Future ways of living

First held ten years ago in Milan, “Meet the Media Guru” celebrated this first round number devoting two days to “Future ways of living”. Its founder Maria Grazia Mattei recounts.

“You can have no innovation without culture,” is a deep-rooted conviction developed in many years working and engaging with a world – that of the digital culture – that brings together the skills and projects of sometimes very different disciplines.
Meet the media guru
In apertura : Maria Grazie Mattei. Qui sopra : Meet the Media Guru, 10-30 June 2015
This is the world around which Maria Grazia Mattei has built the ever more successful “Meet the Media Guru”, an event first held ten years ago at the Mediateca Santa Teresa in Milan. A Special Edition, organized to celebrate reaching this first round number, devoted two days to “Future ways of living” and was attended by scholars, professionals, digital “gurus”, students and lecturers from all over the world. All the participants were asked to imagine how we will live, communicate and inhabit spaces between now and 2025. The special session was flanked by a charrette , a three-week living lab looking at future scenarios for approximately 60 students, professionals and researchers, all in collaboration with the Institute without Boundaries directed by Luigi Ferrara in Toronto.
Meet the Media Guru, 10-30 June 2015
Meet the Media Guru, 10-30 June 2015
The group focused on six themes: energy/economy, education, mobility, food, health and wellbeing, communication and culture, and presented the first results in Milan on 26 June.  “We set out wanting to involve those who had already taken part in one of our events – explained Maria Grazia Mattei – and then were drawn more to the formula of a workshop also open to the public.” This approach of being open to the public and the Internet via an intelligent use of social media, fully integrated into the programmed talks, has always featured at Meet the Media Guru events. “From the very first, it was always our intention to embrace the Web 2.0 communication process – continued Maria Grazia Mattei. It all started in 2005 with an encounter with Joi Ito, current director of the MIT Media Lab. I had recently heard about Facebook and, on seeing it, immediately realised that something radically new was developing. I have always been fascinated by the multiple interpenetrations of the real and the virtual so it seemed the perfect opportunity to study and develop a format that centred on this very interconnection.”
I have always been fascinated by the multiple interpenetrations of the real and the virtual so it seemed the perfect opportunity to study and develop a format that centred on this very interconnection
The result was a special formula in which the talk is but one factor in a far broader network, thanks to social media, live tweeting of encounters, a video archive of the people and events plus a documentation/interactive website that is extremely rich and useful. Over the years, the event has brought to Milan figures of the calibre of Edgar Morin, Manuel Castells, Zygmunt Bauman and Pixar director, John Lasseter, at a crowded and memorable evening at the Teatro dal Verme – which Maria Grazia Mattei remembers as a key moment in the Meet the Media Guru process, linked to the exhibition on the history of Pixar that came to Milan thanks to collaboration with her “baby”. Another aspect that has allowed the continuity of the Milan event is its partnership with institutions such as the Milan Chamber of Commerce and the Fondazione Fiera Milano, plus private sponsors (including Fastweb and Artemide, which made a significant contribution to the two days).
Meet the Media Guru, 10-30 June 2015
Meet the Media Guru, 10-30 June 2015
“Italy discovered the digital world under the Monti government and with the idea of a European digital agenda. The partnership with the Chamber of Commerce has enabled us to activate processes that further the digital economy and culture by focusing on start-ups, small particularly creative enterprises.” A focus on innovation will be the cornerstone of a prize instituted by the Regione Lombardia in collaboration with Meet the Media Guru and Unioncamere: the Digital Award – Il Coraggio d’Innovare will go to a particularly creative company on the digital scene.
Milan ought to have a public digital culture pole open to all, which constantly circulates ideas and has close links with the international scenario
Other planned events include three days of “Droni e Visioni” (Drones and Visions) at the Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica. There are also plenty of future projects and dreams, one after the other: giving greater stability to an initiative that continues to have the undisputed merit of bringing to Italy the protagonists of an international platform on which this country plays a marginal role; and a space that resembles the great European museums of technology, like the Ars Electronica Center in Linz and ZKM in Karslruhe. “Milan ought to have a public digital culture pole open to all, which constantly circulates ideas and has close links with the international scenario.” The path for the next ten years is already laid out.
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