Nexa Center Annual Report 2022

Presented in 2022 during the Board of Trustees meeting of the Nexa Center


Growing inequalities, democracy in crisis, climate change, COVID-19 and now outright war in a country 700 km away from Italy’s eastern border (not to mention the war – still ongoing – that started in Lybia, 450 km from Sicily, in 2012), with a corresponding, unprecedented wave of military spending in many countries: in this context it is impossible not to hear the hinges of history squeak. After 30 years, the second globalization age is ending and something rather new, in large part unpredictable but certainly worrisome is taking its place.

‎This highly troubling scenario inevitably has been affecting our thinking at the Nexa Center. Just like everyone else we are concerned about the future (when was the last time that the spectre of nuclear war was in the news?), but as Nexians we also focus on the role (actual and potential) of digital technologies regarding the many challenges of our times. Right now we have many more questions than answers, many more doubts than certainties, but we consider it normal: if you are in the middle of a storm, in fact, visibility is necessarily limited. Therefore, while we continue to strive to understand the big picture, we also want to make sure that the day-to-day activities of the center may continue unimpeded and fruitfully. Life must goes on, as they say, today perhaps ever more than before.

‎In spite of all the hardships that this year has brought on us, or possibly because of them, we certainly carry with us a renewed awareness of the importance of real, face-to-face social interactions. On the other hand, we have further understood how deeply digital tools affect the life of all of us every day and, even more so during exceptional times like these. Also for this reason in the coming year we will renew our efforts to understand how to best protect individual and collective rights in the digital realm, rights which are now essential to ensure freedom, justice and democracy tout court.

Juan Carlos De Martin and Marco Ricolfi – Faculty Directors