OUR TOMORROW IS NOW! Staying focused to build the future
N° 8 - June 2022 www.mairetecnimont.com
THE MAIRE TECNIMONT GROUP MAGAZINE EDITED BY Group Institutional Relations, Communication & Sustainability Court of Milan registration - N. 338 on the 06/12/2017 EDITOR IN CHIEF Carlo Nicolais EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Massimo Dapoto PROJECT AND DESIGN Cultur-e www.cultur-e.it EDITOR Maire Tecnimont Spa Registered Office Viale Castello della Magliana, 27 - 00148 Roma - Italia Operative Headquarters Via Gaetano De Castillia, 6A - 20124 Milano – Italia PRINTER Gam Edit Srl Via Aldo Moro, 8 - 24035 Curno BG www.gamedit.it Issue completed: 16/06/2022 The rights due for published texts are available for all parties that we were not able to contact.
EDITORIAL Changing when things are going well Editorial by Alessandro Bernini Maire Tecnimont CEO and COO.
STRATEGIES Human and artificial, the tomorrow that lies ahead
Investing in the past to look toward the future
The philosophical thinking of the author of "Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow".
Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato presents the new EVOLVE Foundation.
«Managers can no longer live off the work of the past»
How digitalization is shaping future plants
Interview with Daniela Bandera, sociologist and AD of Nomesis.
This is how Maire Tecnimont designs and builds more efficient industrial plants.
Innovation that cannot be ignored In-depth study by Antonio Batistini Chief Technology Innovation Officer of the Maire Tecnimont Group.
24 30 42
CATEGORIES Movies an entrepreneur must see Cinematic language can provide fresh insight and offer solutions.
REPORTAGE The capability of inventing the future Belief in the progress of the 20th century with illustrations inspired by Retro-Futurism.
TERRITORIES The value of metamorphosis Interview with Massimo Sicari Middle East Region Vice President.
HISTORY The “revolutionary” table Mendeleev’s discovery was a major breakthrough for chemistry and science.
SUSTAINABILITY Open Innovation, a strategic imperative Technological tools and skills outside of one’s own corporate walls.
MOTTOS EVOLVE, a laboratory of humanistic engineering The magazine’s editor in chief Carlo Nicolais retraces the steps of the editorial project.
EVOLVE | EDITORIAL
WHEN THINGS ARE GOING WELL hese are complicated months for those businesses that move within the international markets. The overall scenario, which has been influenced by the consequences of geopolitical tensions and also in part by the effects of the pandemic crisis, has kept the temperature of uncertainty high. The critical issues at hand include the generalized increase in the prices of the most basic raw materials and their availability, transportation logistics and supply sources, which are increasingly fragmented and subject to new regulations.
great test case in terms of flexibility and resilience: despite the Covid outbreak, the Group in 2021 managed to achieve one of its best financial years ever, with 6.4 billion euros in orders and an historical record backlog of 9.5 billion euros thanks to a substantial sequence of new projects. With this, Maire Tecnimont has demonstrated its strength of operating in different geographical areas and in sectors ranging from
As of this past May 15, I have the honor of having taken the reins of the Group as the CEO of Maire Tecnimont: an important step for which I personally thank Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato for his trust and shared purpose. As a multinational committed to managing a high number of challenges on the energy front, 2021 was a
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EDITORIAL | EVOLVE
petrochemicals to green chemistry, with a particular focus on technologies related to the energy transition. This is an increasingly central topic given the dramatic unfolding of events at the beginning of 2022, which will see increasingly rapid changes in the scenario and even more ambitious diversification goals at the international level. In my previous position as CFO, I helped to build a strong link between our Group’s industrial strategy and the strategy for sustainability, with growth objectives based not only on financial and economic considerations, but also on their environmental, social, and governance impact. While financial stakeholders have already recognized the soundness of our approach, today as CEO I can confirm the sustainability strategy that we have put in place and our willingness to achieve the defined goals through the implementation of all the ESG agenda actions described in our Sustainability Report. In the year that has just ended, we wanted to translate all of this into a major challenge: creating a strategy inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, intertwined with our business plan and ESG principles. Indeed, to successfully look forward, we need to combine efforts on not only the technological front, but on the organizational and cultural fronts as well. In this issue of EVOLVE, together we all tried to imagine the future of energy in the world of tomorrow, with our different readings of the scenario and their impact on the evolution of business models. Knowing that the investment planned for the energy transition between now and 2050 will be massive – more than 15 trillion dollars, 11 of which are earmarked for renewables – it will be up to industries, even more so than governments, to become the main engine of this revolution in the name of the green economy. All the more reason – taking note of the fact that the pandemic has imposed a new direction on industrial cycles – we must make sure that we are prepared for changes of this magnitude, acting both as promoters and actors in the transition. For several years now, Maire Tecnimont has maximized its commitment to accelerating the energy transition, digitalization, open innovation and the creation of value for the local communities. On the basis of the principles of ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance, the three central factors in measuring the sustainability of an investment – Maire Tecnimont has expanded the department dedicated to Sustainability, creating a task force devoted to CO2, a Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Working Group and several working groups to develop project ideas on issues such as climate and environment, people, innovation and well-being, and communities and territories. Another step towards the green evolution of future business is called NextChem, the company of the group which specializes in the development of new processes, technologies and products from non-fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. If we look at the evolution of industrial cycles, we realize how green chemistry is a true accelerator of the energy transition: in fact, with NextChem, Maire Tecnimont
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
is looking toward the future with the aim of achieving a circular and low-carbon economy. The idea of the circular district stems first and foremost from the existence of disused or brownfield sites that can be given a new industrial vocation. Given the decarbonization targets, in a linear economy, these infrastructures – including the workforce and the supply chains in the allied industries – would have no future: but this is where our entrepreneurial ability to look toward the future comes into play, trying to connect territories that have a purpose or a product. While up until now the world’s supply has come from hydrocarbons, as of tomorrow it could come from waste: and there is a mountain of it, it is zero kilometer and easily recyclable, thanks to the technologies developed by NextChem. Maire Tecnimont’s vision holds a prominent place for big data and the development of the digital economy, which is changing the face of present and future companies on the entire planet. In support of the energy transition, our Group helps clients on five continents achieve their decarbonization goals by leveraging digital technologies: the goal is to become competitive by creating value, both during the EPC phase and in the operation of plants. Therefore, with the digital solutions and services of the NextPlant platform, Maire Tecnimont guarantees the realization of digital-native plants from the design phase to commissioning. As you scroll through the pages of this issue, you will discover the origins and philosophy of EVOLVE, Maire Tecnimont’s new Foundation. As Chairman Di Amato explained, in the same way that the magazine EVOLVE – in its role as an incubator of ideas – has suggested a sense of continuity with its very name, the Foundation itself was born not as a generic institution of vertical themes, but as an additional laboratory of events and initiatives at the service of the education of tomorrow’s humanistic engineers. Finally, this magazine has reached its four-year anniversary and is growing stronger as a cultural and creative tool to keep the spirit of Mottos alive, those eight distinctive pillars that define the corporate culture of a forward-looking Group. Undertaken with great commitment and awareness for the challenges ahead.
Alessandro Bernini Maire Tecnimont CEO and COO
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
HUMAN AND ARTIFICIAL, THE TOMORROW THAT LIES AHEAD
hat is the biggest lesson we have learned from the coronavirus? That the only solution that will be able to solve global problems is global cooperation. Unfortunately, we have not achieved that goal...»
Without a smartphone at forty-five years old, Yuval Noah Harari is one of the greatest contemporary intellectuals, philosophers and communicators of our time. Two years into the pandemic, the Israeli historian has repeatedly pointed out the lack of a comprehensive global plan and the cross-sector leadership needed to address the economic and social hardships caused by the health emergency: «If we can’t find a common position on a momentous worldwide emergency like this one – he explained – what objectives will we ever be able to reach on equally colossal and paradoxically more complicated topics like the environment or artificial intelligence?» In this issue of EVOLVE dedicated to the relationship between the vision of the future, the energy transition and technological innovation, we started from the philosophical thinking of the author of “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”. Fusing analyses of history, philosophy, science and technology, Harari tells us about some of the dreams and nightmares that will shape the 21st century. «Beware, because mankind
«FOR MILLIONS OF YEARS WE WERE EVOLVED CHIMPANZEES: IN THE FUTURE WE COULD BECOME GIANT-SIZED ANTS». TO EXPLORE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN VISION, TRANSITION (AS IN ENERGY) AND INNOVATION (AS IN TECHNOLOGICAL), WE STARTED BY TAKING A LOOK AT THE PHILOSOPHICAL THINKING OF THE AUTHOR OF “HOMO DEUS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF TOMORROW”. N° 8 - JUNE 2022
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
how to engineer bodies and brains and those who do not will be wider than the gap between Sapiens and Neanderthals». In a millennium that began under the banner of digital innovation, Harari himself wonders to what extent this pandemic might constitute a setback to the ageold ambition to transform “Homo sapiens” into “Homo Deus”. «So, what will happen when robotics, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering will be put at the service of the quest for immortality and eternal happiness?». Harari leaves the reader with significant key questions in the final pages of his book: «Are organisms really just algorithms, and is life really just data processing, as the proponents of this new religion claim? What is more valuable – intelligence or consciousness?» And most importantly: «What will happen to society, politics, and daily life when non-conscious but highly intelligent algorithms know us better than we know ourselves?» Along with the reflections of the Israeli historian, in the following pages you will find a scattering of snippets from the joint work of Kai-Fu Lee, former president of Google China and author of a number of bestsellers on artificial intelligence, and renowned novelist Chen Qiufan, a science fiction writer who is very popular among Chinese audiences. The two authors have published “Artificial Intelligence 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future”, a collection of ten compelling stories (set in San Francisco, Tokyo, Mumbai, Seoul, Monaco) that help the reader take a look into the future, imagining a world – the year 2041 – shaped by artificial intelligence.
is at risk of making itself superfluous – is his warning. The question is: will we be able to protect this fragile planet and humanity itself from our new divine powers?» According to Professor Harari (who currently teaches World History and macro-historical processes at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem), now at the beginning of the 21st century the train of progress is once again ready – after decades of wars and lost opportunities – to resume its path. It is probably the last train that will ever leave the station called Homo Sapiens. In order to be hired for a job, one must comprehend the technology of the 21st century, particularly the power of biotechnology and computer algorithms. This power is far greater than the power deployed by steam and the telegraph, and it will not simply be used for the production of food, textiles, transportation and armaments. «The main products of the 21st century will be bodies, brains and minds, and the gap between those who know
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
To round out the thoughts of these internationally renowned intellectuals, we thought it would be interesting to add a few excerpts from the work of Italian sociologist Daniela Bandera, CEO of Nomesis and national past president of EWMD Italia (European Women’s Management Development). Bandera is the author of the essay “L’impresa coevolutiva, le quattro sfide del management” (The coevolutionary enterprise, the four management challenges), a theory that combines suggestions from the various schools of organizational sociology, as well as from other sciences and disciplines. Leveraging lateral thinking, the text offers reflections that outline the relationship between organizations and the external environment in an original way. The coevolutionary approach presents management with four major challenges: continuous change; a new relationship with the market; the creation of collective intelligence; leadership. «The acronym Smart – the author explains – encapsulates the key words of the coevolutionary organization: social-sensitive, meritocratic, enabling, reflective, and transformative».
