Evolutionary leaps: Europe and the new languages

Nowadays, Europe seems to be in the middle of a ford, among various strongly entrenched beliefs and a glaring difficulty in converting these beliefs into a system upgrade, into a new, more structured and coherent institutional function

According to the most recent report by the Eurobarometro, the EU image seems to be at a standstill. Indeed, for several years now public opinion perception has been deeply linked to pragmatic and functional aspects, such as the "freedom to travel and study everywhere" (44%) and the currency union (35%), while the identity aspect has a minor role (12%).

That is also how it becomes clear the mainly negative sentiment towards the Union, strongly influenced by the economic restrictions imposed over the last few years. However, as Michael Dobbs reminded us during the last ICS in his double role of politician and storyteller, the European question was meant as a matter of values by its founders.

It's not that nothing has been done at this level: we owe it especially to minor vehicles, such as the Erasmus programme or other transnational programmes working on very high and abstract values, therefore potentially shareable. This puts communication at the forefront: indeed, the problem is finding languages and systems of mutual translation among the different countries involved.

Europe knows what it should do – to aim at a different, more identity-oriented and cultural level of perception – but doesn't know how to do it, yet. I believe the answer is to be found in the new generations, not in a rhetorical sense meaning that everything that is new should necessarily be better, but for a functional reason.

We increasingly live in a world made of syncretic and multidimensional signs, able to cross not only languages – verbal, visual, musical, kinetic ones –  but also logics – informative, playful, value-related ones. I'm thinking about the success of infographics, a happily hybrid, therefore effective, format.

Young people have the right semiotic imprinting to survive in the new habitat, thanks to a completely new communicative DNA, consisting in the practice of synthesis, of spontaneous, immediate and exploratory communication, but also consisting in analysis and active orientation skills. A watershed in history, or better in evolution, that we all are called to if we don't want to be left behind.



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