Enea Colombo is the General Manager of ICONA Design&Engineering Co.,Ltd. Today he focuses on Innovation for New Mobility, Smart Cities, and Carbon Emission Reduction, improving people’s lives through design and technology.
As a seasoned professional with about 26 years of experience, Enea is known for driving company growth, maximizing operational excellence, bringing innovation, and delivering financial performance before he served as General Manager in 2 automotive and industrial companies where he was instrumental in the dramatic growth of the companies both in China and globally.
Enea holds a double degree EMBA (Business Administration) from Jiaotong University Shanghai and Kedge Business School, a Master in Innovation from Stanford University, and a Master in Smart City Management from MIT (Massachusetts).
In 2023 has been nominated Senator from the European Senate of Economy and technology.
Should you pick up a topic, among the several which characterize your impressive experience that you feel more closely related to the decarbonization mission, which one you could say?
Our planet deserves cities that are the center of innovation and efficiency, where families thrive, and where we can realize the promise of low-carbon prosperity. The stakes of our planet, our economy, and our shared future today should see in the cities as places where people have been most human, and fundamentally, our incredible talent as human beings is our ability to collaborate, learn with one another, and do things jointly. Cities are excellent machines for making that happen. Cities are places where people come together and do great things. We need to prepare our and future generations for the future transformation of our cities and to become familiar with new ways of transportation and related technology.
Based on your academic and professional background, what is the main contribution you feel to provide to the worldwide urgency to reduce greenhouse gasses emission?
A: 作为意柯那，我们正在致力于减少碳排放和全球移动出行未来的项目，我们正在学习用于减少温室气体排放的新想法、技术和法规。 现在正在进入一个城市的新时代，我们应该从两个方向看。一个是过去最好的，当时社区紧凑，功能自主，具有强大的社会联系，并且在未来利用全新方式的和自治的系统方式向人们提供食物，水，能源的流动。 在新的移动社会到来之前，我们还有机会重新思考城市的本质以及人与空间之间的关系。随着自动驾驶、物联网和其他技术的普及，城市将通过连接、增长、修改、复制和移动来塑造。以集群和移动空间的形式，将城市发展变得新更加可持续。
As Icona we are working on projects for Carbon Emission reduction and the future of mobility worldwide, and we are learning from new ideas and technologies and regulations to be applied to reduce greenhouse emissions. We are now entering a new era of cities where we should look in two directions. One is the best of the past, when communities were compact and functionally autonomous, with strong social ties, and, to the future, taking advantage of new and exciting distributed and ultimately autonomous systems to deliver food, water, energy, and mobility to the people.
Before the arrival of a new mobility society, we have the opportunity to rethink the essence of the city and the relationship between people and space. With the facilitation of autonomous driving, the Internet of Things, and other technologies, cities will be shaped by connection, growth, modification, reproduction, and mobility. In the form of clustering and mobile spaces, the city will become metabolic and sustainable, echoing the vision of moving a city without cars.
According to your experience which one are the main challenges China has to face to reach its “dual carbon goal”?
A: 中国需要调整城市的设计和技术创新以及公共设备，去创建建一个更加密集以及多样化的居住环境。城市设计以及城市规划和技术是提高生产力和加强团队协作、关注城市布局细节、数据处理和公民参与的关键优势。比如人工智能 （AI）、区块链技术和互联网 是与“智能城市”概念相关的流行语。 如果我们要在现有城市中创造未来的城市，就需要解决三种城市干预措施：城市住房、城市交通和城市规划。如果没有对现有城市主要基础设施的这三项干预，设计和创新将仍然只是一个乌托邦。
China needs to revise its Urban Design, technological innovation, and public policies to support the creation of more dense, diverse, livable, and equitable urban settlements. Urban design and urban planning and technologies are a crucial plus to boost productivity and increase team collaboration, attention to details of urban layout, data process, and citizen engagement. Artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain technology, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are buzzwords that are associated with the notion of an “Intelligent city. Cities need three kinds of urban interventions to be addressed if we want to create the cities of the future in the existing cities: urban housing, urban mobility, and urban programming. Without these three interventions on the main infrastructures of the existing cities, design, and innovation will remain just a utopia.
China and Europe have a long history of close and fruitful cooperation regarding climate change and environmental protection issues. Which are the more peculiar strengths of China and Europe in the path towards decarbonization?
Both in China and Europe, many cities are interested in developing what they call “innovation districts” where the goal is to promote creative interactions and the exchange of ideas that will encourage the formation of start-ups and other economic activities. The consequence of this approach is the impact of having a diversified population increasing the diversity of potential interactions that we can call “Collision Potential.” The collaboration can bring more ideas on the path toward decarbonization, both countries have strength in technological development, so I believe we will have the ability to reach our goals.
More specifically, in your sector of competence, which mechanisms and actions could be implemented to create virtuous synergies between China and Europe to reach carbon neutrality?
The contribution of ICONA to China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology (CNEUCN) initiative is to develop more collaboration within Europe and China, we want to create different innovative hubs or so-called “Centers of innovation for Decarbonization” both in China and Europe, where innovative companies, scientists, and experts from the two countries can meet and work together for the common goal.
We want to create a collaborative environment that will allow us to explore and experiment with new tools for managing our cities to reach “full decarbonization”. The entire way we travel from point A to point B is changing, and how we live in the cities is also changing. This transformation is creating a new ecosystem of personal mobility and lifestyle, but also a new way how we are re-designing our cities with implications affecting more than just our life.
We also want to create Public and private partnerships to forge and help communities become greener, more pedestrian-friendly, and less dependent on private transportation; the goal is to create walkable communities that minimize the use of vehicles and maximize the efficiency of how we will move inside the city, where the full benefits of modern developments and innovation are brought together for the benefit of all.
Carbon neutrality is a target which required holistic approach and integrated actions by all the stakeholders. It should tackle not only technical matters, but also new economic development model and social aspects. China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology (CNEUCN) initiative by its Scientific Committee & Expert Advisory Board aims to be a platform to gather these expertise then share potential solution. Which advices and proposal you feel to share for its development and operation?
Energy use in industry impacts related emissions by 24%, Energy use in buildings by 18% Transportation by 27%, more than 50% as we can see is coming from human behaviors. We need help to find new solutions which will impact less normal life.
In the smart city, eco-systems are already researching the development of new energy vehicles. We have to look at modeling a future that doesn’t exist now, which would be the future of all kinds of aspects.
With China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology (CNEUCN) initiative is a really good tool to try to find solutions. We can approach this system with many other points of view or different scales and levels of complexity. In this way, we can obtain what is called “Organized Complexity”. Many interacting components have a strong interaction; for example, considering energy flow and economic modeling, many entities interact together, but those interactions are already pretty well-known. However, the CNEUCN initiative can also explore the different levels of complexity that the interaction of expertise together will bring new solutions for our common future, and for the next generations.
For more information and further details please write to: [email protected]
China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology aims to support and substantially contribute to China’s path towards carbon neutrality in a holistic and inclusive way by gathering all the stakeholders and creating solutions for each challenge.
China Europe Carbon Neutral Technology will play an active and innovative role in providing services to conceive, shape, design and accomplish the transitions needed to achieve carbon neutrality.