In 2009 POMOS, the Polo of Sustainable Mobility, in Cisterna di Latina was inaugurated POMOS, and 2019 is its tenth anniversary: an occasion for celebration but also for reflection and establishing a strategy for the future.
Research centres, by their very essence, build the future (design what does not yet exist) and it is important to make predictions about the changes that are taking place and that will take place in our society to imagine the next 10 years for POMOS.
While in 2009 the Italian industry was still strong and the crisis only at the beginning, today we find ourselves with 10 years of crisis and a socio-economic change that has distorted our communities. Many small industries have closed, especially due to a sudden credit crunch of the banks and not due to the lack of products and customers. It really seems that there may have been a geopolitical design to move industries to some other part of Europe or the world. A plan that was impossible to deal with locally.
From a social point of view, the peripheral centres like Cisterna di Latina are being abandoned by young people who increasingly seek fortune abroad. Our young people often are graduates and have backgrounds that enrich other companies and other nations with their skills and creativity.
But let’s get back to the mobility.
The paradigm shift in mobility is underway: incentives for electric cars, the closure of historic town centres to diesel cars but, above all, the large companies that are decommissioning the fuel distribution network, transferring the business risk onto many small local operators. When they have completed the decommissioning of the network, the process towards sustainable mobility will accelerate.
The car is increasingly digital and social, with elements of a game, and in general a process of ‘gamification’ is taking place within all the levels of society. People have an ever shorter attention that is increased through processes of involvement that have as essence that of the game.
Meanwhile, in these 10 years in Cisterna di Latina POMOS has become a centre of excellence and all the people who work in the racing department or in the various research projects are being hired before graduating. POMOS designs and manufactures cars but also boats and fast charging systems. It participates in territorial and international projects and stands in support of a fabric of small and large companies. And it has a racing department that is appreciated by all the other universities in this field in the world.
How do all these scenarios combine to create a future strategy hypothesis?
10 years ago POMOS was born to be a link with the world of small businesses when it was already clear that the geopolitics of many large industries had chosen to relocate away from Italy. POMOS was supposed to be a technology and skills defence to allow the development of new niche companies. And it did it very well.
Today there is a socio-economic shift towards sustainable communities, where the word ‘sustainable’ is also combined with the word ‘digital’. I had foreseen it in my book ‘Dreams and Digital Energy‘ and today it has come true. Artificial Intelligence surrounds us and has now crept into our lives and we must change. Jack Ma, the founder of Ali Baba in his speech at Davos in 2018, has masterfully expressed the meaning of our life: empathy, art, sport, self-knowledge. The rest will be done by the robots.
This means a total change for millions of people who cannot yet see this new role of man on this earth. But it means that man must learn to evolve with machines, as predicted by the philosopher Bruze Mazlish in his book ‘The Fourth Discontinuity: the co-evolution of men and machines‘.
This means that the small municipalities and their inhabitants, for example, must learn to be familiar with the digital and related infrastructures. The risk is the emergence of scenarios of the distribution of the population concentrated in the megalopolis while the countrysides are desertified.
UN, Pentagon, Consulting Companies … each with different perspectives, but all are preparing for this scenario while we peripheral citizens despair over the loss of traditions and immaterial heritage imbued in our communities.
UNESCO compiles a list of the Intangible Heritage but this too risks becoming a gamification like a visit to Venice or the famous ‘England, England’ tale by Julian Barnes.
Thus one of the tasks of POMOS could be to continue its control of containment of the drift of centralization of powers and protection of local communities.
Its role would therefore be strategic not only in the technological vanguard, where it is now a true centre of excellence, but in supporting the transformation of peripheral communities to make them become places with a very high quality of life.
But politics must play its role and one that is not that of a spectator.