Let’s talk about you: what is your background, what do you teach, and what are your research interests?.
My name is Vladi Finotto, I am an associate professor of Economics and Business Management at the Department of Management at Ca' Foscari where I teach business strategy and entrepreneurship in our English Degree Programmes. If I had to find a constant in my research activity, I would say it is the role of men and women in defining organisations' strategies and transforming value chains. Over the last four years, I have been doing this with a particular focus on the agrifood industry, a very important industry for the Italian economy, along with my colleagues at the Agrifood Management & Innovation Lab.
What has given you the greatest satisfaction in your career?
The PID project with the Chamber of Commerce of Venice: a research, training and support project for the digital transformation of SMEs;
Being a professor is a source of satisfaction in itself: the country entrusts us with the task of asking questions, seeking answers and returning them to society and the economy in the form of useful knowledge. If I have to choose three achievements, I would say:
- The PID project with the Chamber of Commerce of Venice: a research, training and support project for the digital transformation of SMEs;
- The discussion on an article I published with Giulio Buciuni's colleague in the journal Regional Studies on ‘short circuits’ between innovation and outsourced production;
- Launching the Agrifood Management and Innovation Lab with my colleagues Mauracher and Checchinato, which is the highlight of a collective research, teaching and third mission process that is responding effectively to the needs of a very dynamic industry.
What are you most passionate about in your research?
Humans in business and industry processes. To an outsider, managing companies, formulating strategies, creating new organisations, are processes perceived as extremely rational, calculated and linear. In fact, 'half' of business life is governed by calculation. The other half is a fascinating and compelling interaction of people; it is often shaped by coincidences; it is where the ability to convince and persuade matters in order to mobilise co-workers, customers and suppliers towards ambitious goals, perhaps dictated by passion or visions that cannot always be justified by numbers alone.
Have you always known that this was going to be your path?
Not at all. Until 2003, I didn't really understand how university worked from the inside, I didn't know the steps of a career, and I didn't really know what the prospects were in academia. I was the first graduate in my family, I hoped to graduate and find a good job. Then I read a call for PhDs and applied: I was tickled by the idea of being paid to study and ask questions for another three years, but until 2006, when I finished, I didn't see my career prospects in academia. Then I got into it.
Why should someone choose Ca’ Foscari?
First, for its history: Italy's first business school, leading school of oriental languages, a university with outstanding achievements in material, environmental and computer sciences. It is a truly interdisciplinary environment and open to new things. Second, for the city that surrounds it and that Ca' Foscari helps populate: the most beautiful city you could wish for, visit and live in. Third, for the dynamism of our university. Internationality and innovation shape everything we do: teaching, research, relations with the world that surrounds us and expects us to set trajectories towards the future.