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Themes

Women

Women are a reassuring and constant, albeit a scarcely visible, presence in the places where we work, eat, rest and dream. This demanding but necessary labour is what Marc Augè, author of the analysis of "non-places", might have called "non-work".

Why talk about it?
Because the Integrated services are part of a labour-intensive industry, 72% of whose workers are women, in which staff costs account for as much as 80% of production value.

Compared with other industries, a particularly large fraction of the production value of our sector derives from the contribution of its female workers, whose value and number are often not fully appreciated.

Welcoming, Belonging and Sense of Community

These are the two sides of the same coin. In recent years, we have learnt that the concept of welcoming others can dredge up dramatic images and provoke unseemly, contradictory and sometimes embarrassing reactions.

In our modern, civil culture, welcoming people is an obligation enshrined in the Italian Constitution, the 1951 Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We must learn how to act in the most appropriate way, acknowledging that everyone should be entitled to the same opportunities. In the coming years, we may be called upon to tackle significant and challenging issues regarding the welcoming of others; we should be prepared to tackle and manage such issues with humanity and expertise.

Belonging is a fundamental human need that comes immediately after our physiological needs (food, sleep, etc.) and the need to feel secure. It is vital to individual wellbeing as a value.

A sense of belonging is generally believed to engender a feeling of comfort and pleasure at not being alone, thanks to the relief of knowing that other people are in situations similar to our own.

Involvement and assembly are two vital features of creating a sense of belonging. If we do not take part in social life and fail to interact with others, we cannot share in this sense of belonging.

Why talk about it?
Because, on one hand, as our society gradually ages, we are today sowing the seeds of an issue that inevitably will prompt us to make root and branch changes to many of our everyday habits.

The extraordinary longevity we have achieved over the last 50 years has pushed the welfare system to the far ends of sustainability, implying a need for careful and far-reaching consideration. The welcoming of others – something for which we will share the rules – could help us turn what to many people is merely a charitable gesture into a major opportunity.

Because, on the other hand, if we fail to create connections and relationships, we will never manage to feel like we are part of a group. Active participation is the vital ingredient for increasing the experience of belonging.

One interesting thing to emerge from a number of research projects is that the more people feel they belong to a country/social grouping, the more they feel their life has meaning.

To increase the sense of belonging we have to practice what are known as “significant activities”, that is to say activities important to us as an individual, that we like, that bring us satisfaction and give us a sense of achievement.

Happiness

The American Declaration of Independence* affirms that the pursuit of happiness is one of the fundamental rights of life, on a par with the right to life and freedom.

But what is happiness? And what conditions are conducive to its attainment?

Many diverse factors contribute to the attainment of happiness: some have to do with genetics, some have to do with social, demographic, economic, cultural, religious or political circumstances, while others have to do with the quality of our day-to-day experience or with the jobs that we do.

Why talk about it?
If we ask the internet what happiness is, we get more than 11 million results in Italian, and if we pose the same query in English, more than 70 million results.

In short, of the things that matter in our lives, happiness is unquestionably one of the most important.

Distribution in the age of Disruption

Many people refer to it as “disruption”, a term that highlights the idea of things breaking down, a discontinuity with the recent past that can create a sense of loss and anxiety. Zygmunt Baumann has termed this condition the “liquid society”.

We have entered into a magmatic time, one in which post-modern relationships are hard to understand, where everything seems to be slipping away, where flow devours any kind of persistence, permanence or rigidity. We are living through one great global flood. Human relations and social connections have become liquid and ever-changing; convictions and identities are labile and fluid, while borders and boundaries are vanishing under these liquid waves.

Why talk about it?
Because we must think, work, plan and produce services and wealth within this “chaos” into which we have been drawn. We will attempt to understand the situation, starting from the new business models we can and must adopt to rethink the rules and tools we use to manage our work.

Designing for Cleanliness in Health Care and Hospitality Places: Hospitals, Hotel, Restaurants

As Oscar Wile put it: “A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at. Progress is the realization of Utopias”.

For 99 percent of the history of this planet, almost everyone living on it has been poor, sick, hungry and ignorant.

True progress begins with the awareness of what it means to live with dignity.

Hospitality/welcome encompasses vast opportunities for learning and meeting through a countless range of variables.

Why talk about it?
Whether it be in a hospital, a hotel, a school canteen or a railway carriage, the issue of creating and maintaining tidiness is one of the key values for a sense of hospitality. This analysis in turn brings up a whole slew of considerations spanning a wide variety of issues and approaches. Dirtiness is often the consequence of a breakdown in design generated by a synthesis of mistaken habits, improper use, erroneous operational practices or wrong/inefficient intervention. In this panel discussion, we will be delving into a number of sensitive situations in order to assess their seriousness, estimate their consequences, understand the underlying causes and come up with solutions.