Training & education
Industry 4.0 and skills.
The progressive increase in the use of robotics and automation in production processes makes the role of education primary and crucial, with the aim of developing flexible minds, with strong creative thinking skills, capable of working in team and of interacting with rapidly evolving machines.
Education will therefore be decisive and will have to combine technical specialization with the development of artistic and critical thinking skills and, more generally, of soft skills, enabling people to handle without trouble the transition to an era in which most of the tasks will be delegated to machines.
At the same time, the progressive ageing of the population in the Western world stimulates medical and welfare needs: the creation of high-level training schools capable of meeting these needs
by integrating human skills and robotics could be a source of exceptional developments.
LESSONS FROM THE PAST: EDUCATION AND TRAINING TO UNDERSTAND CHANGE
According to Adriano Olivetti, culture was a primary resource, not a mere set of activities intended for the spare time of workers. The list of cultural activities financed by Olivetti for the benefit of its workers and the surrounding area would be endless: the widespread presence of libraries inside and outside the production community, publishing activities of all kinds, very frequent occasions for debate, presentations of books and concerts during workers’ lunch break, courses in art history at the Mechanical Training Centre, and so on.
A social reformer, Adriano Olivetti considered culture as a tool of moral and spiritual elevation, what “gives man his true power”; the forward-looking industrialist had realised that education, culture, training, and creative intelligence made the productive community stronger, that is, capable of reacting more quickly and more effectively to any type of problem or issue.
According to this perspective, therefore, innovative ideas had to come not only from the top (to the bottom), but also the other way round, that is, they were encouraged to emerge also from the bottom. The most effective example of this revolutionary concept was undoubtedly the story of brilliant designer Natale Capellaro, who began his career in Olivetti as a teenager, without any education; thanks to him and his inventions, Olivetti became a world leader in mechanical computing, and when he retired he was a refined General Technical Manager. This would be an unthinkable goal in any factory other than the anomalous Olivetti, which knew how to disseminate knowledge among its workers, not just require repetitive performance of them.