Gros-Pietro: science, young people and finance for the green transition

The image accompanying the News on President Gros-Pietro's speech at the Trento Festival of Economics portrays a close-up of him

Confidence in the future, particularly among young people, was one of the main messages expressed by Gian Maria Gros-Pietro, Chairman of Intesa Sanpaolo, in his speech at the Festival dell’Economia – Trento (Trento Festival of Economics).

At the event dedicated to the “Green transition and the European industrial economy”, he shared some insights into the delicacy and complexity of the path that the financial, industrial and political system must take.

The need for swift action flows from the speed of biodiversity loss. Over the last 50 years, the world has lost 58% of its biodiversity: "This gives an idea of what we are doing and how quick the corrective action needs to be," Gros-Pietro pointed out.

As for the solutions to the problems posed by the transition, Gros-Pietro emphasised their complexity and how "they have to be socially tolerable, otherwise they will get in the way of being carried out", because "there are hundreds of millions of inhabitants in Europe and several billion in the world" and the solutions "do not lie in the hands of a single decision-maker".

As a result, Gros-Pietro noted, “what young people are doing is very important: demanding action, making it clear that they're aware of the problem.” But demanding action is not enough.

A key tool for overcoming obstacles on this path is science: "Science is our best tool for winning the battles that lie ahead." Gros-Pietro went on to recall Intesa Sanpaolo's investments in new technologies and start-ups, capable of carrying out projects that were "absolutely unthinkable before".

In this scenario, “banks can do a lot to engage governments and higher authorities – such as the European Union – in the right direction.” This is because “a bank has millions of customers and is therefore able to provide data, problems and possible solutions to those who are in a position to decide.”

Finally, if the green transition requires €500 to 1,000 billion per year, "Europe can come up with it" but "we need to agree on how to use it" and "this problem should be addressed by a democratic system."

Gros-Pietro concluded his speech with a message of confidence in the future, and in young people in particular: "We at Intesa Sanpaolo are hiring thousands of young graduates, above all, those who are willing to commit to such efforts. The future will come from them: they will build it.” The bank's task is to offer them “an organisation that is suited to the life they want to build.”