Innovation and Reality
Updated: May 23
The other night I started to read an interesting book. The title of the manuscript “Factfulness” intrigued me as I generally rule my life by facts and by making a significant effort in trying to understand my surroundings by logical sequences. The author of the book, Hans Rosling, is an adviser to the World Health Organization, cofounder of Medecins Sans Frontieres in Sweden and a serial speaker at Ted talks.
Rosling’s mission with this book is to provide a more informed perspective about the world that surrounds us by shedding light on many facts and statistics which if misunderstood can lead to serious policy and social mistakes.
As we are approaching our next MEET ITALY event on March 7th, an evening centered on discussions about innovation and novel processes to improve the status of the world, “Factfulness” seemed the perfect read.
The book provides strong evidence that people, across geographic, income, and educational sections systematically misinterpret fundamental data about our world. As part of his research, Rosling circulates different surveys with questions related to either the state of health around the world, or educational levels among girls and boys in different countries and so on. One question most people, regardless of background, get wrong is about the rate of change of world population living in extreme poverty. When people are asked if in the last 20 years the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has doubled, stayed the same or halved, a mere 7% gets it right (by the way, it has actually halved while most people have the pessimistic view that it has doubled).
In the age of social media, fake news and populism, facts are being misinterpreted at best, distorted and manipulated at worst. In Europe, we are witnessing a resurgence of children’s diseases due an irrational backlash against vaccines. Facts support the great improvements achieved in global health over the last few decades and facts will help us continue to innovate and improve. Irrationality and misguided perceptions will destroy our advances.
Successful innovation will be the product of economic resources, aligned incentives, proper and clear perspectives in the minds of everyone and proper efficient processes.
On March 7th, our keynote speaker, Maurizio Vecchione, will discuss with our audience new processes of innovation and his experience at the Global Good Fund, an entity funded by Bill Gates and focused on inventing technology to solve some of humanity’s biggest challenges.
Please join us on March 7th and RSVP by clicking here:
Maurizio Vecchione’s Bio
With more than 30 years of industry experience in technology and life sciences, Mr. Vecchione has helped build nine startups and launch more than 50 commercial products spanning health technologies and therapeutics as well as telecommunications, information systems, and material sciences. He most recently served as CEO of Arrogene, commercializing a nanotechnology platform for cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, and was CEO of telemedicine pioneer CompuMed.
Mr. Vecchione is an editorial advisory board member for IEEE Spectrum magazine. He’s also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the Leadership Council for UW Medicine/UW School of Public Health Department of Global Health. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America Foundation, which promotes collaboration between North American researchers and Italian Academic and Government institutions.
As an inventor himself, Mr. Vecchione is named on multiple U.S. patents and patent applications related to imaging, image processing, nano-bio-polymers, and telecommunications. He is a member of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Computing Machinery Society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.