Hi #smartcommunity friends! Welcome back to the Summer Series here on the Smart Community Podcast. As you know, we’re taking a little break from new content over the Australian summer holidays, and instead we are sharing the replays of a few of our all time favourite episodes. This week we’re sharing my interview with Paolo Galelli, from way back in episode 148, which was released in December of 2019.
In this episode, I have a great chat with Paolo, who at the time of recording was a Building Energy Efficiency Engineer at BuildTech s.r.l., and is now a Project and Construction Manager at Comune di Sestri Levante 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 was part of my spotlight on the regions in December, so we hope you enjoy this perspective from a regional town in Italy.
We will be sure to get Paolo back on the show in future for a full update about what he has been up to since we recorded this episode and how our thinking has progressed since our conversation. But in the meantime, as always we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!
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
“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 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.”
“The way to connect with young people [is by] talking with their language.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
- The Fridays for Future Movement
- TED Talk by Jamie Lerner ‘A Song for the city’
- ‘Smart City, Smart Citizen’ by Carlo Ratti
- World Cafe
- Electronic Town Meeting
Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community
Connect with Paolo on LinkedIn or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Connect with Nassa Sestri on Instagram @nassa_sestri , Facebook @nassasestri or LinkedIn
Connect with me via email: email@example.com
Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @SmartCommHQ
The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.