Upon hearing of the death of Giacomo Becattini, our thoughts turn to the many things he taught us and that we keep teaching our students
by Giovanni Solinas and Margherita Russo
Upon hearing of the death of Giacomo Becattini, our thoughts turn to the many things he taught us and that we keep teaching our students.
Since the 1970s, his theoretical contribution on the analysis of local development gave a radical turn in the economic debate, putting at its core the system of social and economic relations as a driver of change. Since the 1980s, he fostered with friendship and affection the dialogue with Sebastiano Brusco, which unfolded for over a decade in the Artimino School, opened a broad discussion on industrial policies and local development, which still constitutes a reference for those who want effective analysis and proposals for action in support of innovation processes. The systemic dimension of economic and social processes is the relevant aspect of the reflection that, for Becattini, was accompanied in recent decades by a continuous observation on the changes taking place on a local and global scale, and to the need of mastering change rather than suffering it.
The socio-economic importance of the small business systems and their particular forms that are the industrial districts has been the focus of his analysis. Among his many contributions we would like to share the one touching us more closely: his encouragement to all the colleagues in Modena, a few days after the earthquake in Emilia, because in a way the earthquake was an opportunity to build back better the very fabric of essential relations for the district development.
The rigorous analysis of any theoretical discussion has accompanied the formation of his students. We convey our warming thoughts to them and to his family.
Giovanni Solinas and Margherita Russo
January 21st 2017