ITALY. Naples: Italian economist and entrepreneur, Dario Ruggiero has advised entrepreneurs on the need to face some of the greatest challenges in entrepreneurship in the coming years that are related to environmental and social issues.
“They are going to live in much more turbulent times. Together with instability, the coming years are going to be those where digitalization is going to have a key role, and one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurship is to understand how to use digitalization to face environmental and social challenges, and as well to make their businesses economically sustainable”, he says.
10 years ago Ruggiero founded Long Term Economy, which is an organization that works for creating long-term sustainability, moving from an economy that is focused on short-term assets such as profits, to an economy that is focused on long-term assets such as nature, social stability and cultural heritage.
“I love the sea and my preferred hobbies are rowing and sailboat excursions”, Ruggiero says.
This, he says, is after he looked into his nephews’ eyes and thought: “What kind of world are we going to leave to these future adults?”
He then understood that the current economic model was not sustainable, it is dangerous for the planet and a threat to their future; and tried to find a way of how economic could be not impactful for nature, found that the most important thing to do is to change the way our mind thinks, from short-term thinking to long-term thinking that is giving importance to assets that create value in the long term.
Source of inspiration
Ruggiero however, says that his inspiration comes from the people he has met and interviewed. “All the great people I have interviewed and partnered with have also been a great source of inspiration for me”, he says.
“When I interviewed Otto Scharmer from MIT for the film MyPlanetFirst, he told me that through deep listening you can let emerge the best sources of creativity from inside and from the outside (he explains that in his U-Theory model)”, Ruggiero adds.
In the coming years, according to Ruggiero, entrepreneurship needs a great source of creativity to face current and future challenges and to be much more suitable for turbulent times. Creativity is sometimes innate, but you can also feed it. Other important things are skills, courage, and determination. So, exercise your skills, be brave, but overall be creative and feed your creativity through deep listening.
Asked what he thinks is the most pressing global issue right now, Ruggiero doesn’t hesitate to point out that sustainability is the one major one facing the earth right now, both socially and environmentally.
“I think only about one global issue; that is “sustainability”. The current model of producing and consuming, and more in general, all our society is not sustainable. What we need is to change our mind-set from a linear to a systemic and circular system, as well as from a short-term perspective to a long-term perspective. That means that also entrepreneurship has to change in that way. We need a totally new kind of entrepreneurship to emerge and also the ones that take care of the community, the society, and the environment it works with”, he advises.
Ruggiero says that in the last 40 years, we have talked about pollution and Climate Change, but never have we thought about the complexity of the matter of sustainability.
“Recently the United Nations has made a big step onward realizing the goal for humanity must be not just one (Increasing GDP), but 17 goals, related to economic, development, social, and environmental issues. This is also what I and my colleagues are trying to do with the film MyPlanetFirst and Long Term Economy. We also offer Long Term Thinking courses that people can get through this link“, he says.