Milan, 05 November 2019
"Look at the horizon and not at the toe of your shoes."
This was the appeal launched by the Rector of the Politecnico di Milano, Ferruccio Resta, in his speech for the inauguration of the new academic year, the 157th of the Milanese atheist founded in 1863.
The ceremony was opened by the Mayor of the Municipality of Milan Giuseppe Sala and the President of the Lombardy Region Attilio Fontana, who spoke of Milan as a university city ready to welcome the student and as an example of great open-mindedness, also connecting to the redevelopment and future of the Bovisa district.
"We are a University and our first task is to expand the boundaries of knowledge and to overcome limits. This means setting goals and objectives far away, without an immediate return, knowing that we are investing in the future", says the Rector Resta.
And it is precisely this look towards tomorrow, this distant goal, that allows the students and authorities, yesterday, present in the Aula Magna, to reach the International Space Station (ISS), thanks to a connection with Luca Parmitano, who recalls that space is nothing more than a metaphor to say that borders can be moved further and further.
Young people have the right to live in a country that guarantees the future, and not in a country, as still happens today, which continues to design the past with a passive legislative and administrative system.
The President of the Student Council Alessio Rocca (20 years old) then took the floor and, after greeting those present, addressed Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in the first person, recalling the importance of investing in research and innovation to build the future and affirming how resistance to change slows down growth.
Rocca went on to argue on how the University should be the place of formation of the citizens of today and tomorrow, the fulcrum around which the improvement of society itself revolves, however this is not evident from the policies that continue to bring cuts to the Fund for Ordinary Funding, to the point of creating the anomaly of the figure of the student "eligible but not beneficiary"!
Rocca concludes his speech by talking about rights: "In our country an ethical turning point is necessary that can only be achieved with policies in favor of rights and equal opportunities. We need to talk about rights, discrimination that is not yet completely defeated and the beauty of diversity."
This was followed by the intervention of Ersilia Vaudo Scarpetta (Chief Diversity Officer of the European Space Agency (ESA)), who with her lectio brought to mind events of the past such as the first time of man on the moon. Through photos and testimonies he shows the earth from another perspective. "We came this far to discover the moon and instead rediscover the earth." It made us reflect by leaving us a question: "how ready are we to change our mentality?".
Merit, future, equality and innovation.
These are the key words of the day, marked once again by Minister Elena Bonetti, who told us that talking about excellence and merit means allowing everyone to express themselves with equal opportunities and, therefore, that everyone has the right to have the opportunity to be able to put to good use the talents with which they are endowed, for the good of humanity.
It is right to recall with strength and determination the seven fundamental and founding values of the great Community of the Polytechnic as Rocca did at the end of his speech:
"RESPONSIBILITY, RESPECT, PROFESSIONALISM, INTEGRITY, TRUST, FAIRNESS AND TRANSPARENCY."
This is the Politecnico di Milano.
Happy Academic Year to all.