The ESE Florence centre had the pleasure to host one of the most influential figures in the Digital Information and Technology sector in Italy, Simone Terreni, for an online webinar on 9 November.
Being a staunch believer and promoter of technological innovation, Terreni is the Founder & CEO of Inside Factor and Managing Director of VoipVoice. With the latter he aims to promote the digitization of telecommunications and to propagate smart working throughout Italy. With his strong sense of innovation and storytelling, Terreni has always supported and continues to support issues relating to digital communications and social networks.
Our guest speaker drew an imaginary line across the communication methods used during the last decades, connecting the earliest technological inventions to following digital evolutions and current platforms and technologies.
The real impact of computers in our society started with the first video games, allowing technology to become more user friendly. Illustrating the evolution from technologies used at IBM and Yahoo, Terreni explained that Google really marked the beginning of popular information technology culture: ‘Information and technology could coexist when there was content shared with as many people as possible.’
Nowadays, we live in a society of information rather than one of culture, and Mark Zuckerberg is probably the living example and reason for this shift. Starting his career as a ‘hacker’ of his University’s database, he later became the CEO of one of the most known social networks Facebook. His invention, based on algorithms, actually studies our behaviour: it gives us the content (images, videos, updates etc.) that we love to read and watch, but ‘nothing that is showed to you is random and the real aim is to sell us as much as possible. If you don’t pay, you are the product.’
The acquisition of Whatsapp by Facebook and the breakthrough success of applications such as Instagram and TikTok are reflections of the ‘liquid society’ we live in. The ‘here and now’ culture of sharing is valued more than ever. At the same time, Terreni warns, ‘we must be careful with our virtual image and pay attention to what we tell ourselves and show others, as our digital behaviour remains online’.
Although we are living in the information age and technology is of ever-greater importance, some remain unable to benefit from the opportunities created. To keep up with the constantly evolving world, we have to continue learning and diversifying our skills. ‘Digital education is essential if we want to be prepared for the new technological wave that is coming’, states Terreni.
One of Terreni’s suggestions is to create good connections, both in real life as well as virtually. ‘Students could start with creating a good profile on LinkedIn where they can start their personal branding.’ Choosing the image of ourselves that we want to show implies a good dose of self-awareness.
Secondly, he suggests becoming really good at what you like or are interested in. ‘Become influential in the topics you like, make sure you become a reference so that people search for you, instead of you having to look for others.’ This active approach is very much in line with ESE’s philosophy and a valuable reminder to our students, the leaders and managers of the future, of their individual power and potential.