InterviewsSocial Media Week 2016 started. Our interview to Gianfranco Chicco


This year, the Milan Social Media Week will focus on “Invisible Tech”. Something that makes us analyze the reality around us, going beyond behaviors and data, trying to anticipate future evolutions. Design, Behavior, Data and for the first time ever a section dedicated to Food and Wine.

We like to talk about digital events like the SMW, not only because they are able to enrich territories, but because they also highlight the unstoppable growth. Together with London and New York, Milan is finally following the trend. We’ve spoken with Gianfranco Chicco, marketer and digital strategist and also responsible of the SMW contents.

gianfranco chicco - social

Let’s start from a simple question. What do you expect from this new SMW edition and from the city of Milan?

As the admin of the program, I want to raise the interest of the audience, generating a constructive debate on the proposed topics. Technology, and what happens in the digital world, is not something for technical people anymore. A strong impact on our daily life that can be either positive or negative, depending on how we relate with it. The growth of digital culture in Italy is the key to open the doors to new economic, social and cultural developments in a world that everyday shortens the distance between digital and physical world.

What’s our perception of technology, invisible because it is part of our actions or because it defines them?

Both. We often realize that technology is something physical too, from the smartphones we hold in our hands to the gps we have in the car, but it’s more than this. There are algorithms responding to our online searches that suggest us what music we should listen, which movies we should watch and the news we should pay attention to. These algorithms have been created by someone, and to understand how they work it is important to be aware of how the world works. No misunderstandings here, I think that technology can bring positive changes in our lives, also thanks to a series of innovation that will be more and more part of the world we live in: artificial intelligence, virtual reality, vocal assistant.

Influenced by the mobile world, it seems that design doesn’t have as a primary goal to value the aesthetic of the product, but the experience. Which aesthetic or functional characteristic defines an innovative design?

The aesthetic valorization has always been a part of what we mean with the word “design”, and with the Human Centered Design (HCD) we have now a broader idea. The most important characteristics are the ones related to assisted behaviors or enhanced by a certain design, from a hardware and software point o view. Create products, service and experiences that are simple, intuitive, efficient and pleasant.

Another central topic is the one concerning data that need to be interpreted, coded and used. How?

“How” to interpret and code the data.. that I leave it to the experts, and you’ll meet many of them during this week. Surely data can’t be ignored but we can’t accumulate them and then not knowing what to do. We would like to bring the testimony of different organizations that are using data in an innovative way, to support their activities, whatever they are: manage a crisis, modify the way they do business, create new products or services and discover new talents.

But data don’t promote innovation, and sometimes they can be a limitation. Should innovation truly mean to anticipate needs?

The term innovation it’s often abused for marketing and communication purposes, and from my point of view there isn’t just one way of making innovation. Data can promote the creation of new products and services through a better comprehension of users’ behaviors, but surely they can also be limiting, especially if the collection and analysis are not the right ones.  I think that data can enrich and support the intuition of who makes innovation, completing other way to make innovation.

Michela Di Nuzzo

« Se scrivo ciò che sento è perché così facendo abbasso la febbre di sentire». - Fernando Pessoa Giornalista e co-founder, vivo il digital come imprenditrice e appassionata. Percepisco il cambiamento come un'opportunitá mai una minaccia. Occhi spalancati e orecchie aperte, sempre pronta alla condivisione, la chiave di ogni evoluzione.


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