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How to exit the financial crisis? Microsoft and Cisco discuss at San Patrignano

This week some of the movers and shakers of the Italian information technology sector gathered at the San Patrignano conference centre, just outside Rimini, for a special conference entitled ‘Etico Ecoit’, organised by the Forli based Vem Sistemi.

The conference had as its theme a new way of doing business, with particular regard to the IT sector, focussing not just on profitability, but also on sustainability. Amongst the presentations were items on energy savings from the use of green data centers, and an insight into new ‘green’ technologies.

One of the round table sessions of international interest was a discussion on how technology firms need to face and emerge from the global financial crisis. Discussing the theme were Pietro Scott Jovane, and David Bevilacqua, Italian country managers for Microsoft and Cisco Systems respectively, along with Francesco M. Sacco, the Managing Director of the  EntER research centre at Milan’s  Università Bocconi.

For both Scott Jovane and Bevilacqua the answer seems to be in increased research and development, something both Microsoft Italia and Cisco Systems Italia are engaged in, to find more efficient and sustainable technologies. A certain amount of courage is needed too, in these difficult times, to invest – Bevilacqua pointed out a distinction, often mentioned by his American colleagues, in responding to initiatives: you can say ‘yes, but’ or ‘why not?’. In these difficult times, in the area of research, development and investment, the answer needs to be more ‘why not?’.

The Etico EcoIt event was just one of a host of events run at San Patrignano, the innovative drug rehabilitation centre in the foothills outside Rimini. Each year, for example, the community runs a number of initiatives like ‘Squisito’ (a food fair dedicated to local produce), and a range of top-class international show-jumping competitions. The centre produces its own wine and olive oil for sail, and runs a web design agency and media centre.

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