EXTRACTS ON THE FUTURE
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
GIANT SIZED ANTS
COMMON SENSE DECISIONS
Techno-humanism could result in a disempowerment of humans. The system could prefer “altered” human beings, lacking some troublesome human qualities that could hinder the system itself (paying attention, dreaming, doubting). As all farmers know well, it is usually the smartest goat in the group that causes trouble: this is why the agricultural revolution has led to a weakening of the mental abilities of farm animals. For millions of years, we were evolved chimpanzees: in the future we could become giant-sized ants. [Yuval Noah Harari]
The two human qualities that cannot be automated are creativity and love. That’s why I don’t think AI will ever become intelligent in the human sense: deep learning is fundamentally different from the human brain. It’s true that humans don’t have AI’s ability to simultaneously analyze huge numbers of data points, but they have a unique ability to draw on experience, generate abstract concepts, and make decisions with common sense. [Kai-Fu Lee]
POLITICS WITHOUT VISION Precisely because technology now moves too quickly, politicians – overwhelmed by a stream of data that cannot be processed quickly enough – are forced to think on a smaller scale than their predecessors did a century ago. And that’s why early 21st century politics is devoid of great vision: government has become a mere administration. It runs the country but is no longer at its helm. Politicians find it convenient to believe that the reason they don’t understand the world is that they don’t have a real need to understand it. [Yuval Noah Harari]
LEADING AND MANAGING In the coevolutionary model it is important to rethink the mix between leading and managing roles, more so than in other strategic models. On the one hand, it is necessary to have a good command of the interaction with the external and internal environments, and on the other, it is necessary to keep a steady rein in situations of continuous change. Therefore, all forms of leadership must contain both leading and managing functions in equal measure. [Daniela Bandera]
COLLECTIVE INTELLIGENCE The complexity of our thinking is measured by the variety of perspectives we can envision and the number of courses of action we can imagine in our continuous interaction with the external environment. That’s why an organization committed to creating value needs collective intelligence, understood as the process of harnessing our combined knowledge, creativity, skills and experiences. [Daniela Bandera]
THE RELIGION OF BIG DATA According to “dataism,” the new emerging religion that worships data, Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, a financial bubble, and the flu virus are just three patterns of a data stream that can be analyzed using the same basic concepts and tools. This extremely attractive idea provides all scientists with a common language, bridges the rifts between academic specializations, and allows for the easy export of ideas from one disciplinary field to another. [Yuval Noah Harari]
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
HAVING CONTROL OF OUR INNER VOICES
TAILOR MADE SCHOOL PROGRAMS In school education, one of the benefits of AI is the level of individualization and customization for each student: if the student is interested in basketball, AI could provide basketball-based math problems. But live teachers will continue to be the driving force in stimulating critical thinking, creativity, empathy, and teamwork in students. The teacher will be able to focus less on the mechanical aspects of knowledge transmission and more on building emotional intelligence, character, values, and resilience in students. [Kai-Fu Lee]
Technological progress doesn’t want us to listen to our inner voices: it wants to control them. Once we understand the biochemical system that produces these voices, we can play with the switches, turn the volume up on one side and down on the other, and make existence much easier and more comfortable. We’ll give Ritalin to the lawyer struggling to concentrate, Prozac to the soldier feeling guilty, Cipralex to the dissatisfied wife. And that’s just the beginning. [Yuval Noah Harari]
INTELLIGENT RADAR Companies must conceptualize the market as a system in which their customers (B2B or B2C) are seen not only as subjects of purchase, consumption and use, but as actors operating in a defined organizational space, made up of relational networks, knowledge and skills. There is a need for intelligent radar, capable of intercepting changes before they become disruptive. To do this, companies need to design their own strategic field of action, equipping themselves with tools, structures and processes to make their coevolutionary strategy economically and socially sustainable. [Daniela Bandera]
DYNAMIC CHANGES TO DESTABILIZE Organizational change can occur in two ways. Either by trauma (or reaction to a crisis) or through innovation, as a way to anticipate problems. The latter form of change is the result of a conscious process that is based on strategic learning and open dialogue with the organizational structure surrounding the company. That which is generated by a coevolutionary strategy is a dynamic change, modifying the learning processes embedded in organizational routines, destabilizing the organization to create a new order. [Daniela Bandera]
MAN IS LESS FREE TO EXPRESS HIMSELF We must not confuse “freedom of information” with the old liberal ideal of “freedom of expression.” Freedom of expression was given to humans and protected their right to think and say what they wanted. Freedom of information, on the other hand, is not given to humans. It is given to the information. This new value can undermine humans’ traditional freedom of expression by privileging the right of information to circulate freely, over the right of humans to own data and restrict its movement. [Yuval Noah Harari]
A REVOLUTION THAT WILL FREE US FROM ROUTINE Artificial intelligence will be the defining development of the 21st century: within two decades, every aspect of daily human life will be unrecognizable. AI will generate unprecedented wealth, revolutionize medicine and education through human-machine symbiosis, and create new forms of communication and entertainment. However, by freeing us from routine work, AI will also challenge the organizing principles of our economic and social order. [Kai-Fu Lee] Quotes extracted from: • Yuval Noah Harari, “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow”, Penguin, 2016. • Kai-Fu Lee, Chen Qiufan, “Artificial Intelligence 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future”, Penguin, 2021. • Daniela Bandera, “L’impresa coevolutiva, le quattro sfide del management”, Franco Angeli, 2019.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
CAN NO LONGER LIVE OFF THE WORK OF THE PAST»
n your book “L’impresa coevolutiva, le quattro sfide del management” you present management as having four major challenges: where can an organization start looking to determine the degree of their own coevolution?
To understand management challenges, it is helpful to clarify what is meant by coevolution. Coevolution is the result of negotiation efforts made by the organization of the enterprise to simultaneously accommodate and influence the outside organizational environment. With this action, the enterprise negotiates with the players involved in its sphere of influence to establish a relationship based on interdependence and co-adaptation in order to create win-win opportunities. Coevolution is therefore a process involving the whole company, that is able to produce not just adaptive or reactive changes, but ones capable of affecting the entire surrounding context and all those variables that can influence the life of the company itself, through actions that may also involve more than one company. This process can encompass a range of possible options, including the one of relocation, in order to find a less hostile environment for the organization to operate in when the current environment is detrimental to the efforts being made to achieve the firm’s objectives. Coevolution is therefore a rational and intentional process of directing the economic, energetic and psychological resources that move the company towards the vital goal of maintaining results over the course of time
DANIELA BANDERA, SOCIOLOGIST, IS THE CEO OF NOMESIS AND PAST NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF EWMD ITALY (EUROPEAN WOMEN’S MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT). SHE IS THE AUTHOR OF THE ESSAY “L’IMPRESA COEVOLUTIVA, LE QUATTRO SFIDE DEL MANAGEMENT”, A THEORY THAT COMBINES SUGGESTIONS FROM THE VARIOUS SCHOOLS OF ORGANIZATIONAL SOCIOLOGY, AS WELL AS FROM OTHER SCIENCES AND DISCIPLINES. (an ongoing sense of direction) and innovation (the sense of discovery). To create the conditions that will enable this, the management must motivate and maintain high levels of engagement and evolve and coevolve within its own organizational environment. It is important to emphasize that when we speak of the organizational environment, we are not referring to the geographical environment in which the company is located, but to the managerial environment. The context in which businesses coevolve or attempt to coevolve is characterized by the speed and unpredictability of change. I believe it can be correctly defined as para-chaotic, in order to distinguish it from the static or dynamic contexts that have characterized the periods prior to the one we are currently experiencing. It is clear from
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
9 collaborative relationships aimed at achieving common win-win objectives. 3) Create the “breeding ground” for a collective intelligence, then work on the organizational atmosphere and culture to enhance the enabling factors of coevolution through organizational interventions. 4) A Smart Leadership Model that can be collective, connective, and coevolutionary, useful for neutralizing the “selfish gene” that undermines the forms of leadership required to develop the leadership model needed for coevolution. However, in addition to the theoretical formulation of the process of coevolution, companies need to understand their own level of coevolution in more concrete terms. In the book I report the results of one survey done on 150 companies, carried out in order to understand the level of coevolution and the aspects that characterize the companies that are highly, moderately, minimally or not at all coevolutionary. From the analysis of the data collected it is clear that the discriminating factors are the type
what has been said so far that executives and managers can no longer live off of the knowledge they’ve gained through experience, and therefore must rise up to meet the new challenges. 1) Moving from change management to coevolution management. Change management approaches change as if it were an exception, while coevolution management constantly governs change, because change is not a door that opens up and then closes again, but is rather continuous. Hence, it is necessary to think of it as a permanent aspect of the company and manage it as such. 2) Managerialize the organizational environment to manage the company in every aspect: following the reasoning and suggestions of the SAFs (Strategic Action Fields) theorists, in my book I suggest a vision of the organization that incorporates common fields of action with social and economic actors within its own organizational environment. This way, the company expands its ability to act outside its own boundaries to create an organizational environment whose management can be made more effective, capable of producing stimuli and actions that can support it in achieving its objectives. In this sense, coevolving does not mean adapting, but rather interacting, within a strategic field of action with the actors who operate there and who can influence the life of the company with their actions, developing
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
Daniela Bandera A sociologist, Daniela Bandera is the author of numerous articles and essays on the organization of work and its progressive change. She cofounded Nomesis - Ricerche e Soluzioni di Marketing in 1989, of which she serves as CEO. In 2019 she published the book "L'impresa coevolutiva" (Franco Angeli). An expert in smart working, she conducts research for public and private organizations. In addition to being an Innovation Manager recognized by MISE, she is a past president of EWMD Italia - European Women's Management Development International Network and Co-Chair of the Technical Group "Le Imprenditrici" of AIB.
