SDA Bocconi MBA students welcome Harvard Business School to Milan campus

Students from both schools met on Jan. 11 for a day of intriguing talks and lively networking sessions on the SDA Bocconi campus


The Full Time MBA students at SDA Bocconi welcomed students from Harvard Business School for an immersive few days in Milan. There were about 140 students present on Jan. 11 for talks with entrepreneurs and an introduction to the school and Italy.

Following a morning of campus tours, students convened for a plenary session introduced by the Dean of SDA Bocconi Stefano Caselli and HBS professor Dante Roscini.

Every January, HBS students are taken to a new location around the world for an immersive experience in stimulating business environments.

“We are delighted to be here in Italy,” said Prof. Roscini. “It is our first time in Italy, and it felt like the right time to visit. He then introduced Prof. Francesco Giavazzi for his keynote speech, an Economic Outlook for Italy and Europe.

The presentation gave the visiting students a peek at the current climate in Italy, exhibiting the major economic challenges, the importance of fiscal policy and the financing of national infrastructure projects.

“The role of fiscal policy has become essential to economic policy” he said, highlighting his positive outlook for the state of the economy. “You have to look at what your fiscal policy does for growth.”

The floor was then given to the students, who sparked discussions with their eager questions. They then could choose to attend two breakout sessions from entrepreneurs in diverse fields: financing food and agriculture and digital tech, which were moderated by Prof. Cenciarini, Prof. Fosfuri and Nico Valenti Gatto, Managing Director of B4I.

In one session, Giacomo Salvanelli, Founder and CEO of Mine Crime and Francesca Tosi, Head of Growth and Board Member of Quick Algorithm, spoke about their AI and big data startups.

In the other, Daniele Benatoff, co-founder of Planet Farms, a vertical farming enterprise, spoke about the business of sustainable agriculture.

He shared with students his insight into building a successful business that has far-reaching applications beyond simple food products and creating a company that addresses global challenges, like water scarcity, soil scarcity, climate change and deforestation.

“Water scarcity, we all know it’s a problem,” he said. “If you don’t have a business model that addresses it, you don’t have a business.”

SDA Bocconi School of Management

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