Covid crisis, the resilience of sport and the creative industries to inspire economic recovery


Institutional Communication Service

17 December 2020

The crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected many economic and social actors in Switzerland and globally. However, certain sectors considered to be more fragile, such as sport and the creative industries, have shown greater resilience than others, providing some useful lessons for the rest of the economy. This was the focus of this year's discussion forum confronti, organised by the USI Institute for Economic Research (IRE, Faculty of Economics), held in online mode on November 26.

Sports professionals live with and learn about resilience early on in their careers, and with the right examples and enjoyable storytelling, it can be stimulating to learn more about this resilience for other contexts. Throughout a sports career, whether at competitive or amateur level, accidents, injuries, crises and defeats are inevitable. However, to succeed in different circumstances, sports professionals are required to maintain a positive and proactive attitude. What distinguishes a good sportsman or woman from a great athlete or champion is the eagerness to win and the quest for results, which, combined with grit and self-discipline, make it possible to develop a high capacity for coping with difficulties.

The creative industries, on the other hand, belong to a broader set of economic activities including, among others, advertising, architecture, art, crafts, design, fashion, film, music, performing arts, publishing, research and development, software, toys and video games, and broadcast radio/TV. During the global financial and economic crisis of 2008, or in situations of particular uncertainty, it was those working in the creative industries who best resisted and reacted to extended periods of recession, showing greater flexibility and mental suppleness. In fact, mental processes, especially for the most creative, are not always linear and tend instead to follow logics defined by greater mental flexibility.

In the first part of confronti 2020, Luciano Canova, an expert in behavioural economics and sports economics (Scuola Enrico Mattei), in addition to describing the concept of systemic resilience and the role of leaders in team results, explains that "there are three steps that can help improve the results of your company and make it resilient: building a very talented team, introducing a policy of total transparency between managers and employees, and finally, removing bureaucratic control as much as possible". Christoph Weckerle, Professor and Director of the Centre for Creative Industries in Zurich (Zurich University of the Arts), in his speech, highlighting the relationship between the crisis and the ability to innovate, explains that "in Switzerland we have a concept of innovation that is very much related, perhaps too much so, to technology, when instead it would be useful to extend it to more areas and include creativity and the spillovers that the creative industries can generate in an certain geographic region". [See below the videos of these two speeches.]

The second part of the event, which saw the participation of Bea Lundmark (former Swiss high jump champion), Claudio Chiapparino (director of the Events and Congresses Division, City of Lugano), Paolo Duca (sports director of HC Ambrì-Piotta and USI alumnus), Gianfranco Palermo (CFO at Bally), and Simona Zanette (Managing Director at Hearst Digital), focues on the situation in Ticino, in an open dialogue between experts and local representatives of the creative industries and sport, and with the participating audience. The recording of the second part of the panel discussion is available below.


Keynote by Luciano Canova (in Italian)
Keynote by Christophe Weckerle
Panel discussion (part 2, in Italian)