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
of strategic approach used in the definition of objectives on the one hand and the specific characteristics of the model and style of leadership on the other. A company is coevolutive when, in the process of defining its strategies, it considers not only the internal aspects of its own organization or the external market and its competitors, but also asks itself about a multiplicity of factors that can influence it - from social to political factors - and implements appropriate strategies to influence them. In everyday practice, it is possible to discern whether management is oriented towards coevolution by inviting managers to design the field of action. If only those elements that characterize the economic relationships of the company (clients, collaborators, suppliers, prospects) appear in the field of action, we find ourselves in front of a weakly coevolutionary company; if, on the other hand, other subjects that influence its life and results (such as, for example, institutions) also appear, it is considerably coevolutionary oriented. The difference is made when the field of action also includes those intangible factors that condition it, such as culture, the organizational climate, the quality of territorial relations, and reputation: all intangible aspects of the context capable of modifying finality and results. Organizational analysis has made it possible to identify an additional aspect that allows us to measure the extent of coevolutionary leanings: the inherent characteristics of the leadership model and the mix of leading and managing functions within the various top roles. A management’s high degree of specialization in expressive activities (leading) on one side, and in functional activities (managing) on the other, produces levels of organizational rigidity that make the company poorly oriented towards coevolution. On the contrary, in those realities where leading and managing are distributed in a balanced way, both horizontally – on the first level of managerial functions – and vertically, permeating the whole organizational structure, graduating the mix according to the level of the function, companies are more flexible and more able to coevolve with the organizational environment.
The theme of collective intelligence introduces us to a highly connected future scenario. How can the individual draw on the intellectual resources of the surrounding community? “An intelligent organization is an organization open to a continuous circulation of knowledge and know-how at a social, scientific and technological level so great as to make knowledge a new infrastructure” (P. Levy, M. Serres, Collective Intelligence, Perseus Books, 1999). In this definition by Lèvy and Serres, I would like to underline the idea that the intelligent organization is open and not closed, and therefore able to metabolize the information that arrives from the outside but also to filter it in order to absorb the information that is useful to its own objective. But openness also means accepting multiple kinds of intelligence that can stimulate reflection and additional apertures. The networking tools at our disposal now allow us to have unprecedented experiences, even in areas that seemed to be inaccessible to companies:
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
I’m thinking of the world of the arts, which can stimulate out-of-the-box thinking. The individual, by frequenting the many facets of the society that surrounds him, should expose himself to stimuli that may also be unrelated to his work, and be curious. This allows him to absorb the context, precisely because the processes that we use when we are confronted with something “other than ourselves” are based on selective attention. We focus on those aspects that hold meaning for us in relation to our experience, and therefore also on aspects that can be useful to our work. Think about how today’s new forms of Smart work make the exploration of the environment and its opportunities possible: it is a shift that lets the individual open up to the intellectual resources of the community and selectively introduce them. This is where the organization comes in: a collection of brilliant, knowledgeable and competent employees does not always produce equally brilliant results. When we say that knowledge must become a new infrastructure, we are referring to the fact that the company learns through people. But in order to make knowledge “useful” to pursue its goals, management must take decisive
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
action in the form of a business process that I call SEVO because it stands for the actions necessary to sediment individual knowledge and make it a collective asset: selecting, eliciting, valuing and organizing knowledge. This embeds knowledge in people, making it available, transmissible and usable in organizational life.
needed to meet the challenges that enable businesses to grow and thrive.
How much does the vision of its managers affect a company?
The phenomena of institutional isomorphism are a common occurrence in companies. But under the coevolutionary approach, proper boundary management allows companies of the same type to maintain a specific distinctive identity. Distinctiveness and differentiation go hand in hand. Distinctiveness represents the specific essence that is built into one’s imperfect evolution made up of passion, feelings, perceptions and rationality, as well as mistakes and successes in organizational life, while the development of systems through differentiation occurs through self-reference. In order to accomplish the process of differentiation, the organizations that intend to coevolve must be able to operate on three levels: the cognitive level of knowledge, the internal and external experiences of employees and the core business.
The vision of executives and senior management is critical to the success of the business. Paraphrasing Seneca: There is no favorable wind for those who do not know where to go, and managers must know where to go and where to take their business. Vision shows the way forward. To be effective, vision cannot be the prerogative of individual managers, but the result of a profound journey into organizational identity: because vision is what determines the mission, the characteristics of the management model and its organizational processes. For this reason, it must comprehend the sense of the value chain that characterizes and distinguishes the individual company, even in how it is verbally represented. In a context of great complexity such as the one we are currently experiencing, the vision must encompass the long and strategic view, and be collectively shared. This is especially true if the objective is coevolution. In this case the vision must adequately embody openness to the outside world and awareness of the interactions that characterize this openness. Unfortunately, companies do not always have a focused vision: when this happens, the individualistic visions of managers prevail, which often do not meet the need for organizational integration and finalization. Some companies develop superficial visions that are not really useful in setting up a strategy to deal with the complexities involved. Other companies have an aesthetic approach to developing their vision: for these companies, the vision is an attractive and expendable wrapper, but it does not represent the essence of the company. What happens when there is no solid vision? Typically, finalization is less efficient and social cohesion is not able to produce the strength
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
To what extent should a company go to differentiate itself in order to evolve without losing its identity?
The level of differentiation of an organization is not obtained by the sum of the three levels of differentiation but by the interaction and dialogue among the different strategies that distinguish them. This makes it possible for them to stand out from their competitors and earn specific recognition in the environment in which they operate. Therefore, it is precisely those companies that have a strong identity that are able to have a strong level of distinctiveness and differentiation. Conversely, pursuing a strong level of distinctiveness and differentiation allows for the construction of a strong identity.
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
INNOVATION THAT CANNOT BE
e have entered the year 2022 with a renewed awareness: reducing CO2 emissions to zero by 2050 after having already halved them by 2030 will not be an easy objective to fulfill, but it cannot be any further delayed considering the urgency to contain the effects of global warming.
Looking around, it seems that many companies and managers have stopped analyzing the present and listening to the voice of the companies they govern, engulfed in anxiety about the demands of the future. However, there are also those companies that consider it wise and productive to spend time observing what is happening internally, knowing that the results of a company go hand in hand with its level of innovation.
ACCORDING TO THE GROUP’S CHIEF TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION OFFICER, ANTONIO BATISTINI, IN AN INCREASINGLY GLOBALIZED MARKET, MAIRE TECNIMONT HAS LONG EMBRACED THE BUSINESS-RESEARCH DUO, ACHIEVING CONCRETE RESULTS THROUGH A MODEL OF OPEN AND CONTINUOUS INNOVATION.
Ironically, finding the right solution to a problem is often not the most difficult thing to do, but understanding exactly where the problem lies and then being able to think in an unconventional way, independent of one’s existing capabilities, about what might be the best way to solve it. Furthermore, all too often, innovative ideas remain dormant at the lower levels of an organization. A little out of fear, a little out of insecurity, a little out of an inability to think of a different way of doing things and creating business. After joining Maire Tecnimont, I have grown stronger in the conviction that the best businesses are conceived from the best ideas. And that these ideas are the result of a strong collective creativity and a marked ability to observe and rigorously analyze existing and often poorly articulated markets and needs. In an increasingly globalized market, our group, for some
Antonio Batistini, Maire Tecnimont Chief Technology Innovation Officer
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
time now, has made the company-research combination its own, obtaining concrete results by virtue of a model of open and continuous innovation. In an era when technological development is increasingly fast-paced and sophisticated, it becomes vital for a company to accelerate and focus on its ability to absorb external knowledge in order to create greater value and compete in the global marketplace in an increasingly distinctive way. Open Innovation is just that. A continuous intermingling and cross-fertilization of solutions, ideas, technological competences and external resources from which to draw upon. It is a system that allows one to take a new approach towards economic scenarios and to share value more equitably within what are often new supply chains, and with new participants as opposed to existing businesses. All around us, start-ups, universities, research institutes, inventors, programmers, incubators and accelerators are constantly evolving. There is no doubt, therefore, that dealing with resources that are unconventional and constantly being innovated can prove to be a strategic, competitive and successful method. A large part of open innovation lies in the realization of incremental process innovations and this offers a double advantage to both the multinational promoter - who can employ (and patent) a performing idea of others - and the small realities (such as start-ups and research laboratories) in need of economic means to develop their inspirations, turning them into reality.
