A Pencil to Draw the Future in Our Backpacks

A Pencil to Draw the Future in Our Backpacks

Towards RomeCup 2024: Scientific Director Alfonso Molina’s Conclusions

A month has passed since the sixteenth edition of RomeCup (May 3-5, Rome Campus Bio-Medico University and Campidoglio). It was an exciting experience with lots of food for thought that is driving us to exploit synergies and reflections. The three-day event with international experts, student competitions, educational sessions and precious debates has provided us with interesting indications on how technology is driving society. It is important to grasp these stimuli and digest them in view of RomeCup 2024 to support the development of robotics and artificial intelligence not only for Italian industry, but for the entire country. This is transversal technology that if developed ethically and inclusively, can improve everybody’s life quality. Over the years, we have worked with start-ups, universities, and research centres. We want to continue creating connections with the world of school to give all students the tools necessary to orient themselves in the increasingly complex world in which we live and allow them to face both current and future challenges with awareness.

Awareness is a key word. The educational system is not sufficiently preparing students to manage challenges in a complex world. It does not help to define who we are as travellers into the 21st century. However, it is very important that humanity know how to face the future. Strategic and ethical issues have to be addressed. And they must be reached through a debate with civil society. The transition cannot only be governed by political and economic interests. What we need is a governance of the common good capable of interpreting change in an inclusive manner.

Youth who are now entering the working world must possess the adequate critical tools to comprehend the various social implications of technological applications. They must understand the meaning of limits and regulations and develop strong values to guide them. There currently is very little coordination and a lot of fragmentation in the management and regulation of technology. We must start placing the right tools to develop a sustainable future in our children’s backpacks, so that they will not have to passively suffer selfish and near-sighted choices.

Alfonso Molina, Scientific Director, Fondazione Mondo Digitale, Personal Chair in Technology Strategy, University of Edinburgh