Italian Tech Week 2021: not only technology but also a great lesson for our future

September 29, 2021
Two days of conferences and meetings on innovation and how building winning mindsets and projects requires the effort and commitment of all of us to create a collective benefit.

Last week, on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 September, we were at OGR in Turin to Italian Tech Week. The two days dedicated to technology organised by SEI SEI and GEDI Group were a real breath of fresh air for Turin's ecosystem of startups, investors, institutional stakeholders and entrepreneurs.

Italian Tech Week was born in 2019, from SEI's desire to build moments of sharing, throughout the Turin area, that would give the public interested in technology the opportunity to look more closely at innovation and meet the people who gave birth to it. The 2019 edition, with its more than 8,000 participants, ended with the SEI Torino Forum during which, again at OGR, the startups born from SEI's training programmes presented the progress of their projects and John Elkann interviewed Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify. The five-day initiative was accompanied byItalian Tech Weekend, during which 250 aspiring startuppers worked together on a single collaborative project coordinated by SEIplus, the SEI alumni association.

While the engines were warming up for the second edition of Italian Tech Week in February 2020, the pandemic emergency unfortunately arrived. Last year, the SEI team, with the support of the GEDI group, decided to completely reinvent its initiative, transforming it into Italian Tech Speak, a podcast that in the 2020 edition reached over 3 million streaming listeners, from 40 different countries, for the 12 episodes divided into four different columns: Tech&Society, Fail Forward, White Mirror and DisruptOn.

The participants in Italian Tech Week 2021, 500 for each day, had the opportunity to return once again to experience a moment of sharing, after almost two years of limitations and restrictions in which we all had to reinvent our way of informing ourselves, participating in events, exchanging visions and opinions, working, and seeking training or motivational content. During the two days it was possible to walk among the technology in the expo area, with the androids of the Italian Institute of Technology, Reply's automated delivery, the robot dog of Boston Dynamics and the innovations of Lenovo, Eni,, Mr. Thoms, Visual PRO, Scribit and Makr Shakr. In addition to exchanging opinions, contacts and networking in the OGR courtyard, the conference area featured physical and remote presentations by over 60 speakers and guests covering not only innovation, technology, economic growth and development but also music, space travel, social and sport: among the names present were Elon Musk, the mayor Chiara Appendino, the minister Vittorio Colao, John Elkann, Giorgio Chiellini, the tiktoker Khaby Lame, the astronaut Paolo Nespoli, the sound designer Chiara Luzzana, the Paralympic athletes Ambra Sabatini, Martina Caironi, Monica Contrafatto Ambra Sabatini, Martina Caironi, Monica Contrafatto and other leading figures in culture, science, technology, economics and the "pop world".

As far as startups and investors are concerned, many were the realities that took the stage such as Saeed Amidi (CEO of Plug&Play), Yoram Wijngaarde (Founder of Dealroom), Davide Dattoli (CEO & Founder of Talent Garden), Lisa Di Sevo (CEO & MP of PranaVentures), Giorgio Tinacci (CEO & Founder of Casavo), Silvia Wang (Co-Founder of ProntoPro), Gianluca Dettori (Founder & Chairman of Primo Ventures), Lucia Chierchia (Managing Partner of Gellify), Rachel Delacour (CEO of Sweep), Alberto Dalmasso (CEO & Co-Founder of Satispay).

Each speech confirmed a single vision: we have to work hard to restart because we have the skills and the tools to do so (and we are literally inventing those we don't have yet) but we have to come together again, to share experiences, ideas, visions and above all to help each other in the efforts needed to move forward. So, the real big message that came out of ITW was that we can get back on track, by meeting and working together, but that we should not kid ourselves that it will be an easy road. The results we want are already there waiting for us but it will take effort, sweat, commitment, dedication and collaboration. Unlike what happens in many other similar initiatives, Italian Tech Week has conveyed the awareness of the fact that we cannot just wait for the apparently well-oiled gear we call "ecosystem" to do its job for us, while we simply observe and praise its work, but each of us, with our energy and our work, can and must do our part to make it start, grow and function.

This year Italian Tech Week and Italian Tech Speak have officially become part of a new editorial project, branded GEDI. At the end of May, in fact, the Italian Techpage was launched on the web, LinkedIn and Instagram: an editorial hub dedicated to technology in all its facets, curated by Riccardo Luna of La Repubblica, which was inaugurated with the start of the second edition of the podcast and a launch event in Rome.

The Italian Tech Week event has been supported by Fondazione CRT, Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation and is sponsored by Reply, Lenovo, Eni, GoBeyond, Stellantis, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, Angel Company, Accenture, Intesa Sanpaolo, Schneider Electric, with the patronage of the Ministry for Technological Innovation and Digital Transition, Turin Chamber of Commerce, City of Turin, Piedmont Region and Italian Space Agency.


Luca Coppolella
Head of Content


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