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Francesco Morace at the Mirage Project Point: the paradigms of the post-opulence

Monday 9 November 2015
Written by
Francesco Morace

The Paradigms of Post-Opulence” is the title of the Workshop held by Francesco Morace at the Mirage Project Point, in Milan
Francesco Morace, sociologist, writer and journalist has been working in social and market research for thirty years, he is Chairman of Future Concept Lab, and answered some questions concerning the topics covered during the evening.

How has the economic crisis of the past few years affected the values and how has the relationship with the economy and the whole industrial and production system changed?

We have seen a slow ‘back to basics’ that has reoriented our behaviour. New suggestions are emerging from a greater attention to ethics and the search for new quality of life. From the enhancement of time as a wealth to attention to our bodies, our health and our well-being. 

"Made in Italy" still holds great appeal. What are the keys to growth?
Italy has more possibilities than other countries due to its "artisanal" ability to create products with a passion, products that are able to satisfy the desire for sustainable beauty. This constructive passion reaches the customer and becomes the desire to purchase which often, even in times of crisis, drives people more than necessity. Moreover a myriad of highly creative small businesses ensure the flexibility which is needed today, without compromising on widespread creativity. Italy is an inventive, flexible country, it is a shame that these qualities are not included in a strategic vision. We are able to produce quality, but we have difficulty in steering this in an orderly manner.

Until today the paradigms that have moulded society have been driven more by image than by substance. How will they change in future?
In this framework, sustainability is the value that determines and orients a new model of development for society and the economy, as well as in personal life projects. Environmental sustainability, the measurability of economic plans, realism will prevail, blended with the search for beauty. 

What are the keys to success for businesses?
In society as a whole, durability and sustainability will become fundamental values, relationships and ethics will become significant indicators. Today profit needs to be reinvested in companies, to innovate them and make them more vital. Thus without any demonization, money will become a facilitator of vital experiences. 

What are the values of a successful product?
Authentic quality, an honest price and the ability to share. In this logic, sharing and exchange also become the exchange of ideas and values. The circulation of ideas is a socially important mechanism because it has no cost. Successful products must be or become the bearers of ideas and new experiences. Once we used to exchange status symbols: a big car, a designer pen, an electronic gadget. Now we give ideas as gifts, hand-made objects, shared moments of socialisation. Think that in just a few years our attention and admiration has shifted from "we spend a lot" to "we save intelligently".  

How will the approach towards young consumers change?
First of all by adopting an open and self-manageable web communication system. The web offers us the chance to dialogue and interact with young consumers according to their "Quick & Deep" vision. The network of personal connections young people belong to also produce a significant economic value and new forms of trade and exchange, new forms of generation and redistribution of wealth.

What are the basic paradigms for happy growth?
In my opinion, two elements have to be combined: courage and faith. Localism underlying the huge Italian development of past years must be seen in a new way, freed of the provincial vision we have always suffered from. We need to do things in the best possible way, starting from who we are and what we know how to do. Like the Renaissance: we re-emerged from a seriously profound crisis, focusing on the best. So, ultimately: Uniqueness, Mutuality, Sustainability.