For a Human-Centered AI

Five tips for generation Z

March 25, 2019

Davide Dattoli was the invited speaker of the seventh Bruno Kessler Lecture, on March 19, 2019 in Trento: in front of hundreds of students, he recounted his success story with Talent Garden

To be successful in a constantly evolving labor market, workers will have to be agile “lifelong learners”, able to adapt to an ever new context, often having to change sectors. This is what the World Economic Forum tells us in the article “To succeed in a changing job market, we must embrace lifelong learning” and in several reports published in 2018. This is the future of jobs; a trend that did not elude Talent Garden, a co-working space founded in 2011 by Davide Dattoli in Brescia and that now has 23 campuses in 8 countries. Dattoli was this year’s guest of the Bruno Kessler Lecture, an annual event in memory of the founder of the Trentino Cultural Institute, now FBK. He was introduced by Francesco Profumo, the president of the Foundation, who explained why this young entrepreneur from Brescia was invited. The fact that he is 28 years old and his creature has recently raised funding for € 44 million makes Dattoli a young Italian talent, an example for the approximately 250 high school students attending the event at the Santa Chiara Auditorium. The Foundation’s commitment to young people has become stronger, promoting initiatives that provide new generations with guidance so that they can make the most of their talent. The Lecture by Dattoli is precisely about this: presenting the Talent Garden project, he gave the public 5 tips that he would have liked to receive in 2008, a year known for the global crisis and the moment in which he debuted in the job market.


When students are finishing high school, they often are not quite clear on which career they should pursue. At 19, when they ask you what you want to be when you grow up, the answer is often obscure and vague. Usually, older people tend to suggest the recipes that worked in the past when they entered the job market. However, these are almost always ineffective as they are based on an industrial model that has allowed our parents to get a permanent job and work for the same company for 30-40 years, but that will no longer be sustainable in the future. A mindset, that of the permanent position, which the World Economic Forum advises against adopting as it is no longer realistic. Recent technological innovations, the coming of artificial intelligence and an increasingly strong international competition have transformed the labor market. This is why Dattoli’s first tip is to think differently, to register future trends and anticipate them, knowing that the learning process will last a lifetime.


A problem with our university model is a competitive approach that sometimes prevents the growth of innovative ideas and some elements of talent. In a global context in which the two most important economic players in the field of artificial intelligence and new technologies are the United States and China, such an approach excludes Italy. Dattoli points out how collaboration at European level is critical to creating the momentum and compete with these huge economies. The look of Talent Garden has already opened up to Europe with the creation of European campuses and the 44 million recently collected will be directed to them: towards an ever greater internationalization and the creation of a platform that produces high level digital innovation even within the borders of the European Union.


Try to fail as much as possible and as soon as possible. This is Dattoli’s third tip. An approach typical of the start-up world but which is critical to carrying out any project. In a society where failure is demonized and professional success is decidedly too important a social indicator, Dattoli suggests instead experiencing, making mistakes, and trying again.


A black poster that reads in white letters “Team work makes the dream work” hangs in all the Talent Garden locations. This approach has been the fundamental element for the success of the company. Nothing can be done alone, it is essential to create a team full of talent. Dattoli himself stresses this aspect: the success of this company in the future will be measured precisely by the ability to attract the best talent that will allow us to compete at European and global level


According to its founder, Talent Garden does not simply aim to stay on the market and do business. The important thing is to have a higher purpose. In their case, the real challenge is to accompany digital transformation in Italy and in Europe. A definitely stimulating goal. This is what the young entrepreneur recommends to those entering the workforce: entering a dynamic ecosystem that aims to revolutionize the industry, not just to make money.

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