Presentation today in Milan with the event The Shape of Things to Come
Milan, 2 October 2015 – More than one thousand university students – together with thousands of other young people on streaming video links from Italy and around the world – witnessed the presentation today of Piaggio Fast Forward (PFF), a major innovation project of the Piaggio Group, the European leader in two-wheel motor vehicles and the most prominent global player among Western manufacturers, as well as a key presence in light commercial vehicles. One of the most historic and prestigious names in Italian industry, Piaggio was founded in December 1884. 2015 is its 130th year of activity.
Piaggio Fast Forward (piaggiofastforward.com) was established in 2015 as a company owned by the Piaggio Group. Its purpose is to develop a new approach to research with the aim of interpreting the signs of change and finding intelligent solutions to the problems raised by change and the needs of the future. PFF is based in an outstanding location: Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA), where research, academia, visions of the future, technology and enterprise come together in a mutually beneficial community.
The first event organized to present this innovative project, The Shape of Things to Come, was held today in Milan, involving thousands of university students, present physically at The Mall in Milan or via streaming links from all over the world. The meeting was attended by Piaggio Group top management: Group Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno and Group Deputy Chairman Matteo Colaninno, together with Michele Colaninno, CEO and COO of the Immsi Group, the holding that controls the Piaggio Group, of which Michele Colaninno is a director.
The speakers at The Shape of Things to Come (theshapeofthingstocome.net) in Milan, included, in addition to Roberto Colaninno, a number of members of the Piaggio Fast Forward Advisory Board and Board of Directors: Nicholas Negroponte (Co-Founder of the MIT Media Lab and Professor of Media Technology at MIT); Jeffrey Schnapp (Co-Director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and a Harvard University Professor); Greg Lynn (Designer, Founder of Greg Lynn FORM and a Yale University Professor); Doug Brent (Vice President of Technology Innovation at Trimble); Beth Altringer (Psychologist, Designer and a lecturer at Harvard’s Engineering & Design School); Sasha Hoffman (Co-Founder of Fuzzy Compass and an active member of Boston Entrepreneurship Ecosystem).
All the speeches can be seen on the website theshapeofthingstocome.net.
The members of the Piaggio Fast Forward Advisory Board are Roberto Colaninno, Nicholas Negroponte, Doug Brent and Jeff Linnell of Google, founder of Bot & Dolly.
The members of the PFF Board of Directors are Michele Colaninno (Chairman), Jeffrey Schnapp (Chief Executive Officer) and Greg Lynn (Chief Creative Officer), as well as Gabriele Galli (Piaggio Group CFO), Davide Zanolini (Piaggio Group VP for Marketing & Communication), Luca Sacchi (Piaggio Group VP for Strategic Innovation), Miguel Galluzzi (Director of the Piaggio Advanced Design Centre in Pasadena) and Edoardo Ducci from Piaggio Group Americas.
PFF’s core asset as it commences activities is the quality of the minds in the operating team: brilliant young students from Harvard and the MIT, coordinated by Beth Altringer and Sasha Hoffman.
By integrating innovative technologies and developing transport projects for the future, PFF intends to study new mobility platforms to respond to the challenges arising in a rapidly changing world. It will conduct its work in a continuously evolving world whose increasingly complex urban centres are destined to become megalopolises with tens of millions of inhabitants, faced with the problem of transporting people and goods, while respecting the environment and improving the quality of people’s lives.
PFF believes that the bringing together of very different minds, with multicultural experiences and backgrounds, can foster a more complete vision of the evolution of mobility in the years to come. As a laboratory of ideas, Piaggio Fast Forward breaks the typical engineering mould of the industrial sector: it will offer new interpretations of transportation problems, opening up a whole range of opportunities unimagined in today’s world of conventional mobility.
Piaggio Fast Forward sees innovation as the path towards sustainable economic development.
Piaggio Fast Forward is an ambitious project that, together with the Piaggio R&D Centres, will help the Group develop increasingly hi-tech, innovative products to meet the changing needs of the consumer, the key to all future growth.
For its part, the Piaggio Group will contribute its solid international reputation, built up over 130 years: not only through the production and worldwide distribution of the Vespa – a brand that has achieved global success with more than 18 million vehicles sold so far all over the world – but above all through its direct industrial presence in Europe, India, Vietnam and China, its thorough knowledge of and profound respect for employees and consumers, its cutting-edge design and a deeply rooted business culture developed in close cooperation with local communities.
The Piaggio Group was the first to come up with the concept of light mobility and, through a constant, consistent commitment, is now a world leader in the development and production of technologically advanced eco-friendly vehicles for individual travel, equipped with new-generation engines delivering sustainability, efficiency and fuel efficiency.
In its mission as a developer of innovation, the Piaggio Group has decided to launch and support Piaggio Fast Forward: a great laboratory for forward-looking, open minds. A plural, multicultural, interdisciplinary project combining history, research, design and industry.