Massimo Merlino - Professor, Consultant, Entrepreneur.

My second life has nothing to do with Metaverse, it’s a physical new life in Latvia and I try to understand my new world. Further to wonderful nature and to the serious behaviour of its inhabitants, the country has a lot of cultural events, mostly oriented to future than to past. So I participated in Riga to an International Congress about the Web 3.0, new technology of telecommunications and Metaverse/AI progress in the world, organised by ITU of UN. All top Latvian authorities were present, starting from Prime Minister, and many public officers were involved in the so many discussions, presentations and panels of two full days of work. In EU only 12 of the 27 States have a Metaverse Strategy and all the Baltics are included, Italy absent, always on the moon. About 500 people were present and many others on line in all Europe and other continents. Impossible to follow all the meetings, in parallel inside twenty different rooms, I will try to give only a flavour of what i perceived inportant themes. By the way it was very clear the asiatic presence, I think about 15% of participants, all very active, more than the Europeans presentations. Particularly boring the on line ones from EU Commission, without any driving energy, totally bureaucratic attitude and language. Chinese experts were in the first line, with UN support and international connections in USA and China. Particularly relevant the presentations of Dr. Christina Yang Zhang, CEO of Metaverse Institute in London, which with enormous energy and charismatic enthusiasm talked about concrete experiences of Metaverse in education, health field, business areas.

But of course many other subjects are involved in the technology turbo-growth. From Smart Cities, to Autonomous train, from Automated ships to AI governed logistic operations, from Quantum Computing and communication to Human Resources education, the telecommunication advancement opens every day new possibilities to humankind. The Congress reminded me a similar one in the ’70 in Rome, about French Plan Calcul opening great perspectives to Public Administration applications of ICT, on which i was writing on “Mondo Economico” very serious review. But of course nothing happened in Italy….Today small States like Baltics are on the front of new technology and they run. With the European money of PNRR they didn’t try to build a new street to railway station, not realized, like in the Italian villages. They created Research Centers in various Universities: so in Latvia in one year a group of Quantum Computing has been created in University of Latvia, supplying quantum communication networks to the big multinational Accenture, or an old research center in electronics existing from 50 years in Academy of Science, has been developed to market and their ideas and products pushed to the market via Start Up.

In the Quantum Computing session all the Nordic countries presented the progress of the QCI network among Scandinavian countries and Baltic ones. Due to the security problems involved in this technology, the networks are for the moment mixed between QCI and classical copper cables, where criptography can be better improved, but already connect Banks, Hospitals for sanitary data and Universities, with enormous increase of speed and capacity. Also very present dramatic problems of connectivity in the war have been discussed with a large participation of people, in presence of Ukrainian and Moldova officers. In the last afternoon I had a real pleasure in a vibrant teamworking of three hours for the smart city strategy of Liepaia, the third largest city, Baltic harbour ex soviet military basis for submarines, of 80000 people, next European capital of culture in 2027. Mayor and administrators of the city were present giving informations and hearing our ideas for the future: no one city in Italy was asking my ideas for its development in my life.