INTERVIEW TO Norberto Patrignani

  • 05/02/2018
INTERVIEW TO Norberto Patrignani

Lecturer in “Computer Ethics” at the Politecnico di Torino and author of the book “Slow Tech, a Responsible, Sustainable, and Ethical Approach”


What is electricity to you?

Electricity is our primary resource for the future, alongside information (that which is above data and below knowledge and wisdom) and time (once we have optimised how to use energy and information we can work on speed...slowing down and using our time the best we can). We should pass on a philosophy based on “frugal wealth” to future generations: “Frugal” consumption with a sober renouncement of superfluity, and a “wealth” of relations, friends, conviviality, calm and quietness.

Do you have a personal memory linked to electricity?

When I was younger I was shown how to change the fuses close to the electricity meter, and I understood the importance of protecting critical infrastructures such as that of electricity.

Are you an energy saver?

I try to do my best, energy saving should be taught to children from a young age, it’s our number one resource. Our second resource is renewable energy, the way of the future: it will allow us to finally turn our back on fossil fuels.

What do you actually do to save electricity?

I try to minimise my consumption; I prefer to travel on foot, by bike or train, and I rarely drive or fly. At home, I don’t leave appliances on standby at night and I try to turn on the lights in a room only when I need them. When I buy new appliances, one of my selection criteria is electricity consumption.

What would you light up better in your city or elsewhere in Italy?

Town squares, we have the most beautiful squares in the world, as well as other overlooked places which aren’t usually lit up - however, I would fit them with sensors so that they light up only when someone is nearby.

How would you make high-voltage pylons more attractive?

I would launch a competition in schools, children often have brilliant ideas when it comes to visuals.

Any suggestions for Terna?

I would recommend it makes itself better known, Terna manages a critical infrastructure for our society and is therefore a “common good” which we all have to preserve and improve. Yet perhaps not everyone is aware of it.