Is a future of sustainable development for Italy really possible? Yes, this is demonstrated by the success and enthusiasm of the first edition of GECO, which exceeded all expectations. In our splendid virtual location, created thanks to the technological platform provided by Hypersmarter, we welcomed thousands of visitors, exhibitors, buyers and representatives of many institutions, who shared a very clear message: sustainability is the way to move forward. Also, sustainability does not only mean respect for the environment and reduction of emissions, but also attention to aspects related to real development and economic feasibility, for the creation of an economy that is capable of doing the good for the public, companies and the planet. Utopia? Not at all, it’s just a matter of focusing on the right ideas and putting together the commitment and resources to make them happen.
What does sustainable development mean?
This was one of the most important questions we wanted to find an answer to, with this first edition of GECO. This is why we have invited experts from many sectors, from energy to tourism, from finance to architecture, from transport to technology. Only by combining knowledge and resources it is possible to achieve results that, recently, seemed unthinkable. Because large companies need the fresh and innovative approach of startups, which in turn need the resources and knowledge that can only come from public and private institutions with years of history and experience.
And in this way they can design solutions for development that is not only sustainable for the planet, but also beneficial for those who implement it. Because in order to make sustainability an achievable goal, it is necessary to ensure that those who pursue it are successful and can continue to grow.
Sustainability and innovation rewarded through our Smart Talks
One of the sections we were the most proud of, within this first edition of GECO, were the Smart Talks, for which we received fifty applications. We have discovered, thanks to these projects, many innovative ideas that really have the potential to change our society, our way of life and many aspects of our daily life for the better. And even if we could only distribute three prizes and a special mention, we wish all the other participants the best successes for the future: for our jury it was not an easy choice, because there were so many valid projects! The winners were Biova Beer (the first “circular” beer in the world, which fights food waste using unsold bread as the main ingredient), EcoAllene by Ecoplasteam (a non-plastic with revolutionary characteristics, made by breaking down and recycling packaging materials that, until very recently, were considered non-recyclable, such as Tetrapak) and the Filo & Fibra Cooking Box (which revolutionizes the way of cooking food, saving energy and working with low temperatures, thanks to a layer of waste wool recovered from local farmers, which allows you to take advantage of the heat that gets accumulated in the first cooking phase). The special mention went to Blu Eco Line – River Cleaner, an innovative floating barrier created to collect plastics and microplastics present in river waters, thus contributing to a reduction of plastic waste that ends up in our seas.
Let’s talk about numbers… because we can do it!
One of the greatest advantages of running an event like GECO is the amount of detailed information that can be obtained from public participation, approval and use of each function, as well as on the interactions that took place during the fair. Working with an efficient platform like Hypersmarter has allowed us to collect extremely precise data, which will help us to develop increasingly effective solutions for the next upcoming editions. And precisely because we have this available data, we can tell you that 562 of our 3920 subscribers were buyers and that in total 7570 accesses to the platform were registered. There were 57 exhibitors (those who were there saw them, with their splendid stands) and, during the three days of the event, the participants conducted 9662 conversations and exchanged 7086 business cards. But it does not end here, there were 5460 connections to our panels and round tables, animated by 65 speakers, all first-rate experts in their respective fields. These are the numbers of the first edition of GECO from which we start to open a path that, we are sure, will take us very far, together with all the entrepreneurs, innovators, administrators and citizens who want to build a sustainable future.