In our field, we see how the green economy is changing the way of doing business, forcing companies to rethink their business models. The approach to dealing with environmental issues can no longer be bureaucratic and defensive as far as the environmental quality of production processes and products is concerned, but should be proactive and competitive instead. For this reason, companies need innovative tools and approaches, new forms of reporting, and strategies dedicated to a business that must be “green” from the outset, starting with the design of new products
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
to be offered on the market. Entrepreneurs and managers have understood that developing the idea of eco-innovation will make more and more of a difference. The ecological transition is largely one of energy transition and circular economy, that is, the recovery, recycling and valorization of waste. If we examine the scenario, all the major players (both producers and buyers of plastics) are moving towards recycling and bioplastics, while the major oil companies are reviewing their investment plans with a view towards decarbonization. Today, thanks to its technological DNA and its leadership in the transformation
At Maire Tecnimont, we foster the creation of new sustainable models every day in order to be an active part along the supply chain of new business areas.
of natural resources, Maire Tecnimont is perfectly positioned to act on the curve of innovation with just the right timing, to be the technological and industrial partner of reference in governing the energy transition underway. In an issue of EVOLVE such as this one, dedicated to the vision of the next decade (according to the motto “Our tomorrow is now!”), a central role is undoubtedly occupied by NextChem, specialized in green chemistry and circular economy, with a continuously developing portfolio of patented technologies, exclusively licensed technologies, technology integration platforms, EPC contracts and partnership and coordination roles in several international research projects. Thanks to this background, Maire Tecnimont has looked to the future and has already become the ideal partner for the industrialization and commercialization of innovative sustainable products. Following the principle of low capital intensity, collaborations and technology scouting at a global level, NextChem is able to bridge the gap between a laboratory idea and industrial-scale production, in view of the energy transition that is focused on the reduction of the impact of CO2, new products made from renewable raw materials and new green markets. At Maire Tecnimont we guide the creation of new sustainable models every day, in order to be an active part along the supply chain of new business areas
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
(environmental remediation, renewable energies, recycling and low carbon fuels being just a few examples). Bearing in mind the often-pressing need for new solutions associated with the sustainability of strategic businesses and the reduction of CO2 emissions from traditional assets, our group is moving relentlessly forward with an increasingly integrated roadmap, acting as a developer of detailed projects and coordinating the work of the various players: industrial companies, producers, waste managers, institutional bodies, regulators and investors. If, on the one hand, institutions must be able to support innovation in the sector, on the other, companies must work as a system, promoting supply chain agreements with joint research and study platforms. Knowing that the transformation of waste is the real sustainable challenge of the future, Maire Tecnimont is committed to the growth of the circular economy by looking at the system from a broader perspective, capable of grasping the symbiosis among different sectors, between agriculture and industry, between the agro-food chain and chemistry: what for one is waste, for the other can become raw material. Hence the importance, for example, of our proprietary Upcycling technologies, which enable perfect circularity by transforming post-consumer plastic waste into high-performance polymers that can replace virgin plastics. Or of our bio-based green chemistry technologies, which enable integration with existing plants to produce intermediates and biofuels from residual oils and fats. As well as chemical recycling technologies that facilitate the production of circular gas, circular hydrogen, alcohols and hydrocarbons, plus other valuable molecules from nonrecyclable plastic and dry waste. With a double benefit on the circularity and CO2 reduction front, without neglecting sustainability on an economic level. Among the Blue Oceans - places where we can assert our initiative in innovation and our ability to anticipate demand - is the choice of Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato to finance the Chair of Open Innovation and Sustainability at Luiss Guido Carli in Rome, entrusted to Professor Henry Chesbrough, intellectual father of the very concept of Open Innovation and director of the Garwood Centre for Corporate Innovation at the University of California at Berkeley. It is a course of study for managers, entrepreneurs and professionals who will have to handle continuous innovation as an evolutionary process according to an open-minded approach: a step into the future that helps companies, large and small, transform from closed to open organizations. Since, to quote Chesbrough himself, «there is “raw material” out there of such high quality that even the brightest companies can’t afford to sit back and ignore it».
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
IN THE TO LOOK TOWARD THE
CHAIRMAN FABRIZIO DI AMATO RETRACES THE BIRTH OF EVOLVE, THE NEW MAIRE TECNIMONT FOUNDATION: «THE GROUP’S HISTORICAL, TECHNICAL AND CULTURAL IDENTITY WILL BE AT THE SERVICE OF TRAINING TOMORROW’S HUMANIST ENGINEERS».
ooking back over the course of our history, a number of values resurface that make us optimistic about the challenges that lie ahead». In an issue dedicated to the vision of the future, Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato senses an air of novelty. In the next years the processes of change toward sustainability will accelerate: to keep pace, engineering will have to learn to recognize and interpret scenarios that impose historic paradigm changes.
«The companies in this sector – explains Di Amato – will have to provide creative, innovative and effective answers to help the economy and growth combine with social needs and the protection of the planet’s resources. We believe that these times call for a transformation of classical engineering into a “humanistic engineering”, capable of solving increasingly complex problems with critical thinking and a multidimensional vision that takes ethical, social and environmental aspects into account».
Fabrizio Di Amato, Maire Tecnimont Chairman and Founder
This is all the more true in a society that is progressing towards pervasive digitalization, which must be governed with cross-functional intelligence adapted to govern data. «Without memory, it’s hard to determine whether we’re really going down the road of innovation. Historically, Italian engineering has achieved important results outside its borders, also owing to a business vision that does not solely look at innovative technology, but recognizes the value and skills of individuals as its winning feature».
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
Critical thinking and creative intelligence represent the backbone and the lifeblood of Italian leadership in the world: a leadership based on ingenuity combined with a sense of beauty. Something to cultivate and know how to preserve. «Representing our country in the world – continues the Group’s Chairman – by enhancing Italian engineering and its unique skills, is the work of ambassadors who represent Made in Italy and makes us proud. I remember a passage by Professor Maurizio Masi of the Chemical Engineering Department of the Milan Polytechnic Institute, who during the ceremony for the honorary degree awarded to me explained how the term “engineer” has a double root: the Latin root that links it to ingenuity and the Anglo-Saxon root that links it to the machine, the engine. An engineer must be “Homo Faber” (Latin for “Man the Maker”) par excellence and express the best synthesis of these two roots. His task is to modify the world around him in order to adapt it and, with a sense of ethics, improve it to his own needs by personally
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
intervening. If necessary, he gets his hands dirty, molds and modifies what he finds, designs and builds, making variations and improvements over time. In the history of our Group, I see these characteristics again: our results are not a product of luck or family inheritance, but of hard work, always aimed at innovation and respect for the environment».
Art and culture as a means of communication It is from this background, this Italian touch that distinguishes an international group like Maire Tecnimont, that the work of this new EVOLVE Foundation was born, committed to functioning as a “trait d’union” between past, present and future. «Inspired by a historical heritage of immense value, the Foundation of our Group was born at the end of 2021. The goal is ambitious: to make people understand the fundamental role that engineering can play in the era of ecological and digital transition, putting Maire Tecnimont’s historical, technical and cultural identity at the service of training tomorrow’s humanist engineers». If the magazine EVOLVE – in its role as an incubator of ideas, a creative laboratory – suggested continuity with its name, its foundation was not born to be a generic institution of vertical themes, but as a further laboratory of events and initiatives on the themes of humanistic engineering. Everything was created around a historical archive of seven thousand drawings and projects by the most famous Italian engineers and architects, personalities who have marked the evolution of engineering and architecture in the entire country. They include highways, office centers, residential districts, urban recoveries born from the genius of Quaroni, Nervi, Morandi, Zevi, Aulenti, Gabetti, Isola, Piano, Rogers. A heritage that now extends to chemical, energy, and industrial engineering. «It is the rediscovery
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
of that all-Italian ingenuity that has left such a valuable mark on the world and that holds together vision, culture, intellect, and entrepreneurial spirit. It is a symbol for engineers, and of how engineering is the application of knowledge that transforms reality» explains Fabrizio Di Amato, who is also Chairman of the Foundation. «The humanist engineer – he continues – has always been discussed within specialized and historical circuits. Our idea is to bring this theme into public debate,
with a distinctive contribution that reinforces the historical value of Italian engineering. Possessing a classical technical and intellectual background, which has drawn on the Greek, Latin and Renaissance cultural heritage, can be considered neither a burden nor a sterile inheritance. On the contrary: it is a counterbalance to technology that reproduces itself, that forgets to value the human component in depth. This “humanist” background gives you a sense of horizontal complexity, makes you evolve in a way that is complementary to the excellence focused on vertical technologies, without frustration and feelings of inferiority regarding the global debate. Therefore, by starting with the valorization of an historical archive that looks toward the future, we believe in a vision of sustainability that is ahead of its time». Maire Tecnimont has therefore set itself an ambitious goal in creating its Foundation: entrusting it with the task of promoting the Group’s historical heritage – fully digitized and accessible on request by scholars and researchers – it will use art and culture as a means of communication and networking to disseminate scientific content and carry out socio-economic studies, training and educational projects. All in collaboration with universities and other non-profit organizations, for the benefit of the communities of the territories in which it operates.
By starting with the valorization of an historical archive that looks toward the future, we believe in a vision of sustainability that is ahead of its time.
«Returning a historical archive to the memory of the territory and the community plays two important roles – concludes Fabrizio Di Amato – on one hand, the preservation of a patrimony, and on the other, the valorization and sharing of it. The future “humanist engineers” must be able to face the complexity of this era with a high and wide-ranging gaze. I imagine a group of professionals at the service of sustainable development, which can incorporate economic and financial sustainability along with social, environmental, cultural and technological dimensions. If ingenuity represents the essence of what it means to be Italian in the world, then the archives of the Foundation could be a source of inspiration for tomorrow’s green design and green industry. Let’s invest in the past to be certain of the future».
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
HOW DIGITALIZATION IS SHAPING FUTURE H
ow do we envision the plants of the future? They will be “natively digital” industrial plants, more adaptable and sustainable in terms of total cost of ownership and environmental impact. Plants that are not only more efficient, but also much more profitable and with a smaller carbon footprint.
The international scenarios that the main EPC Contractors operate in are going through a phase of great transformation, especially due to the change of pace required by the “ecological transition” combined with the availability of technology offered by the “digital transformation”. The increasing complexity of plants, the way EPC projects are carried out, and the increasingly challenging contractual requirements are forcing companies all over the world to adapt to new market conditions and to raise the level of competitiveness through targeted strategies, including those based on digital leverage. To talk about future-proofing industrial plants in the era of digitalization and decarbonization, and to understand how Maire Tecnimont, in the arena of the energy transition, has “embraced” the ongoing change, leveraging its many years of experience as an EPC contractor in highly complex projects, we have gathered an appropriate group of managers within the Maire Tecnimont Group, Max Panaro (Group Organization, ICT and System Quality Vice President), Ezio Pasqualon (Digital Transformation Services Head of Department), Guido Tornatore (Digital Portfolio Management Head of Department) and Michele Mariella (Group Chief Information Officer). We discussed with them how the energy transition is prompting companies to rethink their business models, particularly in the sectors of hydrocarbon processing and green chemistry. «We all know that the world is aiming for carbon neutrality by the middle of this century, – explains Panaro – so new industrial plants, which will last 20-30 years, must be designed to minimize their carbon footprint throughout their entire life cycle (from plant design to decommissioning). A top priority for plant owners is to adapt
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
HOW DOES DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONTRIBUTE TO THE GREEN TRANSITION? HERE’S HOW MAIRE TECNIMONT DESIGNS AND BUILDS MORE EFFICIENT AND RESILIENT INDUSTRIAL PLANTS BY DECARBONIZING THE ENTIRE VALUE CHAIN.
