Piaggio Fast Forward

College students from Harvard and MIT will help this new branch of Piaggio study future mobility.

Piaggio CEO Roberto Colaninno

Piaggio CEO Roberto Colaninno strongly believes that the individual mobility industry must invest in extreme creativity to overcome the limits of the layout of the present generation of two-, three-, and four-wheel vehicles. And extreme creativity comes naturally from younger people who have access to all the latest digital technologies.

To provide a solid platform for this long-term visionary research, Colaninno has created a specific branch within the company: Piaggio Fast Forward. Established in the spring of 2015, Piaggio Fast Forward studies new mobility platforms that will be able to respond to the future challenges of a fast-evolving world. Like the Piaggio Advanced Design Center led by Miguel Galluzzi, PFF’s operative heart is located not in Italy, but in the US. Specifically, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where young brains from Harvard and MIT will work under the guidance of Beth Altringer, (professor, Harvard’s Engineering and Design School), and Sasha Hoffman, co-founder of Fuzzy Compass.

Nicholas Negroponte

The Advisory Board of PFF includes Colaninno, Nicholas Negroponte (professor of Media Technology at MIT), Doug Brent (VP of Technology Innovation at Trimble), and Google’s Jeff Linnel. Chairman of the Board of Directors is Michele Colaninno, CEO of IMMSI Group. Harvard professor Jeffrey Schnapp is Chief Executive Officer, while Gregg Lynn, professor of architecture at UCLA, is Chief Creative Officer.

The first official act of Piaggio Fast Forward was a public conference at the Polytechnic University of Milan, held in front of a crowd of students while their American colleagues watched via live stream. Named “The Shape of Things to Come,” the conference, led by Roberto Colaninno, Negroponte and Jeffrey Schnapp, made clear the purpose of the new Piaggio branch. Colaninno, in his speech, said the real investment of PFF is represented by the young and creative minds of the students.

event scene in Milan

While nothing was announced regarding the cost of PFF, this effort is a positive development, a way to see if the industry is able to meet future mobility needs with products that are rational and easy on the environment. Colaninno also took the opportunity to say the explain 2015 has been a good year for the global motorcycle market, and for Piaggio as well.

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Piaggio CEO Roberto ColaninnoPiaggio Photo

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Nicholas Negroponte (professor of Media Technology at MIT).Piaggio Photo

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Harvard professor Jeffrey Schnapp.Piaggio Photo

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Conference scene from the Polytechnic University of Milan.Piaggio Photo

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Conference scene from the Polytechnic University of Milan.Piaggio Photo