Giovani talenti italiani alla conquista del mondo: a Frontiers of Interaction abbiamo incontrato Caterina Falleni, Executive Director di Axelera.

Schermata 2013-11-18 alle 3.17.27 PM

Many people call them ” brain drain ” , we at Talent Garden prefer “brains borrowed” : young Italian who leave Italy in search of new experiences and professional opportunities abroad. Just like Catherine Falleni , a young talent from Livorno and Executive Director of Axelera we had the pleasure of meeting at the last edition of Frontiers of Interactions 2013.


Hello, I’m Catherine , I’m 25 for a few weeks and am originally from Livorno. I have a degree in Communication and Industrial Design at ISIA in Florence and then continue with the two-year specialization in Product Design . In the last 6 years I have changed 6 houses , a couple in Florence , then in Finland, where I studied at the Kuopio Academy of Design , in Rotterdam in the Netherlands where I worked at WAACS Design & Consultancy , in Africa to Zanzibar as an Interior Designer and photographer and then in Silicon Valley for the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University in Mountain View.


Currently cover it the role of Executive Director of Axelera , an association founded a little over a year and a half ago by a group of alumni of Singularity University , to which are added entrepreneurs, journalists and scientists Italian . The purpose of Axelera is to spread a clear understanding of the dynamics and exponential technologies and aggregate , inspire and encourage the development of a new leadership that values ​​the Italian potential to address the great challenges of our time.


My biggest passion is sailing. I am a sailor since I was 7 years old and for me the sail has never been just a sport but a real way of being.


If I had to pick one I would say : “The best way to predict the future is to invent it . ” Alan Kay

Chat with Catherine :

1 ) Last year you won the Global Impact Competition 2012 with the project ” Freejis ” : what is it ?

” Freiijis ” is a cooling apparatus , for fruits and vegetables , for home use, that does not use electricity but the refrigeration system by means of evaporation of the water contained in the space between the two containers : one inside, aluminum , and one outside, in terracotta.

It is the same principle of sweating skin to lower body temperature or simply a panting dog that dissipates excess heat through the tongue out of his mouth .

2 ) Many newspapers will have dedicated articles and quotes from the series ” young Leghorn study at NASA …. ” ” … the Italian design will go to NASA ,” well then what happened to NASA ? What are you busy?

At the center of NASA Ames in Mountain View I attended the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University : interdisciplinary program where together with other 79 participants from all over the world with different backgrounds and complementary courses we followed the first few weeks and then we subsequently worked in teams to different projects. The subjects addressed include: forecasting and futures studies , computer systems and networks ; biotechnology and bioinformatics , nanotechnology , medicine and neuroscience , artificial intelligence , robotics, and cognitive computing , energy and ecological systems , space and physical sciences , law, policy and ethics; finance , entrepreneurship, and design.

What I have dealt specifically the last part I of the program was a project aimed at a new type of production of fruits and vegetables ” OffShore Farming ” and a project involving the visualization and understanding of the information contained in the DNA called X & Y Genomics.

3 ) We have found in Italy , specifically in Milan, at Foi13 , with a workshop entitled ” God Save the drone ! Preparing for drones invasion ” for those who have lost what if it was ?

The title ” God Save the drone ! ” Obviously ironic was a workshop that I made with my mate Anish Mohammed Singualrity University. E ‘ was more of a trial . We began telling a little’ history of the first drones , how the public perceives them , such technologies in recent years have changed this area and we showed some case histories of companies and market players .

Anish as a true “geek ” told “Let ‘s see what it takes to build a drone ” how to build a drone , which are the basic parts and the mechanical basis for it to work.

The third and final session instead was the most interactive where we did divide participants into teams to reflect on 3 modules of questions: 1. Which market do you think will be the most disrupted by the drone industry in 5-10 years from now ? 2 . What is the positive and negative side of drone civilian uses and the Democratisation of this technology ? 3 . What is your dream drone ? Why would you want it ? What would it do ? Which positive impacts ?

To see some photos of the workshop: click here

4 ) Axelera in partnership with Singularity University for the 2014 edition of the Global Impact Competition , is looking for ” Disruptor “, ie people and ideas that can radically change the ‘ rules of the game ‘ in Italian , so quotes the official statement now … what do you think they can change the rules of the game here in Italy ? What is needed to operate an effective and revolutionary?

The rules of the game and I hope we can always change , we just have to figure out what is my best way to do it. If I knew what it was to operate an effective and revolutionary perhaps we would not be here to ask us 🙂 I would not say that there are safe streets or rules to follow , but what comes to my mind is an example that could be perfectly fitting .

Elon Musk , SpaceX before starting the company , he asked leading experts if they think there would be the opportunity and the space on the market to create a private sector company Space and none of them responded in a positive way . When Musk , however, persevered and succeeded and created SpaceX successfully totally changing the existing paradigm . Elon Musk was then able to change the ‘ rules of the game ‘ and that’s what he’s doing with Tesla in the automotive industry .

5) You vissutoSilicon Valley , let us dream ! How do people live there? How has this experience affected your professional life and if you want to say also on the staff …

In Silicon Valley, the sky is almost always blue , the services are of quality, there is so much green and the weather is beautiful . In my opinion it is a place where everything is designed to make life easier and make you live better.

The scene of the startup needless to say is fresh, exciting and dynamic . Experience in the Valley has certainly influenced my professional life , now I no longer too afraid to talk about my projects , my ideas and my dreams because I know that if you are truly open and transparent you can meet people with whom to share interesting conversations and maybe collaborate for future projects. As for my personal life after the experience in the valley of silicon I feel more open and positive about the future and with a more forward-looking .

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