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
to this new business environment, minimizing the “total cost of ownership” for new industrial plants by making a far-sighted investment in digital technology. Digitalization is, in fact, the only lever that plant owners have to ensure flexibility and adaptability, and thus meet energy transition goals with an industrializable approach. The proper use of digital leverage will make it possible to achieve the ambitious goals set by the market, enabling the cutting of plant operating costs (OPEX) by around 30% within 2030 and, above all, reducing their energy consumption». Although the market has high expectations for digital technology, a good portion of digital initiatives fail to achieve their goals. In the query for solutions, the Group’s pioneering Digital Transformation team has worked extensively to identify key success factors toward digitalization. «We believe that technology should fit the plant owner’s business model, not the other way around» Pasqualon explains. «As an important step toward more effective project execution, at Maire Tecnimont we have used digital technologies to transform and simplify internal EPC processes: this gives project management teams full control over data involving the status
21 of all EPC activities» explains Tornatore. «The company – Mariella explains – is eliminating inefficiencies in its workflow through a comprehensive digitalization program that makes data simultaneously available across the entire stakeholder chain, reducing cost overruns and dramatically reducing turnaround time». The goal is to become competitive by creating value both during the EPC phase and in the plant operation phase. Therefore, with the digital solutions and services of the NextPlant platform, Maire Tecnimont guarantees the realization of fully digital plants, from the design phase to the operation phase, maintenance included. Panaro adds: «This internal digitalization of work processes is the enabler of a digital portfolio called “NextPlant”. The concept aims to design and build industrial plants that are more efficient, resilient and profitable and much less energy intensive». «Since the goals of decarbonization and reduced operating expenses must be considered in synergy, – Pasqualon explains – NextPlant is designed to make it easier to achieve energy transition requirements by decarbonizing processes and operations across the entire value chain». This focus on cutting plant operating costs must be embraced by developers from the first phase of a project (or front-end engineering design) to pave the way for a new generation of plants: «true adaptive platforms in the place of traditional static complexes designed and built in the past decades» explains Pasqualon. In fact, carbon reduction targets set by global policymakers require the entire technology supply chain to commit to significant reductions in energy consumption, which is one of the most significant operating costs.
Artificial Intelligence, 5G and Blockchain When we talk about key technologies to generate value in industrial plants, one of the buzzwords of the future (but also of the present) is undoubtedly “artificial intelligence.” This is not only a powerful driver for the reduction of maintenance costs, but a tool that, by enriching the process models of plants based on conventional thermodynamic
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | STRATEGIES
and kinetic equations, could eventually result in a reduction of energy consumption by 5-10%, exceeding the approximations of the process modeling existing to date based on first principle models. «Today, artificial intelligence and the enormous availability of data – Pasqualon explains – make it possible to create a “digital twin” of the plant, which allows energy consumption and the various phases of the chemical process to be optimized in real time. The contractor of the future becomes a sort of “orchestrator” of the value chain, an independent technologist able to “hybridize” different worlds». With future wireless and hyper-connected plants increasingly based on 5G technology, contractors will be able to reduce the use of cables, cable trays and support racks, as well as potentially decrease the plant footprint. All of this will also allow different generations of operators to coexist operationally: think of the process engineer working in synergy with the data scientist, or the large corporation that must develop technologies together with start-ups by leveraging the open innovation approach. «By using the Internet of Things (IoT) technology and the application of virtual reality – Panaro says – we will increase the productivity of field operators and reduce the risk of errors. Thinking about NextChem, future green chemistry plants geared toward energy transition goals will be smaller, easier to operate and more widely “distributed” via a collaborative network». «This is where the issue of cybersecurity comes in – Mariella points out – as a design criterion and not as a problem to be addressed after a cyber-attack, when it becomes costly and difficult to solve. The only way to be effective is to tackle cybersecurity with a holistic approach: adopting the expression “cybersecurity by design” that involves the entire supply chain». The discontinuity required by the energy transition also involves the adoption of digital technologies that are not fully mature as of yet, such as Blockchain. As Pasqualon explains, in Maire Tecnimont’s vision, Blockchain – which enables the management of critical information, guaranteeing its transparency, integrity and inalterability – can be used to certify the carbon footprint of the raw material used both in green chemistry processes and in the transformation of conventional hydrocarbons. This step not only guarantees access to possible green awards, but also demonstrates its contribution to decarbonization. The same technology can be used to certify the environmental footprint of the product that has been processed, demonstrating its sustainability and thus obtaining additional incentives.
An approach of Open Innovation Digital transformation, therefore, plays an important role in all issues concerning sustainability. On the one hand, it dematerializes the physical conception of the workplace in favor of remote work; on the other, it makes information and data fully transparent and accessible, eliminating role, generational and gender gaps.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
How then can we imagine a “digitally sustainable” future? How will technologies have to develop to contribute to the creation of a better world, considering their role and the effect they have on the environment, economy and society? «It is fundamental – says Pasqualon – for transformations to be developed considering sustainability itself as an “intermediate objective”, and not as an end in itself. To ensure that the virtuous mechanism is set in motion, however, a concerted effort by entrepreneurs, companies and society at large is required. With the aim of understanding and explaining the multiple effects of digital systems, and anticipating far-reaching structural changes from a standpoint of sustainability». It is useful, then, – as Maire Tecnimont has done – to adopt an “open innovation” approach, embracing external cooperation and rejecting the “silo” mentality of non-adaptive organizations. «Our digital transformation – Panaro explains – is intertwined with the strategies of sustainability. Three-quarters of our digital solutions support transparency and inclusion. 70% of these solutions support HSE best practices and CO2 reduction. Twenty-five percent support knowledge and skills transfer in the countries where we operate. The new vision will be increasingly based on sustainability as a competitive lever and enabling factor, capable of fostering business opportunities and innovative development». The business of the future? «It will be done – concludes Pasqualon – by combining technological innovation, sustainability, social responsibility, inclusion and green chemistry through the use of digital leverage as an enabler of change».
STRATEGIES | EVOLVE
the sailboat printed in 3-D It’s a fast-growing market, estimated to exceed $27 billion by 2023. The tipping-point? It will happen when it becomes a large-scale technology, replacing traditional techniques and generating new business models. Additive manufacturing – a technology that allows the creation of three-dimensional objects through special material jet printers – is a real revolution for countless industrial sectors, which can now create prototypes with a reduction in costs that was unthinkable just a few years ago. Not only will additive manufacturing become mainstream in the manufacturing world (going far beyond prototyping and single part creation): this technology, once thought to be suitable only for large companies, is now increasingly being considered by small and medium-sized companies as well. At Maire Tecnimont a few months ago, in order to identify key opportunities and strategic areas where new 3-D production technologies can be developed, a “cross-functional hackathon” was launched, consisting of teams from NextChem, Accenture and Caracol. The project – which sees IT experts, engineers and site managers
working side by side – has the related objective of generating knowledge within Maire Tecnimont on the issues of additive manufacturing, involving various stakeholders and stimulating a creative process that will help spread the technology throughout the Group’s processes. In 2021, with MyReplast recycled material, Caracol and NextChem created “Beluga”, the world’s first 3-D printed single-hull sailing boat prototype. An example of cooperation between additive manufacturing, recycling and plastic upcycling to revolutionize the traditional production processes of an industrial sector – sailing – that still requires the use of molds, produces waste and uses materials such as fiberglass that are not easy to recycle. Thanks to our MyReplast company we have used waste products, transforming them into a technologically high-quality product that can be used in the world of sailing. The technological activity of our Group allows us to produce a plastic polymer using an upcycling process that transforms waste into recycled polymer. And given that there are several themes tied together in the Beluga project – from innovation in manufacturing to the circular economy, and the recovery to the recycling of plastic – Maire Tecnimont is forging ahead on all fronts to use 3-D printers to make spare parts (as happened with the fastening clips for virtual reality viewers, whose costs were forty times lower than those of the original) and other technical-structural connections needed to ensure business continuity. «Back in the day – Mariella explains – when a component on a machine was delayed in delivery, there was the risk of significant delays in the manufacturing process. However, today we can 3-D print the simulacra (temporary substitute) of a valve or other spare parts, when the operating conditions of the fluids used consent it, so as to fill the “time gap” and not block the entire plant construction and commissioning process». Plastics and the circular economy processes that allow waste materials to be given a new life highlight their potential for both design and industrial applications. The MyReplast process demonstrates how recycled materials can be successfully used to produce advanced components with high performance requirements.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
AN ENTREPRENEUR MUST
Cinematic language can provide fresh insight and offer solutions to anyone facing demanding business challenges. Because it has great impact and uses metaphor. This is why observing the behavior of the main characters in a film, watching the dynamics that are triggered in certain professional relationships and seeing the problems that need to be managed when investing in a new busines can provide useful suggestions. And for every visionary there is a film that suits them best. The social network (2010, directed by David Fincher)
The Founder (2016, directed by John Lee Hancock) The protagonist’ s name is Ray Kroc, a blender salesman who came across the McDonald brothers’ fast-food restaurant in San Bernardino in 1954. He recognized its potential for success, namely that it was quick and affordable. Kroc perfected the formula and franchised the business. His motto? “Business is war.”
Discovering the origins of Facebook inside a dorm room at Harvard University, the room of a young Mark Zuckerberg. The film tells the story of the social network starting from its conception in 2004 until the 600 -million-dollar lawsuit filed against Zuckerberg by some former partners who took part in in its creation.
FOR WHO For undisciplined visionaries: sometimes vision is not enough. You need work, stubbornness and courage.
