In this episode, I have a great chat with Paolo Galelli, Building Energy Efficiency Engineer at BuildTech s.r.l. and Research fellow at the University of Genoa in Italy. Paolo shares with us what sparked his interest in Smart Community concepts and why he feels they are so important, especially for engaging with young people. Paolo tells us about how he sees Italy embracing Smart concepts, and the reason he thinks his town, Sestri Levante, is a great example of a Smart Community. We then discuss the ways that proactive participatory approaches to engagement are even more important in small and regional towns than in metro areas. Paolo tells us about the app he is working on called Nassa that helps engage young people and how they’ve integrated across governments and disciplines. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trend of the different and often technologically-driven ways young people engage in community and civic life, and how Paolo and his team have used that to their advantage. This episode is part of my spotlight on the regions in December, so we hope you enjoy this perspective from a regional town in Italy. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

– Paolo’s background as a Construction Engineer

– His interest in digital transformation and participatory design tools

– What sparked Paolo’s interest in Smart Community concepts

– How Paolo thinks Italy is currently embracing Smart concepts

– The reason he thinks his town, Sestri Levante, is a great example of a Smart Community

– The ways that proactive participatory approaches to engagement are even more important in small and regional towns than in metro areas

– The app he is working on called Nassa that helps engage young people

– How the Nassa team has integrated across governments and disciplines

– How they use technology, including platforms like World Cafe, in their approach

– The emerging trend of the different and often technologically-driven ways young people engage in community and civic life

– How Paolo and the Nassa team have used that to their advantage

Quotes:

“The Smart Community concept is super important now, especially for young people. Young people are developing decreasing confidence in the political class, and they want their ideas to be heard…it’s very important to start building young communities able to fully grasp the benefits of digital transformation and the new participatory design tools.”

“In small towns, you have a lot of friends and you can cooperate to actively change something. For the local context, you can get the core of the problem.

“We need a strong, top-down and bottom-up integrated approach. On one hand, the bottom-up strength of young communities is fundamental. On the other hand, a top-down approach, starting from the administration and government is essential in order to make a community thrive.”

“When you interact with the government you need to to make your ideas really concrete. When you talk with administrations you need to demonstrate that there are a lot of…people wanting this thing to be done.”

14.50 AUDIOGRAM I always think about the this wave of young people that want to be heard. I was talking about the the Friday for future movement, but there are a lot of movements of young people. And so I think that we need to talk more about this this wave because we talk a lot about smart cities and smart community, but we will never go to the core of the problem that I think that is young people are losing their, like, the faith in the political class, so I think we should concentrate too with young people.

“The way to connect with young people [is by] talking with their language.”

Links mentioned in this episode:

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community 

Connect with Paolo on LinkedIn or via email paologalelli@gmail.com

Connect with Nassa Sestri on Instagram @nassa_sestri , Facebook @nassasestri or LinkedIn LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/nassasestri

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community 

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @SmartCommHQ

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.

My Smart Community

My Smart Community offers consulting and media services with a focus on making our communities more accessible, liveable and sustainable for all. We have a focus on Smart Mobility, Smart project management, Smart technology in regional communities, dealing with disruption and facilitating genuine collaboration. As well as podcast production, communication and media advisory and engagement, keynote speaking, moderating, master of ceremonies and workshop design and facilitation.

The Smart Community Podcast

The Smart Community Podcast is a hub where smart and exciting people from all around the world come to discuss all things Smart City, Smart Town, Smart Region - anything that makes a place more liveable. Together we can create our own Smart Communities.

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