Prof. Fiorenzo Galli (National Museum of Science and Technology Milan)
The world undergoes constant changes, that take place more and more quickly and at a global scale. In Europe, the economic crisis and a new widespread understanding of sustainability pose key questions about development models emerging from industrial revolutions and in the post-industrial era. The subject of energy, and of resources in general, is at the centre of a collective reflection that looks at prospects where sustainability, technology, innovation and participation are interconnected: it is the "Smart System" vision. The “Smart System” vision aims at reconciling the global and local dimension, promoting systemic and relational perspectives. It offers a horizontal integration between systems that were previously unconnected, it involves technological and social aspects, and it finds its main enabling factor in networking technologies - energy grids and communication networks. It is difficult to predict the speed, pervasiveness and revolutionary outcomes of the ongoing transition towards new paradigms. Technological innovation plays a key role, not as an end in itself but as the means for a wider cultural transformation. In this scenario, technical and scientific museums are performers, observers and custodians acting through their single institutional work, the synergy of networks such as ECSITE, and the relationships created in contexts such as the STS Forum.