FOR WHO The film is for individualistic visionaries who underestimate the importance of choosing and getting to know the people on their team, and understanding and quantifying the contribution that each employee or partner can make to the enterprise.
THE SUGGESTION The film teaches us how to recognize a life-changing opportunity and how a business model that is different from what we started with can be the winning game changer for a startup or enterprise.
THE SUGGESTION The film teaches us that you have to look at people’s habits and create a product based on the consumer’s needs.
Inside Bill’s brain (2019, directed by Davis Guggenheim) The three-episode miniseries chronicles the life of Microsoft’s founder and his constant search to develop innovative solutions for the world and humanity.
Flash of Genius (2008, directed by Marc Abraham) The film tells the true story of Robert Kearns, university professor and inventor of the intermittent windshield wiper. His idea was copied by Ford, against whom the protagonist engaged in a 12-year legal battle that he eventually won with a compensation of approximately 50 million dollars and the rights to the patent. FOR WHO For stubborn visionaries, who are not afraid to challenge the giants of an industry in order to innovate and legitimize their ideas. THE SUGGESTION The film shows how important it is to be willing to fight for your ideas, even if sometimes it takes many years to prove your point.
FOR WHO For multidisciplinary visionaries who want to understand how the mind of a genius entrepreneur works, what factors influence his development, and what practical methods Gates used to achieve his goals. THE SUGGESTION A film that explains how to successfully develop business in different sectors. In the case of Gates, it ranges from computers to the field of energy and climate change. Without forgetting his commitment to philanthropy.
Print the legend Franca. Chaos and Creation (2017, directed by Francesco Carrozzini) Docufilm on Franca Sozzani, the editor-in-chief of Vogue for 28 years. In the film, the protagonist herself recounts: «I always did the opposite of what the market research told me. With every issue I risked being fired, but I was calm because I understood that the work I was doing was for the future». FOR WHO For bold visionaries who have the courage to dare and go against the tide, without fear of doing the opposite of what would be appropriate because they have a clear vision of the future that goes beyond the dynamics of the present. THE SUGGESTION A must-see because it shows how sometimes only those who can allow chaos and take risks in the creative process are able to truly innovate.
(2014, directed by Luis Lopez & J. Clay Tweel) This is the first docufilm on 3D printing that chronicles the race for the market leadership of this incredible technological evolution. FOR WHO For tech visionaries, a film that shows the dynamics of developing a new technology while suggesting how to manage the ups and downs of a young and innovative industry. THE SUGGESTION A must-see film because it shows how any growing company today is forced to face a new challenge: turning its ideas into a sustainable business.
EVOLVE | HISTORY
f today we are able to speak about chemistry of materials and green chemistry in a schematic and precise way, we owe much of the credit to the vision of a Professor from St. Petersburg. A “visionary” professor. But who can be considered a visionary? Why is this word often used alongside the names of people who revolutionized the traditional knowledge in their field of expertise? There are many artists, entrepreneurs, philosophers, and scientists who have been called visionaries. Let’s start by saying that the word vision comes directly from the Latin word “video”, which means to see. But we all see reality. So then, we must investigate further to understand what a visionary sees. His ability is in discerning something that is not immediately apparent to anyone else because he is able to glimpse what lies beyond it and acquire a new perception of it, which allows him to examine things in a completely different way: an enhanced meta-vision that allows him to make unpredictable correlations and connections. Therefore, a visionary is one who simplifies complexity and, through his own imagination, is able to bring order to it and envision unexpected outcomes. In other words, it is someone who, thanks to his vision, is not afraid to ask very complex questions to which he can find rational and logical answers.
Visionaries from another time Among the most challenging questions that the earliest visionaries attempted to answer is: how can the multiplicity of the natural world be reduced to a finite
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
MENDELEEV’S DISCOVERY MARKED A MOMENTOUS TURNING POINT IN THE STUDY OF CHEMISTRY AND FOR SCIENCE. A DISCOVERY THAT WAS THE RESULT OF A VISION – PERHAPS BORN OUT OF A DREAM – THAT SIMPLIFIES COMPLEXITY.
HISTORY | EVOLVE
number of fundamental elements? We must go back to the fifth century BC when the philosopher Empedocles identified four elements from which every substance originates: fire ( ), earth ( ), air ( ) and water ( ); then in the work Timaeus, Plato associates one of the “platonic” solids to each of them: the tetrahedron to fire, the cube to earth, the octahedron to air, the icosahedron to water. These geometric shapes represent the emblem of beauty and perfection, the combination of which forms all the objects of the natural world.
However, for Aristotle this was not enough: he added a fifth element he called ether that constitutes the matter of the celestial spheres.
The creative turn of Mendeleev Over time and through the centuries, several attempts were made to master the order of matter, but we had to wait until the cold morning of February 17, 1869 for the discovery that would change the history of chemistry and its elements forever.
N° 8 - GIUGNO 2022
EVOLVE | HISTORY
The person responsible was a teacher at St. Petersburg University, Professor Dmitry Ivanovich Mendeleev. There was a blizzard outside, and the professor didn’t have any classes that day; he was supposed to visit some dairy farms to study ways to improve fermentation processes, but the bad weather discouraged him. So, deciding to stay in his studio, he went back to thinking about an old project of his, in which he was trying to establish a definitive arrangement of the known elements according to their weight and valence. He started by trying various combinations, quickly written on the back of an envelope: this happened while he was having a cup of tea, which left a ring on the document (which is still kept at the University of St. Petersburg today.) But there was not enough space on it, so he began to make other attempts on a myriad of other sheets, which have also been passed down to us. It is said that Mendeleev was a lover of the card game solitaire: this gave him the idea to write the name, atomic weight and valence of a single element on each sheet of paper, as if it was the card of a deck. And so, he created 63 cards, each one with the properties of an element on it. Exhausted, he went to sleep. Legend has it that Mendeleev confided what had happened during his sleep to his friend Aleksandrovich Inostrantsev who later revealed: the scientist dreamt that all his cards were swirling around wildly. Then they all stopped and the answer appeared. Mendeleev woke up with a jolt, ran to the table and carried out what has been christened as “chemical solitaire”. He arranged his cards in this way: the rows held groups of elements with similar properties, the columns held the “periods” in which the elements are ordered, according to their increasing atomic weight. The table of elements was born, based on the discovery of the periodic law of the elements. But Mendeleev’s great intuition and vision went even further:
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
HISTORY | EVOLVE
29 A visionary is one who simplifies complexity and, through his own imagination, is able to bring order to it and envision unexpected outcomes. In other words, it is someone who, thanks to his vision, is not afraid to ask very complex questions to which he can find rational and logical answers.
he understood that the scheme had to include “empty boxes” where future elements that were still unknown could be inserted. With his table Mendeleev foresaw future discoveries, inventing a theoretical tool that not only revolutionized the existing knowledge of the time – cataloguing the elements that were known up to then in an effective and functional way – but above all it made it possible to make exact predictions by leaving room for new discoveries.
The role of imagination in scientific discovery Mendeleev was referred to as “the Copernicus of chemistry” by John D. Bernal, a historian of science. His discovery highlights the role of imagination in the path of science and the importance of creativity in chemistry: his periodic table is the epitome of success in the attempt to transform multiplicity into a finite number, and a consistent universal law that makes it possible to order and predict even what will be discovered in the future. It is a diagram that has become a guide, a new alphabet of chemistry that can be used to coin new words: in fact, Gallium would be cataloged in the following decades, which Mendeleev had already predicted, calling it eka-aluminum, and then similar experiments were conducted on elements of the same groups and periods, which helped to form a more complete picture of the behavior of matter. In effect, Mendeleev showed that intuition, that moment of eureka, makes no distinction between science and art. Vision can be anywhere.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | REPORTAGE
THE CAPABILITY OF INVENTING THE FUTURE Professions, transportation, communication. EVOLVE has been drawing inspiration from the past to boldly look at and imagine tomorrow. In this reportage we have chosen to feature a series of illustrations drawn from Retro-Futurism, the artistic movement that is inspired by the way the future has been envisioned in times past, starting from the 1920s. The following sequence of images expresses the bold, creative and technological vision of the future held by those who at that time dared to foreshadow the daily use of the videophone or driverless car. Filled with tension between the past and the future, and infused with an upbeat confidence in the scientific discoveries that have led to the imagining of new city environments, methods of communication, and innovative means of transportation and space exploration. Unafraid to imagine the world of tomorrow.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | REPORTAGE
The visionary foresight of Retro-Futurism, poised between past and future and inspired by the promises of liberation that new technologies offer, leading us into the third millennium where reality has surpassed fantasy. With the speed of digitalization, physical distances have been overcome and time frames drastically reduced. Technology and professional life expand toward open horizons, where people and businesses grow together, bringing their futures closer together. Starting with today: connected, sustainable, and with a humanist vision.
1. Painting of a Couple in Outer Space - Anton Brzezinski (Photo by Forrest J. Ackerman Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images) - 1900. 2. Futuristico Monorail - Vetta Collection (Getty Images). 3. Echte Wagner Margarine, Album 3, Serie 12-13: Zukunftsfantasien - Unknown author - 1930. 4. Businessman talking on a futuristic telephone with video display - Hulton Archive, Screen print. (Illustration by GraphicaArtis/ Getty Images) - 1956. 5. Torus Wheel Settlement Interior - Rick Guidice (Photo by VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images) - 1975. 6. Electronic Car Of Tomorrow - Hulton Archive, Screen print. (Illustration by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images) - 1950. 7. Family with Futuristic Electric Car Drives Itself - Hulton Archive, Screen print. (Illustration by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images) - 1957.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | SUSTAINABILITY
OPEN INNOVATION, A STRATEGIC IMPERATIVE
t was 2003 when Henry Chesbrough introduced the concept of Open Innovation in his book called Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, succeeding in an almost paradoxical feat: finding a way to “innovate innovation”. With his book, the economist, professor and executive director of the Center for Open Innovation at UC Berkeley, marks the threshold between closed and open innovation.
