globalization also passes through the understanding of different languages and cultures. If English, French and Spanish are linguistic master keys of colonial heritage, the present / future speaks also Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Spanish again (due to South America). It really seems that ‘to open ourselves up’, not to close up, is the keyword for a livable future. [Text Lucia Bocchi – Photo Giuseppe D’Orsi, except from the portrait of Francesco Morace]