The Bocconi Commitment in the Era of Covid19THE EDITORIAL BY RECTOR GIANMARIO VERONA TO OPEN THE SPECIAL ISSUE OF VIA SARFATTI 25 MAGAZINE
Sharing best practices and learning from mistakes. Coordinating and planning actions. A focus on people. These are the lessons we need to take with us from managing the Covid19 pandemic and transform them into mantras in the near future. We must, if we hope to avoid being overwhelmed by the next emergency, whether it is health-related, climatic, economic or political in nature.
At Bocconi we immediately went to work trying to put these principles into practice. We did so in order to not stop teaching on February 24 (the day on which universities in Lombardy decided in concert to suspend on-campus activities to protect their communities and their families) and we pushed on to move everything possible online: first lessons, then graduation and then exams. We are still moving forward, planning a safe return to campus in September while ensuring inclusion and equal opportunity. Safety means a campus equipped with all the devices and indications to guarantee social distancing, sanitized spaces and air, and temperature measurement for anyone entering the Bocconi Campus. Equal opportunities and inclusion means that those who are unable to return to Milan will continue to attend lessons in streaming, synchronously or asynchronously, and those who have suffered the economic effects of this emergency will need concrete help. For this reason we have increased the funds available for scholarships this year by 15% over the 30 million euros awarded in 2019.
Another crucial role at Bocconi is to produce impactful knowledge. In this delicate period not only have we not stopped, but we have actively contributed to understanding the effects of the pandemic. We did this by creating the Covid Crisis Lab, a multidisciplinary research laboratory conceived by our Dean for Research Jérôme Adda, and Bruno Busacca, Dean of Fundraising and Alumni Engagement. The Lab is led by Prof. Alessia Melegaro, a demographer and statistician who since the beginning of the pandemic has collaborated with the Lombardy Region's technical commission on health to analyze the spread of the virus in Lombardy.
This special issue of the magazine is dedicated precisely to the activities of the Covid Crisis Lab and the researchers who are helping us understand the emergency in four fundamental areas: Health; Economics, Finance and Firms; Legal Issues; and Society. The work has just begun but, as you will read in these pages, there are already many research projects and other output that Bocconi has made available to policy makers and decision makers in a few months. Because today our motto, Knowledge that Matters, is as important and as real as ever.
by Gianmario Verona
Translated by Richard Greenslade