SUSTAINABLE CITIZENSHIP – The Collapse of Western Civilisation and Its New Frontiers
Professor Fiorenzo Galli, General Director of Milan’s Museo Nazionale Scienza e Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci (Leonardo da Vinci National Science and Technology Museum), will be at Fabrica on Thursday 17 May at 6:30 P.M. for an open conference entitled “SUSTAINABLE CITIZENSHIP – The Collapse of Western Civilisation and Its New Frontiers”.
The rapid and overwhelming increase in world population has led to a necessary rethink of our planet’s prospects. The United Nations estimates that in spite of a recent downward trend in population growth, the global population will reach 8.5 billion by 2030, 9.7 billion by 2050, and 11.2 billion by 2100. We should also consider the fact that this phenomenon is not evenly spread, and that overpopulation is often concentrated in areas marked by extreme poverty. The population of Africa could increase by 270% by the end of the century, a situation that is a driving force behind the mass migrations that are set to be a defining characteristic of the 21st century.
Attention must be given to the fact that 20% of the world’s population consumes 80% of global resources, while countries facing the greatest demographic pressure are under-developed: 2.6 billion people use biomass for cooking and heating, and 1.3 billion of these have no access to electricity.
In spite of the fact that a large percentage of humanity lives in poverty, in 2017 Earth Overshoot Day – the date when world demand for resources reaches its sustainable limit for the current year – was set at 2 August, compared to 18 December in 1987.
Western lifestyle must therefore be considered bankrupt.
How are we going to tackle the issue of resources? Can scientific research and technological applications come up with effective solutions in time?
Digital communication and Industry 4.0 technologies offer some extraordinary opportunities: increased quantities of data, improved flow rates, greater computing power and dedicated applications, and shared knowledge repositories, equipment and communications networks. Global knowledge levels double every 2-3 years now, as opposed to every 100 years prior to the start of the last century, revolution within a revolution that is changing the social dynamics of communities – in which users have become producers – and also the communication and energy production sectors, amongst others.
But even with the help of new technologies, the consumerist lifestyle of Western societies cannot be sustained. We must urgently consider the need to develop a new approach to social organisation, out of solidarity as much as necessity.
Examples already exist of new technologies being successfully combined with suitable models of social innovation to reduce the rate at which resources are consumed, whilst maintaining a good quality of life. We must build a society that is collaborative rather than self-serving; inclusive rather than exclusive.
Western society’s prospects for success in combining a sustainable lifestyle with a very high quality of life, are rooted in a revolution that begins with a new and different cultural vision of society.
At Fabrica on May 17 we will hear this new vision.
Fiorenzo Galli was born in Milan in 1955 and holds a degree in Political Economics and Finance from the University of Milan. He is an officer in the Alpine Corps, is married with two children and has a background in the electromechanical industry acquired within his family business. He has been General Director of the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci since 2001.
Since 2007 he is also a professor of Contemporary Museology at the University of Milan and teaches undergraduate and graduate-level courses in other universities.
Since 1983 he has held positions with business associations Confindustria and Assolombarda, where he has served as President of the Young Industrialists as well as a member of the executive committee, the board of directors, the council and the ethics and disciplinary committee.
He is a member of the Kuratorium of the Deutsches Museum of Munich, the National Committee for the 2019 Leonardo da Vinci celebrations, (Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism), (Italy’s Ministry of Education, Universities and Research), the Committee for Development of Scientific and Technological Culture, and several scientific committees.
He is a speaker at numerous international conferences and has written and contributed to over a hundred articles on scientific culture.
He is the author of the book, “Milano e le sue rotte obbligate – Appunti per una cittadinanza sostenibile”, (“Notes on sustainable citizenship”), published by Edizioni Angelo Guerini e Associati Srl, which won first prize at the 2016 National Scientific Dissemination Awards for Legal, Economic and Social Sciences. He has achieved recognition and many merits in the cultural field.
Thursday, May 17th, 6:30 P.M.
Lecture in Italian
Admission free until seats are available
Via Postioma, 54/F
Catena di Villorba (Tv)