Get ready to Safari Njema — a “nice trip” in Swahili

A data science multi-disciplinary project to study and reduce “transport poverty” in Sub-Saharan countries

Origin-destination matrices in greater Maputo, Mozambique. [Image by the authors, Safari Njema]

In many developing countries, basic services and activities including transportation, food provisioning, and private mobility solutions cannot be taken for granted. In many regions of the world, transportation services are not provided on an organized and structured basis. This means that you cannot expect buses or trains to run according to official schedules, connecting predefined locations (i.e. bus stops or stations).

“Due to transport poverty, many residents cannot afford to travel to the city centers or to areas where businesses and institutions are located, depriving them of the full benefits offered by urbanization” [UN-HABITAT — Urban Mobility, 2019]

What happens…


Learn how to leverage data

An interactive, cross-domain educational experience

A Data-driven Innovation Experience. [Photo by the author]

In a two-day workshop held in Amsterdam, Politecnico di Milano and EIT Digital brought to the field a live, interactive experience to let domain experts and managers perceive the value and grow their understanding and capability of exploiting the business value of data.

This is also linked with additional online resources, including learning materials and mini- MOOC on Coursera.

The path we followed is reported here.

Step 1. Ice-breaking and role/industry mapping.

People were asked to get in touch and interact, by sharing names, birthdates, roles, and domain/industry. This is crucial for team building and group work.

Step 2. Keynote on Data-Driven Innovation

Herminio Herrera, with Iovio and working with ING, introduced…


Twitter and news sources played a role in the pre-pandemic world

Do you remember the old days of anti-vaccination debates? Will it affect today's attitude? Data can expose it all

Photo by Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz on Unsplash

Discussion over the role and need of vaccines has never been so strong. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed dramatically the visibility of this issue in the everyday life of the layman.

However, vaccination has been a controversial topic in recent years. The growth of anti-vaccination movements has been recorded for years. While now this has been silenced somehow (although a stronghold of opponents to vaccine still fights against COVID-19 vaccines too), it is extremely important not to forget and not to disregard the history that led to the current vaccine debate.

This motivates our data-centric study on the debate and…


A story of romance, hunger, crime, wilderness, and fear between Italy and Switzerland

The border between Italy and Switzerland. Photo by Eryka on Unsplash

This is a piece of history that involved entire generations, throughout the regions of Europe along the border between Italy and Switzerland. It’s a story of romance, famine, crime, and wilderness. It’s not a legend, it’s history. And yet, you won’t find it in history books. You will find it in the stories told by grandparents in Northern Italy’s mountains, or in Southern Switzerland.

Napoleon Started It All

It all started on December 31, 1803, when Napoleon Bonaparte imposed a monopoly on salt, tobacco, and gunpowder in the Italian Republic. Together with a flow of money in the state treasury at a national level…


How equal opportunities are reaching into a strictly male business like Formula One car racing.

Photo by Luc van Loon on Unsplash

Once upon a time, girls and with racing cars had only one role: that of pinups. That era is finished, finally. A turning point for the world of car racing is coming. On 22 January 2021, the Ferrari racing team has selected the first girl in the Ferrari Driver Academy history.

The next driver of the Ferrari Formula 1 racing team could be a woman.

The week before, the selections took place on the Ferrari racetrack in Fiorano, Italy, to pick the winner among four finalists. The finalist girls were all between 14 and 16 years old. They were the…


A foresight exercise on future scenarios may help understanding what’s coming after the COVID-19 crisis

Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash

Even when we talk about strategic decision making, we usually focus on specific business, technical, or political objectives. The attention span even for long-term strategies and decision making is in the range of some month or 3–5 years at most, and it doesn’t consider possible disruptive happenings.

However, due to the increasing complexity of our societal, economic, technical and political systems, it becomes strategic and paramount to be able to take directions and define roadmaps that orient current decisions that may be impactful only after many years.

The happenings of the last months related to the COVID-19 pandemic make it…


A Data-centric Smart City Concept

Photo by William Daigneault on Unsplash

In a lightening presentation session offered to the top students of Polytechnical Universities of Milan and Turin in Italy, a director from PTC and a manager from Oracle present their vision of the industrial applications of Digital Twins.

Digital twins is about connecting and reflecting physical and digital worlds.

Digital Twin in the COVID-19 era

Fabrizio Ferro, Presales Director at PTC.

Today we have a huge challenge to face, with the restart of the economy after and during the Coronavirus pandemic.

We need to enable workers in any field to go back to work in a safe environment. We need an augmented worker, that can exploit…


The meaning of Resistance during the Coronavirus pandemic

Liberation Day in Italy, the pandemic, and the future

Photo by Mauricio Artieda on Unsplash

Today is a symbol and a celebration for Italy. It’s one of the few days when the country gathers together and remembers.

April 25 has been set as the symbolic day for the liberation from the Nazi-Fascist tyranny in Italy, after years of resistance during the second world war. It’s actually the day when Milano was liberated.

We celebrate unity, freedom, and country. It’s not a day of peace. It’s a day of discussion and sometimes harsh debate between different political factions, about the role of the resistance, about the diverse perspectives that the resistance was incorporating: from communists to…


Two Months of Social Distancing and Lock-Down in Italy

We start wondering if Coronavirus is changing our life for good

Photo by Davide Cantelli on Unsplash

Families and individuals in Italy are getting used to staying at home. It has been two months now, and life is getting stressing and sometimes disturbing.

In this pandemic, you may start wondering whether we will ever go back to “normal”. I’m wondering the same actually.

Some things are really different today. Here are some.

School

We started social distance two months ago, when the schools were closed in Lombardia region, the most densely populated region in Italy, with 10MLN+ people . We thought that was it. It looked like the most extreme measure that the government could take. And we…


Applying the Healing Power of Writing to Coronavirus Confinement

Even if you didn’t get COVID-19, you need to heal

Photo by Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

I live in Italy. We have been confined at home for two months now.

Families and individuals are getting used to stay at home. If you are familiar with how lively and active Milano was just two months ago, this short movie on the New Yorker should leave you wondering whether we will ever go back to “normal”.

I’m wondering the same actually. It has been two months now, and life gets stressing and sometimes disturbing.

Keeping a diary and writing almost everyday is adding sanity and reality check to this anomalous daily life.

I work in computer science and…

Marco Brambilla

Data science, social and media analysis. Data, software and models all around.

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