Building a sustainable tomorrow: Innovation 4 Change & Industry Leaders Summit


An exciting day at the center of Europe at CERN in Geneva, dedicated to the future & to collaboration and organized for inspiring & enabling future leaders (top talents of MBA and PhD backgrounds) guided by CERN and Collège des Ingénieurs (CDI). An inspiring two-session day to discover future opportunities, technologies and value chains that can help collectively in creating a better future together with European industry and institutional leaders.

The main part of the event was dedicated to the futuristic expo by top MBA & PhD talents from across Europe, part of the Innovation 4 Change (I4C) program in collaboration with CERN IdeaSquare, sustained by Exor and financially supported by Fondazione Giovanni Agnelli. I4C is a laboratory for the future that aims to train purpose-driven deep tech innovators by challenging talented MBAs and PhDs to resolve global problems identified by industry and institutions within a European program at CERN IdeaSquare in Geneva through proven scientific methodologies on tech, innovation, and impact management. The jury was led by Dr. Gianotti and Mr. Elkann together with other dignitaries representing multiple institutions and industries such as Dr. Francesco Profumo (Board member of European Innovation Council),  Ms. Katherine Littler (Co-Unit Head, Health Ethics & Governance Unit of WHO), Prof. Dr. Andrea Crisanti (Senator & Researcher), Mr. Stefano Buono (Co-Founder & CEO of newcleo),  Mr. Benedetto Vigna (CEO of Ferrari),  Mr. Costantino Baldissara (President of Automar & Commercial, Logistics and Operations Director of Grimaldi) & Mr. Giuseppe Zefola (Dep. Director of Training ITCILO).

The three finalists of the I4C expo chosen by the jury were:

  • Insetech (Challenge Biocentis) - the Navigation Tool of pest prediction - a holistic and interconnected, AI-backed pest-forecasting system coupled with targeted pest control monitoring measure
  • e-Chlora (Challenge Grimaldi Group) - a simple, transparent, and scalable solution for effective CO2 capture and climate change mitigation
  • SoilSoul (Challenge Rai Way) - an autonomous robot leveraging edge computing to continuously analyze soil parameters in agricultural fields, enhancing sustainable farming practices

Fabiola Gianotti, DG of CERN, commented: “Educating the next generation of scientists and innovators is part of CERN's mission, and we are pleased to support the development of young minds committed to making a difference in society.”

John Elkann, CEO of Exor, commented: “Innovation 4 Change and the CERN bring together young talents from Europe and challenge them to address the most critical issues  of our world: we are proud to support this program aimed at building a better world and we are committed to develop the scope of its activity in the future.”

The afternoon, mainly attended by industry leaders representing 30 corporates and institutional leaders from 15 institutions, was dedicated to the topic of cross-industry decarbonisation. The guests in attendance included Mr. Giuseppe Artizzu (CEO of NHOA Energy), Mr. Stefano Buono (Co-founder & CEO of newcleo), and Mr. Benedetto Vigna (CEO of Ferrari).



The morning session was dedicated towards exploring and presenting models of collaboration for long-term goals of the industry, especially concerning new advanced technologies and value chains that are yet to be envisioned. For these long-term challenges, CERN has been successfully involved in designing effective pipelines and sandboxes. These models also provide excellent opportunities to create distributed centers together with other industries and institutions that are exploring a similar challenge space, which can become educational and entrepreneurial empowerment possibilities for the young scientific and business community of Europe. The partner companies and institutions who have supported the challenges and the teams this year were Grimaldi Group, DSM, CNH Industrial, Iren Group, Biocentis, Rai Way, Il Cielo Itinerante, ITCILO, GHS Fund & Juventus Football Club.  

Following the exposition, the program included a panel led by Mr. Edward Glanville of Economist Impact, part of The Economist Group (Senior Programme Editor and Head of Sustainability Events programming) together with Mr. Francesco Profumo of European Innovation Council (Board member), Mr. Davide Coppola of European Space Agency (Head of Space Applications Initiatives) & Mr. Pablo García Tello of CERN EU Office (Section Head, New Projects and Initiatives) to discuss their views on the enormous potential of public private partnerships and collaborations between institutions & industry.

The morning was concluded by a fireside chat between Dr. Fabiola Gianotti, Mr. John Elkann, and Dr. Amelie Schoenenwald (ESA Astronaut Reserve Group), who discussed and inspired the audience towards more intergenerational communication and collaboration as a key leadership tool.



During the afternoon, the focus has been on decarbonisation strategies and projects to accelerate the energy transition. Attendees received different perspectives across the future of energy by a panel facilitated by Ms. Catherine Howe of Economist Impact, part of The Economist Group (Head of Content & Programmes) together with multiple industries from leaders such as Mr. Giuseppe Artizzu (CEO of NHOA Energy), Mr. Stefano Buono (Co-Founder & CEO of newcleo), Mr. Benedetto Vigna (CEO of Ferrari), Ms. Francesca Protano (CNH Industrial Corporate Development, Technologies & CNH Industrial Ventures), and Mr. Marco Liccardo (Chief Technology & Digital Officer of Iveco Group).

After the inspiring and highly strategic panel, the session dived into specific projects of decarbonisation currently successful inside industry from companies such as Cubogas (Snam Group), Ferrari, MAN Energy Solutions, New Holland, Bloom Biorenewables and Goldbeck Solar. After, an extended discussion session among the industry leaders was facilitated towards exploring potential cross industry partners for the representatives from thirty corporates present.

The day concluded with a visit to the ATLAS control room to better understand how CERN deals with complexity through open science and open collaboration models.

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