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CaffExpò: the concept

CaffExpò: a series of discussions and debates related to the main topic “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”of the oncoming initiative EXPO Milano 2015. CaffExpò was born from an idea of the Research Center OPERA, and was further developed thanks to the cooperation with the students of the Agrisystem PhD school and the Athenaeum Center ExpoLAB.

Once upon a time, cultured people used to meet in a Cafè, to discuss and exchange ideas - while drinking a cup of coffee - about culture, politics, travel experiences, books... The “Literary Cafè” - this was the name for this kind of meeting -  became an important means for cultural promotion, but it was mainly a privilege of aristocracy. Luckily today culture is for everybody…but the fashion of the old Caffès remains. For this reason, Professors and students of the Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore were inspired to initiate a series of debates regarding the topic of Expo 2015 and, as in the ancient time, they decided to take up the ancient cafè heritage: indeed, the meetings are connected with the "coffee ritual" and are taking place in a Cafè.

Why doing it in a Cafè?

We could have organized courses or seminars in the University, the temple of knowledge dissemination and cultural exchange. Actually, we chose a different direction. CaffExpó’s goal is "to talk" about sustainability rather than "to teach" sustainability. Everyone of us would like to hear the voice of those who, because of their experience or their work, have to do with sustainability; but we would also to have the opportunity to interact with them, expressing our ideas and - why not? - even our criticism and our skepticism, thus contributing in a constructive debate. And we thought that we should organize these meetings in a place inspiring relaxation and conviviality, because in this way it would be easier to exchange ideas and be an active part of the debate.

What we are talking about?

The CaffExpò project has, at its base, a reflection regarding the perception of the concept of “sustainable development” by citizens. Every day we hear about sustainability, green economy, responsible consumptions: the knowledge on this topics is gradually increasing, as well as the awareness concerning the necessary efforts and the commitment for achieving a more equal and sustainable future. However, this awareness often let space to the scepticism. Is it really possible to combine sustainability with progress and economic growth? Are Companies really following sustainable strategies, or do they just seek the public consent? And - above all - what can we do, in our small way, to become an active part of the necessary change?

How does it work?

Starting from Spring 2012, the Bar of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Piacenza has been hosting the CaffExpò meetings. During each event, a distinguished scientist, entrepreneur or someone with a strong expertise in sustainable development is invited to address a specific topic. A PhD student is continuosly "challenging" him with questions and reflections, interpreting and expressing the general ideas of the public on the topic. Expert professors in the subject will manage and stimulate the discussion with the participants. 

You will find a list of the planned and past meetings here. Usually, CaffExpò meetings take place at 5:30 in the shown dates.

And after the meeting, the discussion goes on...

You can read the events' report and watch the videos on the website, and share your comments in our blog.

Remember: sustainability is not a matter for just some experts ... each one of us can be actively involved!