Scientific Event

Human potential, our resource

Parallel lecture (P13)

Prof. Furio HONSELL 

We are living in a time of crisis: climate dystopia (global warming, desertification, tropicalization of temperate areas); nationalistic wars and flourishing arms industries; pandemics amid faltering health systems; awareness that we are responsible for the VI mass-extinction of biodiversity on planet Earth; competitive human relations which corrode our self-esteem…
We need a radical paradigm shift in our daily lives and the world at large. We need to understand that we can overcome mental barriers as well as physical barriers. And what is there more effective in building bridges and in suggesting radical game-changing ideas than that combination of agon, alea, mimesys, and ilinx that makes up the definitions of playing games by Caillois. In this presentation I will draw examples from my experience as mayor, teacher and mathematics populariser to illustrate how playing games can overcome language barriers in kinder garden; compensate cognitive disabilities through emotional, physical and relational abilities in nursing homes; promote sustainable lifestyles and energy literacy; contrast unhealthy and sedentary aging by making the healthy way the easier and more enjoyable way; reduce home-sickness in asylum seekers; …
Games teach how to shift your perspective using lateral thinking; how to clear your mind and concentrate. Games offer an opportunity to relate more easily and immediately to other, not necessarily human but just living, beings. But ultimately, playing games allows for finding new and better terms to cope with the most difficult and mysterious opponent of all in our lives, which is our self, by just laughing at him/her/them with no dramatic consequences.


For each of us, in the different stages of growth, there is a qualitative time and a space of freedom in which our memory can develop in a balanced way and the different experiences can become individual knowledge that will feed our imagination. It's the time to create a soil for walking and make our resources flourish, learning to combine and recombine them and then share them: the number of combinations of concepts and learnings is infinite, and this tells us that a large part of the world has not yet been explored. This is why it is important to know how to live on the threshold between knowing and not knowing; the perception of the limit gives us knowledge. All this does not require great efforts, but it is essential to go back to valuing the human and above all to understand who the human is, to experience learning not as an effort but as a simple process.

Day 4


21 October

11.00 - 12.30 Parallel Lectures / Workshops

  • Code: P13
  • Duration: 90 min
  • Language: Italian
  • Translations: German - French
  • This lecture is connected to the workshop W75 that will take place from 14.30 to 15.30

Prof. Furio HONSELL

Born, Genoa, 20/08/1958. Degree in Mathematics, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Computer Science Researcher, University of Torino and Edinburgh. Full Professor in Automata Theory, University of Udine, since 1990. Rector, University of Udine (2001-2008). Mayor of Udine (2008-2018) left-centre coalition. From 2018 to date member of the Regional Parliament FVG Region (Health Commission). Member of the Political Board of the Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate Change 2020, representing CEMR (2016-2018). Vice President of the Italian WHO Healthy Cities Network (2009-2018) and member of the Political Vision Group of the European Network. President of the Italian Association for the promotion of Toy Libraries. Honsell is active in popularization of Mathematics, and sustainable and healthy lifestyles.



For over 25 years she has been accompanying young people and adults in orientation courses for the enhancement of personal and professional resources. In collaboration with schools, universities, employment agencies, regions, municipalities, provinces, instrumental bodies of the Ministry of Labour, chambers of commerce, she has designed and developed guidance, empowerment, skills assessment, transparency and certification of skills courses. She has participated in many European researches, thanks to the Leonardo, Equal, Erasmus and Erasmus + programs, to improve guidance interventions for young people and adults, in particular she studied the issues of certification of skills in Europe and in Italy. She contributed to the development of the CORA Centers - Associated Retravailler Orientation Centers. She collaborated with professor Guy Le Boterf on the development of skills for continuous innovation in companies. She is certified for the use of the GOOP methodology (Goal Oriented Project Planning) for the planning and evaluation of European projects. Today the main focus of her activity is orientation towards studies and work in the context of technological transformations, with particular attention to the gender gap. She is co-founder of QUIDD - Association for the development of guidance culture.