While at one time the “closed” model forced companies to compete solely with the use of their own resources, personally overseeing all of their processes for fear
IN ORDER TO CREATE VALUE AND COMPETE IN THE MARKET, MAIRE TECNIMONT CHOOSES TO ALSO AVAIL ITSELF OF THE SOLUTIONS, TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGICAL SKILLS THAT CAN BE FOUND OUTSIDE ITS WALLS. AN INNOVATION MANAGEMENT STRATEGY THAT BECOMES A FUNDAMENTAL COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE. N° 8 - JUNE 2022
SUSTAINABILITY | EVOLVE
of losing important information to competitors, the advent of Open Innovation is overturning the previous model in that business innovation is systematically drawing heavily on external collaboration, ideas and resources. «It’s a radical change in mentality – explained Chesbrough. From controlling the innovation process to influencing it: a shift that is by no means simple or automatic».
The principles of Open Innovation According to the principle of Open Innovation, in order to promote technological progress it is necessary to take into account not only internal ideas and resources, but also tools and skills from the outside, in particular through the collaboration with start-ups, universities, research institutes and non- competing companies. As a result, it is faster to implement new technologies and access business opportunities, while reducing costs and the risks associated with innovation (while sharing the benefits). However, Chesbrough himself suggests that “Open” companies should not make this one serious mistake: investments in human resources and the strengthening of distinctive skills should not be replaced by the exchange of ideas and knowledge with the external environment in order to accelerate innovation processes. Open Innovation, therefore, is not about setting aside internal competencies for the benefit of external ones, but is rather a means of connecting with knowledge outside the perimeter of the company, thus increasing the value of its resources and competencies. Without adequate investment in internal resources and human capital, many companies are destined to fail on the path to open innovation. Another central aspect of the economist’s analysis is the challenge that Open Innovation represents not only for companies, but also for universities: according to the Berkeley professor, there is an attitude characterizing American universities that is different from European ones: «Today there are far
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | SUSTAINABILITY
too many universities on the Old Continent doing high-level scientific research, yet are not, on average, engines and generators of innovation at the level of American universities». Chesbrough explains that nowadays in America, private companies contribute (and not only financially) to top-level research in colleges: whereas in Europe there is still a rigidity that determines borderline situations. One example is the Dutch university that has forbidden its teachers to spend the summer months (or a sabbatical year) in private companies to make use of their knowledge or enrich their training.
“The exponential paradox” and the role of universities One can even reach the so-called “exponential paradox”, a concept that is discussed in Chesbrough’s latest book, entitled Open Innovation Results: Going Beyond the Hype and Getting Down to Business. According to the author, «technological development on so many fronts is exponential, but the average productivity of our mature economies is stagnant. And this forces us to discuss only the redistribution of wealth, rather than allowing us to create new and abundant wealth». What can be done to overcome this roadblock? According to the professor, «traditional institutions, including academic ones, should become protagonists of an all-round innovation process. Innovation must first be generated and disseminated, then absorbed and used by broader segments of the population, to whom cognitive tools must be provided to take advantage of it».
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
SUSTAINABILITY | EVOLVE
Some changes are also taking place in Europe: for instance, the Belgian University of Leuven (with a focus on semiconductors), the English University of Cambridge and the Italian LUISS. At the latter, in Rome, a Chair on Open Innovation has been established, financed by Maire Tecnimont and assigned to Henry Chesbrough.
Maire Tecnimont takes on a Chair The Organizing Innovation course at LUISS is designed to analyze the principles of Open Innovation, the set of dynamics capable of creating value and the aspects that differentiate it from other forms of collaboration. One example are the “unprecedented” partnerships, able to offer knowledge, ideas and skills, as well as unconventional, unexpected, unthought of and in some cases inconceivable information. Maire Tecnimont and LUISS’ shared objective is to identify a method to metabolize the results, tools and the innovation itself into the company’s very DNA. Emphasizing the importance of this professorship was president Fabrizio Di Amato, who defined Open Innovation as a true Copernican revolution for industries in any sector: «I believe that today, more than ever, there is a need for an open-minded approach that helps companies to evolve and open up as organizations. If innovation is based on the ability to change mindsets in order to meet the challenges posed by digitalization and sustainability, an ecosystem
41 involving different stakeholders must be created, one that is open to “cross-fertilization” between universities, research institutes, companies, start-ups, the world of finance, public authorities, incubators and accelerators».
Innovation and sustainability: NextChem's strategies This is becoming a central theme for some emerging sectors with a high level of sustainability and technology. Maire Tecnimont is well aware of this, and on the principles of Open Innovation it has created and developed NextChem, the Group’s company specialized in green chemistry, which has recently become a case study by Professor Chesbrough himself. The Group, led by Fabrizio Di Amato and Alessandro Bernini, has chosen to govern green chemistry innovation in a non-traditional way compared to established processes: this has resulted in the activation of an ecosystem of partners, suppliers and collaborators who are able to take advantage of all the opportunities green chemistry has to offer. With the advent of NextChem, a different entrepreneurial system was born, one that allowed us to take a look at a new set of ideas, and expand the company’s contacts with small innovative businesses, universities and start-ups, recognizing them as possible sources of added value. Guided by this vision, R&D specialists have found innovative solutions through these new models of cooperation with external partners. In its role as an incubator of technologies, NextChem has positioned itself as a System Integrator along the green chemistry supply chain, above all thanks to the model of circular districts. It is this context in which waste can become, with the contribution of chemistry, the key to decarbonizing a number of industrial processes through the recycling of post-consumer plastic packaging waste or the dry portion of municipal waste, up to now mainly disposed of in landfills. According to the CEO, Bernini, «we need to create synergies in areas that have a predisposition for transforming waste into products. With entrepreneurial skills and innovative technologies, circular districts can become economically competitive, unlike other green technologies that are still too expensive to have a market».
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | TERRITORIES
ometimes perfect symbioses are created even outside of the natural world, on a professional, engineering and visionary level. On occasion, the growth of a company may go hand in hand with the development of the country in which it operates, even if the transformation is lively, profound and continuous. This is the story that binds Maire Tecnimont to the United Arab Emirates, a country in the Middle East where the company has been operating for thirty years: it must be pointed out that these have been three decades of fundamental strategic importance for the growth of a country that has just turned half a century old, and that in the course of its short life has managed to establish itself as one of the richest in the world, despite its small geographical area (83,600 square kilometers) and a population that does not quite reach 10 million inhabitants. How has the Arab state succeeded in this endeavor? What has changed over the course of time? And what role has Maire Tecnimont played?
THE ACCELERATED GROWTH OF THE UNITED ARAB EMIRATES HAS LED TO MAJOR CHANGES NOT ONLY IN THE COUNTRY, BUT ALSO IN THE WAY PROJECTS ARE MANAGED, WITH MAIRE TECNIMONT BECOMING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT PLAYER IN THE MIDDLE EAST. «IT IS THE RESULT OF TEAMWORK – EXPLAINS MASSIMO SICARI, MIDDLE EAST REGION VICE PRESIDENT – BASED ON THE VALUE OF COMPLEMENTARY COOPERATION».
The vision of a young, rich and determined country Massimo Sicari, Middle East Vice President, helps us to answer these questions. The eyes of those who have lived and worked at that latitude for thirty years are struck by how much the United Arab Emirates have changed both morphologically and industrially:
United Arab Emirates
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
TERRITORIES | EVOLVE
«In the nineties, the main concern was guaranteeing electricity and water, so desalination plants were built. The whole glittering area of the Dubai Marina did not exist; there was only a two-lane road in the middle of the desert connecting the city to the capital Abu Dhabi. Today we travel on six-lane roads that pass by skyscrapers designed by archi-stars, high-fashion stores and residential neighborhoods». Industrial change has been just as rapid, led by an enlightened ruling class that has invested in Oil&Gas with a winning approach
43 based on three steps: involving the major international players in the sector, trusting in their best technology and acquiring technological know-how. Another important fact: today, the new Emirate managerial class is made up of highly prepared managers between 45 and 50 years of age, at most, who have studied at the most prestigious American and European universities by virtue of scholarships made available by the State». But this is not the end of the story. A broad vision of the future and the ability to look ahead have pushed the Emirates to diversify their gross domestic product, reducing their reliance on oil: this explains their decision to develop both trade and tourism as well. In fact, the port of Dubai is now the largest tourist port in the world, an important commercial hub of international traffic and the landmark of the city that is considered to be the epitome of luxury travel.
A winning approach In Sicari’s account, what is most striking is the ability of this country to face any new challenge with a constant commitment at the highest level: even in a sector like renewables (which in the United Arab Emirates is in no way connected to the wealth generated by oil), they have made significant
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | TERRITORIES
44 investments in blue and green ammonia, blue hydrogen and above all in solar and wind power. «And the approach – confirms the Middle East Vice President – is always the same: involving the major players in the industry, in this case in the field of renewable energy sources, subsidizing studies and research that serve to advance the entire sector worldwide, developing futuristic projects such as Masdar City, called ‘the city of the future’, and building prototypes and advanced models in the green field». Again, all of excellent quality.
Thirty years of high-performance work It goes without saying that working in such an environment is particularly motivating and exciting, but there is a flip side: to be chosen from among dozens of the world’s top competitors, you have to consistently demonstrate your value and expertise. And Maire Tecnimont has recently had the appreciation of its thirty years of work in the Emirates confirmed, by being awarded the exclusive contract for the project “Borouge 4”, worth a total of 3.5 billion dollars. A long history that began for the Group in the 1990s with the construction of one of the largest petrochemical complexes in the world, “Borouge 1” in Ruwais, continuing today with the leadership of the fourth phase of expansion of the plant, after having participated in the intermediate stages of expansion of “Borouge 2” in 2007 and “Borouge 3” in 2010. «A result that came about thanks to the relationship of trust and esteem that was consolidated during the most difficult and critical period of the health emergency» comments Sicari, who explains: «The United Arab Emirates ensured the possibility of working safely in the industrial sector at all times, through a timely vaccination campaign and the regular execution of tests: consequently, operations never stopped and work was carried out with continuity and in full respect of delivery times, just when the pandemic crisis was immobilizing the rest of the world». In parallel with the growth of the Borouge petrochemical complex, Maire Tecnimont has carried out other key projects for the development of the country: the construction of GASCO IGD Habshan 5 in 2009, the largest gas treatment plant in the United Arab Emirates built as a joint venture with the Japanese JGC (an order worth 4.7 billion dollars), and, in the infrastructure sector, the construction of the Etihad Rail in 2011, the country’s first railway network which crosses the desert for 260 kilometers and is used to transport 7 million tons of granular sulfur per year. In closing, Massimo Sicari points out the value of complementarity when working within such a high-performance environment: «At Maire Tecnimont, this means making sure that everyone works as a team for whom the technologies of process engineering, material flow and purchasing chains are always made available: knowing that we can count on the experience of the United Arab Emirates through the direct operation of plants in their country». A three-decade-long history can only be written by working together as a close-knit team.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
TERRITORIES | EVOLVE
projects in the Middle
In addition to the United Arab Emirates, Maire Tecnimont’s presence in the Middle East is rooted both in Saudi Arabia, where the Group has carried out important projects since 1990, and in Oman, where it has carried out several other activities while also investing in pro-territory projects to create value in local communities. The results achieved have created positive spillovers for the territories, meeting the expectations of the resident populations and promoting concrete sustainability initiatives. Over the years important projects have been carried out also in Kuwait and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia Projects currently underway:
Advance Polyolefins Company PP Plant which entails the construction, on an EPC basis, of two polypropylene lines with a capacity of 400 thousand tons each per year, located within the integrated PDH-PP complex in Jubail Industrial City II.
