Confronti 2022: a look at the limits and fragility of globalisation


Institutional Communication Service

28 November 2022

The 2022 Confronti, held on 24 November at USI East Campus Lugano, examined from a local and international perspective the limits and fragilities of globalisation that have emerged with the recent crises.

The event organised by the Institute for Economic Research (IRE) is part of the University's mission of engaging in dialogue with the local context, "not to predict the future but to propose scientifically based reflections that will help navigate it", as explained by Deputy Rector Lorenzo Cantoni in his address. Furthermore, state Councilor Christian Vitta stressed the importance of looking beyond the mundane at a time when macroeconomic dynamics are accelerating.

"So much has happened in the last three years that had not happened in the previous 50", explained USI Faculty of Economics professor and IRE Vice-Director Barbara Antonioli Mantegazzini. First, the pandemic that stopped the supply chain and redefined consumption, then the war in Ukraine with its energy and food security problems, leading to reduced consumption and higher prices, not to mention the difficulties in finding skilled personnel. "If we ask ourselves who is the culprit of all this, the first answer is 'globalisation': we are too connected, too dependent," explained Professor Antonioli Mantegazzini showing different data on the international interconnection of markets. But is this really the case? It is important to question the current problems' causes and outline possible solutions. Equally important in this situation is the role of the public, which can support the economic and social system both with timely measures and by acting strategically with promotion and training measures.

Pippo Ranci, former Professor of Economic Policy at the Università Cattolica Milan, delved into two particularly critical aspects: on the one hand, the energy market, with the medium- and long-term difficulties of doing without Russian gas; on the other hand, the energy transition with the goal of zero greenhouse gas emissions that will require a complete readjustment of the European energy system.

Alessia Amighini, professor at Università del Piemonte Orientale and co-director of ISPI's Asia Centre, focused on strategies to cope with the strong global interdependence that has shaped the last few years and is now being reduced. A kind of re-globalisation with more resilient supply chains, which often means internal to national borders or relying on "friendly countries." International economic relations are increasingly becoming more club-like and are governed by balances of power.

Confronti 2022 then continued with a panel discussion open to the public with Beatrice Fasana (Managing Director Sandro Vanini SA), Oscar Gonzalez (Assistant Director, Division of Professional Education), Giuseppe Perale (Executive Vice President & Founder IBI SA) and Andrea Abbatelli (COO Hydac AG). During the discussion, it became clear how these global phenomena affect the local economy. Also discussed was the importance of a strategic vision and how education and research are imperative for international competitiveness. Professor Mario Jametti, institute director, closed the event.