BE OPEN Experience: Story by Francesco Morace

Francesco Morace
                                              Sociologist, writer

Sociologist, journalist and author of over 20 books translated into various languages, ranging in subject from trends in consumption to social change. Founder of a Research and Strategic Institute – Future Concept Lab (1989). Mr. Morace is also Professor at Domus Academy and Milan’s Politecnico. He has participated in conventions and seminars in 22 countries worldwide.

Among the international clientele of Future Concept Lab are American Express, BMW, Club Med, Coca-Cola Company, The Walt Disney Company, LG Electronics, L’Oréal Group, LVMH, Mercedes-Benz, Natura Cosméticos, Nike, Nokia, Petrobras, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Samsung и Whirlpool. Mr. Morace is also engaged in collaboration with a great many Italian companies, developing the concept of excellence for products and technologies made in Italy. His clients include Barilla, Ferrero, Gruppo COIN, Deborah Groups, Alessi, Unicredit, Artemide, Illy и Pomellato.

Among the most important titles by Francesco Morace, released in 2010 are Verità e Bellezza (‘Veracity & Beauty’) и Il Talento dell’Impresa: L’Impronta Rinascimentale in dieci aziende italiane (‘Talent of Enpterprise: Renaissance Traces across 10 Italian Companies’). Francesco Morace is a regular columnist for Adv, Interni, Mark Up and other special focus international magazines and journals. He also has a daily blog called “Previsioni e Sentimenti” on the Sole 24 Ore Nova online edition.

A series of BE OPEN conferences that we organized together with the INTERNI magazine were successfully concluded on Thursday, having attracted a large number of attendees. The BE OPEN Project implemented by the Foundation with the same name was launched by Elena Baturina, a Russian entrepreneur, who invested $100mln in the Foundation. The main purpose of the Foundation is to create a permanent basis to support innovations in all creative activities: from art to design, from fashion to architecture.

In its first day, the conference with keywords ‘Sustainable development’ attracted presentations and studies of new ideas, with outlines of projects on sustainable development, plus ways to study life quality. Intelligent and empathetic speakers presented the degree of interaction between the concept of sustainable development and the care for objects and personalities. Those present could define the future of sustainable development, from an analysis of lifestyle trends in a household right up to urban levels, where smart simplification and sustainable rituals that we described as essential and existential were targeted.

Clare Brass, a designer with professional interest in this issue, presented a new concept of sustainable development through some important projects related to life quality. Sass Brown, author of Eco Fashion, analyzed impact of sustainable development throughout the high fashion industry. Luisa Collina offered her own ideas based on her experience in Milan’s Politecnico, she defined projects related to sustainable development to be one of the most important themes in our future. Maria Sebregondi closed the list of speakers sharing her experience in Moleskine as an entrepreneur and a manager, she defined a poetical sense of development in relationship between art works and daily life.

The second day of the conference saw a discussion on happiness as expressed in daily life: gestures, behaviour, rituals and relations with design objects. In my introduction, I especially emphasized the existence of cultural and psychological rupture – between economic status and happiness. Examples of happiness experienced due to products, brands, consumption and design objects were presented. Here the list of speakers included famous entrepreneurs who have experienced happy inspiration since the inceptions of their companies. For example, Alberto Alessi and Elio Fiorucci who presented personal visions of their activities over many years; as well as Edson Matsuo of Grendene who managed to introduce the concept of happiness in the production cycle of Melissa, a Brazilian corporation. Famous chef Carlo Cracco presented his considerations on the issue, in his work he employs the concept of ‘happy food making’. Vladimir Pirozhkov, a Russian designer with focus on car interiors told us of his happy experience transferring to design for aerospace. Julian Schnabel, an artist and a film director (many remember his Basquiat movie) made a significant contribution to the conference, with special emphasis on the happiness in an artistic and a creative act. The lengthy and intensive morning session closed with presentation of the project under the name of Food Design by students of Milan’s Politecnico, and with the Be Open Award ceremony, a contest for talented youth set up by Elena Baturina herself.

The third and the last day of the conference saw detailed disclosure of the topic of local territories and global knowledge: thanks to participation of designers and architects from all over the world, methods and locations which create art language and strategic opportunities were defined. Introductory trend analysis targeted unique features in every generation who, through design objects, fashion and details, express their uniqueness and create exciting new standards at the same time. We heard about cultural storytelling and choosing priceless details. All participants to this conference, from Patricia Urquiola to Paola Navone, from Stuart Parr to Gaetano Pesce, from Ilse Crowford to Daniel Rozensztroch, presented their own projects, thus making us think of local talents and universal geniuses.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that such projects as BE OPEN with its strategic significance, will help the world of design and creativity to become an axial rod for future changes.