I remember that these reflections are part of a research path on the relationship between the human condition, innovation, complexity and international relations. It is important to underline it to give continuity to every single article. Working in progress …
Cities, immersed in the pandemic, show us an unnatural situation. What is immediately evident is the absence of human relationship: the pandemic has aggravated this problem which we could summarize in the expression “divided society” contained in the broader “unequal society”.
It is good that, thanks to the unstoppable technological innovations, we reason about the future of cities, of smart cities, of what mobility we will experience, of how we will move, of how essential public services will be reconfigured, of which cars we will use, of how work and education will change, of what forms of government we will have. Because the city, I have always thought, represents an extraordinary paradigm to rethink our coexistence, place – at the same time – of the local/global, of the territorial/planetary.
My point, walking in the pandemic cities, is above all a return to reality. As some critics argue, with the advent of the digital revolution the concept of mass has returned (surveillance capitalism according to S. Zuboff): in social distancing, each for himself, each of us is mass within the mass.
Superimposing innovation on this discomfort, without facing it, does not resolve but aggravates the discomfort itself.
IN THE FULL OF DISCOMFORT
Disunion and violence are characteristics of this third millennium. For this reason I recalled, as political acts, the unity and tenderness respectively evoked by Biden and Pope Francis.
What should be noted is that, in the midst of discomfort, in its depths, the great absent is the political vision. Our approach, considering mediation as fundamental (the Europe of recovery is certainly better than the Europe of austerity), strategically looks at a political thought that works “in” the human community, and “in” every human community, to re-compose the relationship between person and community (intrapersonal, interpersonal and global).
It is essential to return to the “inside” of who we are. If we do not immerse ourselves in the human condition, it is very difficult to hope to experience the change of era we are going through with a united humanity capable of welcoming the great potential brought about by the fourth industrial revolution.
While innovation opens up perspectives, it also closes panoramas that we considered immutable: just think, for example, of what is happening in the labor market as a result of the impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning. But also what is happening, as a consequence of the impact of 5G technologies, on the nature of Nation States and on the metamorphosis of their relations. The fourth industrial revolution changes each of us, human coexistence and the world: everything happens simultaneously.
The human being, in all this, will continue to need to make fundamental choices, to live empathy, to have physical contacts, to believe in a god or in any superstition: all the machines will not be able to deal with, if not superficially. Even discomfort can only be faced by the man who experiences it, re-seeking his own inner balance in the balance of coexistence and reality. It is an inner dynamic that becomes social and which, as we see every day, is transforming politics.
The deep conviction of this research is that there are no simplistic solutions. Simplification is the enemy of complexity, therefore of reality.
I am fascinated by the fourth industrial revolution but, equally, by the need for reality in us. The two dynamics must evolve simultaneously, touching and contaminating each other.
Too little intellectuals are engaged in elaborating a thought in the present, critical and complex, which cannot be only linear or disciplinary. This is the time when, considering technological innovation as what really puts our interpretative paradigms in metamorphosis, it is necessary to work in a transnational, transgenerational, transdisciplinary key to build together a new panorama of senses and meanings for strategic decision in every field.
Each place, in this way, can become pluri-versitas, world in the world: we need informal debates, to think together, to know the evolving reality – and the evolving realities – to take the path of “historical judgment” in “common good”.