Excerpt from “A conversation with HI HERE co-founders”, by Paola C. (24.02.2016)

Do you have any motto?

Pause...

Caterina: Research is not over until it drives action and change!

Martina (to Caterina): Oh dear! That's ambitious... trying to pursue this motto will be a very hard work, do you know?

Laughs...

Martina: In all seriousness, I feel that’s the right time to quote my grandma: “Volere è potere”!

Pause...

Martina: Can I add another one? “Felix est qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas”. That’s the motto of my University. It is an excerpt from Virgilio, the famous Latin poet. It means: “happy is the man who could understand the causes of things”. I believe this profoundly and in fact I think a job in research is a true privilege.

Caterina: I agree. But one has not necessarily to be a researcher for searching the causes of things.

Martina: Sure. Any life has a natural instinct to question and observe reality.

Caterina: ...it is up to any individual to decide whether to follow this inclination or not.

(...)

A final question, has your job more to do with ideals or reality?

Martina: With no doubts, it has to do with reality. There is nothing I want more than understanding places and the forces shaping reality, like economic, social and political forces, which are embedded here and now in space and time.

Caterina: Yes. I agree. However, we do believe. We do believe change is possible. That sounds naïve, but it is not. Many are resigned to reality and have accepted the idea that things are going to be like this forever. Many times during the fieldwork we met people who said to us: “What are you doing? You are wasting your time doing this research. You are just dreaming”. Our job gives another message: small changes are possible. We firmly believe this!

Martina: Understanding reality as a matter of fact is one thing, but understanding reality as a process or a movement... ah, that’s the true challenge! Once you accept this, if you are a bit brave- or a bit foolish- you probably end up with wanting to shape, or influence, this movement. That’s I think the primum movens of our job.