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"We must act together as knots in a fishing net, in order to launch from our local territories a whole new trend of sustainable development for the entire Country’. The ultimate purpose of #Elba2035 is all in the words Fabio Murzi, President of Acqua dell’Elba, proclaimed in his introductory greeting for the webinar about sustainability and local territory organised with EY.

Indeed, it was through the efforts of a whole network that it became possible to assemble such a prestigious selection of speakers to relate about the numerous facets of the relationship between development, sustainability and local territory. Arguments which are at the heart of the #ELBA2035 project itself, and which, according to Riccardo Giovannini of EY, are an invitation for companies to seize the inspiration coming from their local territory, increasing the connection between enterprise and local community.

An opportunity that needs to be developed on an island which, as the coordinator of the Gestione Associata del Turismo (“Associated Tourism Management Board”) Claudio Della Lucia reminded us, ‘was among the first touristic destinations to re-start after the COVID-19 emergency, but now it needs to make itself attractive for its youth, enticing them to stay’.

Highlighting the shared objectives between #ELBA2035 and the worldwide project #AGENDA2030, Gianni Bottalico of ASviS (Alleanza Italiana per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile – “Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development”) clarified that ‘Sustainability is not just an environmental concept, but also an economic and social concept which requires a globally integrated vision’. A challenge structured around five major themes (protecting, promoting, preparing, preventing, transforming) and five great macro-objectives: people, partnerships, prosperity, peace, planet.

According to Francesco Petracchini of CNR (Italian National Research Centre), Head of the Observatory for the Minor Islands, ‘Islands are privileged locations to study the effects of sustainability, for example by examining energy, waste, water and mobility.’ Petracchini then expounded on these themes by illustrating the various “best practices” of sustainable development adopted by minor islands in Italy and Europe (Electrical harbours, connectivity, local energy production blockchain networks, renewable energies…), highlighting the importance of a planning process that is shared among citizens and their administration.

Ilaria Neirotti – EY Sustainability then proceeded to illustrate the principles behind #ELBA2035, recalling how from its very early starting phases, the project was always based around the concept of sharing sustainable development strategies with the local community and territory. Thus, we uncovered topics which will form the subject of our upcoming encounters we will share with you in the next months: sustainable tourism, culture, identity, lifestyle, environment and beauty of the local territory.

Lastly it was the turn of Fabio Ferrari, founder of Energy Ways: from his point of view as a mathematician and strategic analyst of aggregated data, he showed how a project of sustainable development for a reality such as Isola d’Elba may also find inspiration from research and analysis of what he defined as “weaker connections”, which help to understand how to work towards the unspoken desires of the local community rather than its rationally expressed desires. ‘From the analysis of data’, concluded Ferrari, ‘it is possible to create algorithms which can describe relationships, predict future behaviours, offer strategic support to the various activities which for example characterise an island in fields as different as tourism, gastronomy and hospitality, nature and sustainability’.

In conclusion of the event, the official moderator Norman Larocca, Marketing Director of Acqua dell’Elba who has always been receptive to the themes of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility, was joined by Attilio Lombardo of EY Italy to introduce the numerous engaging questions from our audience, who once again demonstrated a keen interest for projects which aim to promote sustainable development with a deep belief that the world is changing, and seeking shared solutions is becoming increasingly indispensable.

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