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Idealog Year in Review: Gianpaolo Grazioli

Idealog Year in Review: Gianpaolo Grazioli

In the latest edition of our series asking some of Aotearoa's best-known businesspeople and visionaries to take a step back and offer their insights on how the past year has gone and how the future might unfold, we chat with innovative ice cream-maker Gianpaolo "Giapo" Grazioli.

Favourite innovation that isn't yours?

Rousseau. It’s an operating system launched by the 5 Stars Movement (largest party in Italy)  that allows a registered, credible crowd to interact with their members of parliament. This system allows members to propose the implementation of new laws or the editing of old laws, it offers them the option of an instant referendum facility and much, much more. 

The main aim is to connect politicians with credible people so they have a better understanding of ‘what the people want’.  It’s very futuristic, it's working and I love it. 

Favourite innovation that is yours? 

It won’t save the world, but my Risotto rice ball with ice cream will be the most satisfying thing your mouth will be touching in 2017. Trust me. 

Most interesting launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year? 

This was an interesting year for Alzheimer's disease research. The most popular theory "the amyloid beta theory" has been almost totally rejected as the phase three trials of the Eli Lilly's amyloid monoclonal antibody has shown no cognitive improvements whatsoever. There are still some studies going on, but the chances that the villain is the amyloid beta are now smaller than they ever been. While disappointed about the news, I believe we are not far away for a solution as the circle is getting smaller and smaller. 

Lamest launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year? 

There is no point talking about it as they won’t exist in the near future.

Most promising New Zealand company/companies? 

FunScreen; these guys make state of the art sunscreen protection designed for children. My kids love to use it and spread it. My other choice for most promising New Zealand company would be Unfiltered, by the unstoppable Jake Millar. 

Heroes? 

My heroes are the people that work with us. And this time I want to give credit to BNZ who backed the acquisition of our new place on Gore Street. We are a very, very small business with little to no chance of being considered for a mortgage. I will be forever grateful for the risk they took with us. 

Villains?

As far as innovation is concerned the real villain lives within us all. It's the voice in our head telling us to walk away, to be careful, to go slow, to compromise, to fear the critics and that it won’t work out. 

Best stoush? 

It must be the one within ourselves. If we learn to overcome and deconstruct our own belief then we pave the way towards progress and becoming better people. 

Your own biggest success? 

With the end of 2016, I'm stepping down as "CEO" of Giapo and fully dedicating myself to innovation in the kitchen. 

What’s the biggest mistake innovators/businesses will make in 2017? 

Way too often we miss the opportunities that come from failing deliberately. We fail to see that going where no one would go, is exactly where we should be going. 

What do you expect to see in the next five years? 

Innovation is a by-product of empathy and empathy can be thought as a skill. I hope empathy and its ideals will be more heavily interwoven into the education of our children to promote innovation. 

What will be dead in five years? 

I feel fuel cars as we know them are at the end of their journey and they will be discontinued sooner than later.

What should be invented and/or un-invented?  

I feel a new way to experience ice cream should be invented. 

Favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of the year? 

I'm currently reading Liminal Thinking: Create the Change You Want by Changing the Way You Think, and it’s absolutely great. 

One piece of tech you’d have on a desert island?

My primal need will be to eat, so I ll get a fishing rod. 

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? (asking for a friend) 

We just need to take the power off. 

I'm very optimistic, as matter of fact, during the centuries progress and innovation have made the world always more human. Robots and AI will help humans do more of what they like. Bring it on! 

As you’re enjoying the great outdoors this summer, The Kiwibank Conservation Dogs will be out there too, hard at work, giving our nature a future.