8 September 2006

Made in Italy at Chinese prices [Spiegel Online]

Be the first to share

Made in Italy at Chinese prices
Spiegel Online just published a fascinating story about how the Chinese are infiltrating the Italian fashion industry, right here in Italy!

The backdrop is Prato, a small Italian city of 180,000 with 25,000 Chinese workers and 2,000 Chinese entrepreneurs, who own a quarter of the city’s textile businesses.

I repost it on Putting People First not because it has much to do with user-centred design, but because it is economic innovation happening in my backyard. And while these Chinese create growth and employment, they are not embraced by Italians but viewed with fear.

“The city has become the scene of a clash between two cultures: the young, dynamic Chinese, who are willing to take risks and unafraid of being taken advantage of to further their own goals, and the Italians, who allow themselves to be intimidated and worry that Prato could soon spin out of control unless the Chinese and their companies are forcibly legalized. Prato is now a setting for globalization’s next step. The first was when China took away Europe’s jobs, and in the second they are now conquering the cities of the old continent.”

In fact, this is not just an Italian story. It is all about globalisation and how Europe reacts to it.

How to get a population, which is ageing more every year, to focus on this new Europe, and how to stop them fighting the battles of the past?

All those working on innovation in Europe, should be aware that entrepreneurship comes from a radical cultural mindset, which the Chinese seem to have, and many Europeans not anymore.

However — from what I can see here in Italy — there is a young generation of political leaders, who are working hard and quietly behind the scenes to create a new vision for the future. The policies and strategies may be communicated by politicians who are over 60, but the hard work is often done by those under 40. It is happening here in Italy in the office of prime minister Romano Prodi, where a dynamic think tank under the leadership of the up and coming Enrico Letta is developing visions for the future of Italy. The same is happening in the regions and the cities: young people are starting to drive the ideas. These are people who have travelled the world, speak languages, and are extremely well-read and well-informed. They are also highly committed, working long hours because of a vision they believe in. I have worked with some of them and support them wherever I can. In the end, I am confident about Italy because of these young people.

Read full story

Be the first to share
8 October 2015
Digital identity ecosystems in the context of Big data and mass surveillance
Research on Digital Identity Ecosystems by Francesca Bria, Gemma Galdon Clavell, Javier Ruiz, José María Zavala, Laura Fitchner, Harry Halpin D-CENT (Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies) 30 June 2015 D-CENT (a European research project on "Decentralised Citizens ENgagement Technologies") …
3 October 2015
Building a design-driven culture
It’s not enough to just sell a product or service—companies must truly engage with their customers. McKinsey & Company outlines four elements of a design-driven culture, necessary to embed experience design in an organization. Really understanding …
3 October 2015
Stop Googling. Let’s Talk.
MIT Professor Sherry Turkle has been studying the psychology of online connectivity for more than 30 years. For the past five, I’ve had a special focus: What has happened to face-to-face conversation in a world …
29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness
As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council …
26 September 2015
[Book] The first-ever ethnographic study of the global reinsurance industry
Making a Market for Acts of God: The Practice of Risk Trading in the Global Reinsurance Industry By Paula Jarzabkowski, Rebecca Bednarek, and Paul Spee Oxford Scholarship Online April 2015 Abstract Reinsurance is financial market trading in the risk of …
24 September 2015
Is it time to forget Big Data and focus on real people?
Big data opens up whole world of insight for designers, but only if we focus on the actual users behind the numbers, writes Maya Nix, the Marketing Content Producer for ClickTale, in this UX Magazine …
24 September 2015
Using business anthropology for strategic cost reduction
When business anthropologists work with the C-suite of large companies, the clients or employers tend to be the chief marketing officer (for consumer research), the chief strategy officer (for strategy work anchored in an outside-in …
5 September 2015
Ezio Manzini talk at the RSA (London)
Excerpt (above) - full replay Abstract H​ow do we nurture conditions in which a diffuse creativity can flourish and evolve through collaborative organisations and, in so doing, realise meaningful steps towards a more resilient and sustainable …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

29 September 2015
[Experientia book] Ethnography on elderly health and wellness

As we age, we increasingly depend on public services and the community for support. Well-designed public services can greatly affect the lives of the elderly and their experiences of healthcare. Experientia collaborated with DesignSingapore Council on understanding how the elderly interact with public services and how we can look towards improving their lives with design. […]

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

See all articles