Il festival dell’economia

by Lorenzo Piccoli

Every time I talk with people abroad I have the feeling they really do not know the place where I come from. Trento is famous only because the Council of Trento, one of the most important events in the modern history of Europe. But not many people know the modern history of Europe well, so they have no reason to know Trento. Of course, Trento has beautiful lakes and mountains, but we probably prefer to keep them hidden to avoid massive tourism.

Now Trento is trying to become famous through a Festival. Il Festival dell’Economia was created in 2006 and this year it features its 8th edition. Economists, politicians and academics from the most varied disciplines will discuss the question of “Sovereignty in Conflict” from 30 May to 2 June. The Festival opens and closes with two Nobel Economics Prize-winners: Michael Spence returns for the inauguration on 30 May to discuss “Government of the global manufacturing chain”, while in the closing session on 2 June James Mirrlees will consider the viability of abandoning the Euro. Other notable speakers are George Papaconstantinou, former Greek Minister of Finance, Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the OECD, Nemat Shafik, Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund, Michael Sandel, Colin Crouch, Roberto Escobar, Sylvie Goulard,Eric Jozsef, Andrew Moravcsik, Mario Monti, Piero Giarda, Giuliano Amato, Lucia Annunziata, Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Laura Boldrini, Stefano Rodotà, Chiara Saraceno, and of course Sergio Fabbrini, my former professor,

These are great names. But think about the contents too. In fact, the main strength of the Festival lies in the capacity of the organizers to identify fascinating topics and to stimulate discussions by creating the right atmosphere. I love the fact that most of the talks are held in the most fascinating places of the city in a very relaxed and informal setting, during what I consider to be the best period of the year.

Let us be clear: I am very sorry I will not be able to attend the festival this year, as I am in Brussels. I will follow the event through the twitter hashtag #FestivalEconomia. You might consider doing the same and attending the Festival next year. I will be happy to provide you a place to sleep.