Petrorabigh Clean fuel and Sulfur Recovery Unit, consisting of the execution on an EPC basis of a new naphtha hydro-treating unit, a new sulfur recovery unit, as well as interconnection work.
O man Construction of a part of the new Liwa Plastic Industries Complex (LPIC), specifically the polymer production unit – the polyethylene plant and the polypropylene plant. As Corporate Social Responsibility activity, the Carawan beach has been restored in 2017 and the rehabilitation of a stretch of coastline allowed residents to reclaim the Carawan Sea Shore. This work for the benefit of the local community was followed by the construction of a bridge in 2018 to connect the two parts of the village crossed by the Wadi Hala’El Bani Ghaith ("wadi" in Arabic means river), which in fact had been previously isolated from each other during the rainy season. Construction of a series of urban works at the Liwa Cultural Center followed, such as green areas, lighting, parking lots and access roads.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | MOTTOS
A LABORATORY OF HUMANISTIC
ENGINEERING NASSIM TALEB, PIERRE LÉVY, ALEC ROSS AND GUNTER PAULI: THE THEMES, CHARACTERS AND CONTRIBUTIONS OF A MAGAZINE THAT IS NOW FIVE YEARS OLD. CARLO NICOLAIS, EDITOR IN CHIEF: «EVOLVE IS AN INCUBATOR OF IDEAS, A CREATIVE LABORATORY THAT WAS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE BIRTH OF THE FOUNDATION».
Carlo Nicolais, Head of Group Institutional Relations, Communication & Sustainability
hose who were present on that clear evening in Milan, in October 2015, remember it with a sense of emotion. To celebrate Maire Tecnimont’s tenth anniversary, the Garibaldi Towers of the Group’s headquarters were illuminated at the inspiring event that was part of the initiative “TEN to ONE: Toward the Future”. At the Group’s first global convention, the new strategic vision based on the Group’s values was launched, what would later become the eight Mottos, the common heritage of the company. There needed to be a way to keep the atmosphere of shared and collective commitment of that event alive, where we all felt called upon to contribute to a new common history.
In 2017, on the wave of what immediately showed itself to be a cultural evolution, as well as a corporate reorganization, EVOLVE was born – the magazine you are browsing through right now – conceived of not only as a tool for reflection in order to share experiences and results, but with the ambition of providing readers with stimuli and narratives that would be useful to better interpret the changes underway, both at an economic and a geopolitical level. And more: the magazine was meant to keep the flame of that shared endeavor alive. «Right from the start, – explains Carlo Nicolais, editor in chief of the magazine – we didn’t want EVOLVE to become the classic corporate news magazine, where managers and their team “talk about themselves” with self-referential language. We imagined a tool that would go beyond any single project and the numbers they obtained: the idea was to take a closer look at the Mottos, the distinctive pillars that define the Group’s corporate culture, the Maire Tecnimont way, or rather, the professional approach and
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
MOTTOS | EVOLVE
interpersonal attributes with which each person in the Group could feel like they were the protagonist of their own work every day. A work of value, making an irreplaceable contribution: and without paternalism!» Like all social organizations, Maire Tecnimont is aware of its own historical path, rich in values and excellent skills that can be drawn on to redesign the present. One component of this commitment to imagining the future is EVOLVE, a flexible and innovative magazine that has just entered its fifth year of life. Nicolais continues: «In a context of great technological challenges, where companies in the sector are coming to terms with a mix of complexities linked to the energy transition, digitalization and the pandemic crisis, it was more necessary than ever to find a common ground of ideas and experiences. To look at our world through the eyes of those who can pull economic sustainability, human capital, and inclusive development models together».
This is the heart of the matter. The development of companies in energy and natural resources processing is oriented towards establishing new formulas for environmental, social and economic sustainability: models that must take into account regulatory frameworks, issues of social responsibility and the centrality of man in the mechanization of processes. «EVOLVE magazine – says Nicolais – puts itself in the middle of this debate while also trying to introduce innovative content and graphics. In the issues published so far, we have featured over fifty external contributions, between articles and interviews. Readers have been able to delve into the thinking and business philosophy of the likes of Nassim Taleb (author of The Black Swan and Antifragile), W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne (Blue Ocean Strategy), Pierre Lévy (Collective Intelligence), Jared Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel), Geoff Mulgan (Big Mind), Alec Ross (The Industries of the Future), Gunter Pauli (The Blue Economy), Stephen Covey
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
EVOLVE | MOTTOS
(Smart Trust), Michele Zanini (Humanocracy), Gregg Braden (The Power of Resilience) and Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus), just to name a few». EVOLVE has given the floor to many prominent players such as Ferruccio Resta and Mariano Corso (Milan Polytechnic Institute), Guido Saracco (Turin Polytechnic Institute) and Andrea Prencipe (LUISS), Edo Ronchi (Sustainable Development Foundation), Alessandro Blasi (International Energy Agency) and Marco Bentivogli. «Mixing external contributions with the voices of our internal management, project teams and people scattered across five continents, we have addressed labor issues by highlighting participation, plurality and integration. As we engaged with the topic of change management, we realized that the key to triggering transformation is by asking the right questions. I can say with satisfaction that the communication objectives of this first cycle have been amply achieved, including the fact that we have developed a podcast version of the magazine: EVOLVE is, in fact, the first corporate podcast project based on the contents of our own corporate magazine. But the greatest satisfaction is seeing colleagues make these mantras their own, “living” the Mottos of EVOLVE, taking a selfie with the magazine, experimenting with creative applications of those simple principles». How has the whole EVOLVE experience changed us? What actual and prospective benefits can we discern? «Today, this magazine represents a sort of cultural heritage to draw upon for future projects and strategies. Over time, we realized that some topics – which at first seemed strictly internal, limited only to us – were actually of great interest to external audiences. The EVOLVE magazine is only in part an operation to support Maire Tecnimont’s cultural turnaround, to sow entrepreneurial attitudes: in reality, it is read with specific interest by business and public institutions leaders, managers, professionals, journalists, professors and university students. The silver lining is having discovered that our corporate Mottos - when addressed with the highest of standards, as we do through interviews, articles and reports - are transformed into cultural proposals that go far beyond the Group’s perimeter.
N° 8 - JUNE 2022
The individual reader, in his or her professional identity, finds a way to interpret the context in which he or she operates, a working style to orientate himself or herself in the world. We realized that we could have the courage to bring out our owned culture of enterprise, because an enterprise can create culture». In regard to digitalization: with a timing that was in some ways unintentional, the magazine was born in a period during which companies were strongly engaged in the big data revolution, the issue regarding the relationship between man and machine and the new role of the individual in the mechanization of processes. As a result, EVOLVE devotes a series of useful insights to identify the skills of the next decade, with a special focus on the figure known as the “Humanist Engineer.” «Little is said about this very Italian profile – Nicolais confirms – except within specialized or historical circuits. Instead, the humanist engineer responds to present-day complexity: and the magazine, speaking about it with great care, has been a sort of incubator of ideas, a creative laboratory to face these challenging scenarios with renewed strategies. The work of the “think tank” impressed us so much that, in the wake of the themes raised by EVOLVE and humanist engineering, just a few months ago the new Maire Tecnimont Foundation was born. In keeping with the underlying philosophy, it chose the same name as the magazine. The “EVOLVE” Foundation (of which we go into more detail on page 16 in an interview with Chairman Fabrizio Di Amato) was created upon the following premise: not as a generic institution of social responsibility on vertical issues, but rather to be a further laboratory of events and initiatives on the themes of humanistic engineering. The path is usually reversed: but the fact that the magazine was born first, and then the Foundation, is significant of the importance of the work done so far. And today a new editorial cycle, and a new story, begins».
RIDE THE TURNAROUND!
The challenge of our Group: impeccably deliver our portfolio through operational and financial discipline.
Master the change, be actively part of it!
EVERY SINGLE DECISION COUNTS! Our work-success is the result of a thousand single choices made in the right sequence. There is no time for procrastination.
Your contribution makes a difference!
Fast changes in the market create discontinuities while opening also opportunities to the most responsive players.
Agility is the key!
NOT JUST THE COMPANY, THIS IS YOUR COMPANY! Building together the success of our Group creates shared value to everyone.
Be entrepreneur in a network of entrepreneurs!
TAKE THE CHALLENGE!
Managing uncertainties is the core of our job… As a sailor faces the sea every day.
Let the passion for results drive your actions!
STEP UP AND MAKE THINGS HAPPEN! Talk and listen directly to your colleagues. Sending an e-mail could not be a solution. Let’s keep our doors open.
Beat the bureaucratic approach!
WE ARE RESILIENT!
Recovering quickly from drastic changes is part of our noble and precious DNA. We live in a tough environment, but adversity made us stronger.
Let’s capitalize on lessons learnt!
OUR TOMORROW IS NOW! These are extraordinary times. If we stay focused on our corridor of growth we will be ready to build the next decade of Maire Tecnimont.
The floor is ours!