A mission-oriented approach for the post-COVID recovery

GROWINPRO participated at the event organised by Forum on Inequality and Diversity aimed at presenting a set of policy tools to tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis

On December 13, 2020 GROWINPRO’s principal investigator, Andrea Roventini, participated at a policy debate within the final session of the “OpenForum DD”. Open Forum DD was an online 16-day event organised by the Forum on Inequality and Diversity, an Italian coalition between civil society organisations and a group of researchers and academics that is part of the GROWINPRO civil society organisations’ network. The Forum  is engaged in the study of inequality and its negative consequences on development with the aim to propose policies to increase sustainable substantive freedom of people and to reduce inequalities.

The OpenForum DD event, held between November 30 and December 15, was aimed at presenting and discussing with a wide audience of researchers, policy makers, journalists and campaigners a set of policy proposals to tackle the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis and bring Italy back on a path of sustainable and inclusive growth. The Forum on Inequality and Diversity, which is coordinated by Fabrizio Barca, a former Italian Minister for Territorial Cohesion from 2011 until 2013, will then present the policy proposals emerged from the debate to the Italian government in an effort to include them in the draft “Recovery and Resilience Plan”, the investment plan that the Italian government is preparing in order to overcome the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Italian Government is expected to present the plan to the European Union in April 2021.

During the December 13 debate (here the link to the day programme, here the link to the video registration of the session) with Patrizia Luongo, a researcher of the Forum on Inequality and Diversity, and Fabrizio Barca, Andrea Roventini highlighted that the plan drafted by the government lacks a systemic and integrated vision able to lead the country out of the economic crisis. In particular, the plan stops short of addressing the structural weakness of the Italian productive system, which is largely based on small and medium enterprises often unable to cope with the challenges posed by a globalised economic system. “We need a mission-oriented approach, especially at the light of the technological revolution”, said Roventini. “Digitalization for instance could play a significant role in sustainable development”, Roventini added, “let’s just think at how a smart grid could support the European targets for reducing emission”.

Roventini’s speech also drew from the Report “Strategic missions for the Italian public companies”, produced by the Forum on Inequality and Diversity with the contribution of GROWINPRO researchers and released in July 2020. The report investigates the role played by the Italian public companies in the context of the Italian economic structure. Researchers found that while Italian public companies are endowed with extraordinary technical and innovative skills, their overall potential is still largely unexpressed. The causes of this underutilization of their potential are mainly attributable to two factors: first, the lack of definition of strategic missions by the State towards public enterprises, and second, the lack of interaction and systemic and coordinated action between the public companies themselves. The Report also develops a Proposal that would allow the definition of strategic missions for Italian public enterprises, aimed at promoting technological innovation and an inclusive and sustainable growth.