Local productive systems have undergone a process of not only technological change but also organizational change. One of the biggest challenge for firms is conceiving new productive ecosystems able to accommodate and develop innovations to avoid organizational inertia. Education institutions need to reconfigure their roles to allow more opportunities for technology transfer. More generally, public administrations and local institutions must facilitate the emergence of new business models facilitated by the means of production such as financial rules, job regulations, competition law, etc.
In recent years, much effort has been devoted to estimating the impact of automation on employment. Since scholars disagree so fundamentally about the consequences for employment, it could be useful to rephrase the question and ask whether and how technological change might have a positive impact on employment. Technological change can generate mechanisms able to more than compensate for job losses in the longer term. The topics addressed in this research area include the impact on jobs and productivity of new technologies, big data, artificial intelligence and robotics, and off- and re-shoring.
Although there is no consensus on the concept of economic resilience, this phenomenon is pivotal to sustainable growth in the More Economically Developed Countries (MEDCs). There are two different definitions of economic resilience that are based on an economic geography perspective. First, that economic resilience refers to the ability of a geographical unit – typically a region, but also could be a city – to accommodate shocks. Second, economic resilience is the ability to reconfigure the socio-economic and institutional structures in order to establish and develop new growth paths. The papers in this area try to address different aspects related to the factors affecting resilience.
Italy's manufacturing basis has changed profoundly over the past several years. The end of the 19th century and the early 20th century, which saw the dawning of the second industrial revolution also witnessed Torino (Piemonte), Milano (Lombardia) and Genova (Liguria) achieving crucial industrial catch-up, which laid the foundations for the post-war Italian miracolo industriale or industrial boom. Below we describe this transformation and the potential for future development.