Achieving a more sustainable future harnessing the power of Collective Intelligence

Ideas, solutions and learnings from the workshop “Future of Mobility”

A cycle of workshops to “design” sustainability

Possible futures for our Planet is an initiative promoted by the Italian Institute of Culture in London and Nesta Italia, which involves design students from Italy and England in a series of workshops dedicated to the theme of sustainability, declined on three specific themes: mobility, tourism and the future of cities.

The workshop will be run between January and April 2021 in collaboration with IAAD- Istituto d’Arte Applicata e Design (Torino e Bologna), Abadir (Catania), Royal College of Art (Londra).

The aim of the project is to connect students from the academies involved, so that they can confront and collaborate in devising concrete solutions to some of the problems that risk compromising the future of the new generations, from climate change and its impact on various aspects of daily life.

The future of mobility

The theme of the first workshop is “Future of Mobility”. In general, “mobility” means the movement of people, goods and services, so it is essential to study mobility at a global level considering the impact it has on the environment. The figures are clear: in 2050 there will be 9.7 billion people on the planet, the rate of urbanization will rise to 68% and the number of light vehicles will increase from 1 billion to 1.6-1.8 billion.

What future can we imagine in the light of the data described and the unsustainability of this system? These are the questions asked to the students of the three universities attending the workshop. In particular, the theme of mobility was analysed by observing three main characteristics: the mobility of people within cities, the mobility of people at a global level (tourism) and the mobility of goods in a globalised world (global trade).

Solutions for more effective mobility with less impact on the environment

The students, divided into five groups per theme, were asked to imagine a possible solution to these social challenges. And this is how the ideas were born to create an app to encourage the use of zero km assets; a platform that uses AI to obtain all the necessary information on the sustainability of the production-chain; an app to plan its own “sustainable holiday” with unified transport payment methods and incentives for greener solutions.

Students also had the opportunity to debate specific topics, starting with “urban mobility”, finding radical solutions to the problem of polluting private transport, such as futuristic machinery that convert vehicles into electric machines, or platforms that promote, through incentives and bonuses, the ecological transition of the urban transport sector.

The power of Collective Intelligence

In addition to the identification of digital solutions for the challenges at the centre of the workshop, the emphasis was placed both on the importance of the diversity of visions and approaches, and on encouraging dialogue between students.

Nesta Italia’s role has been to stimulate discussions on current topics, providing a framework for students, focusing on the critical aspects that can be changed and improved and to imagine the most inclusive and effective innovation processes.

What are we going to do next?

The second workshop of the series will focus on the theme “Future of Tourism”, will take place on the 1st and 8th  March 2021 and will be conducted by  Abadir Academy in Catania.

We will continue to share with insights and learnings from the workshops: continue to follow us on the blog and subscribe to our newsletter!