Back to press releases
  • Group
  • Press release


After Paris, Marseille and Lille, the WAVE exhibition was inaugurated in Milan today by Giuliano Pisapia, Mayor of Milan, and Fabio Gallia, CEO of BNL and Head of the BNP Paribas Group in Italy. For one month as part of ExpoinCittà, WAVE will host 23 events showcasing collective ingenuity from people who "Do more with less"

WAVE is a global initiative set up by BNP Paribas Group to explore and share the collective ingenuity that is sweeping across the planet like a wave.

Twenty innovative and original projects from around the world have been selected. They share the common denominator of contributing to the collective good, for a better world, and were devised by associations, NGOs, local authorities and small or large businesses.

Determined to give prominent place to the inventive, creative dimension, WAVE has called on young artists, film-makers at the Paris-based Gobelins School of the Image, plus photographers and video-makers taking part in the ‘Circulation(s)’ (young European photographers’) Festival to illustrate the trends and the twenty selected examples.

The exhibition is free to visit and is open from today until 3rd July at Piazza San Fedele from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

WAVE is being held in Milan thanks to the patronage of the City authorities, and is part of the cultural activities being promoted by ExpoinCittà.

"A company that does business at an international level and that is focused on society and individuals must understand the changes going on in the world and be able to make its own contribution to promote a social and economic culture that is making sustainability the basis of new ways of thinking, acting and living," said Fabio Gallia. "This is the spirit of WAVE, an initiative through which BNP Paribas Group wants to promote – via the universal language of images, and by encouraging reflection and thought – various projects developed out of the collective ingenuity that produces innovation and can offer people around the world new products and original solutions to improve their lives".

The WAVE exhibition is hosting 23 events, including workshops and debates, involving over 80 speakers, opinion leaders and experts in sustainable innovation. These events will be held at 10 sites across the city that nurture collective ingenuity and innovation: start-up incubators, laboratories, regenerated sites, unusual locations. They will address topics including the scarcity of resources, reusing and recycling, resilience, health, creativity for adults and children, skills and incompetence, art and science.

Milan has been chosen to host WAVE in Italy not only because of the city's international profile – which is even greater this year with Expo 2015 – but also because it is one of Europe's most dynamic cities in terms of culture, innovation and creativity and one of the most focused on sustainability and economic and social relations. The bank and the Group also have a strong presence in Milan, where over 3,500 BNL and BNP Paribas employees live and work.

Collective ingenuity - the theme underlying WAVE - is intended to be a creative ferment: at a time when the entire planet is facing continuous economic, social and environmental challenges, many people are showing that it is possible to "do more with less" by creating simple, flexible solutions that encourage "thinking differently", with a new approach that transforms obstacles and difficulties into opportunities.

In WAVE, collective ingenuity is expressed via "co-creation", or cooperation to co-develop solutions to problems that cannot be resolved alone;  the maker movement, or finding solutions via material creativity; the sharing economy among individuals or businesses, with the idea of sharing based on access rather than ownership; the inclusive economy, which favours extensive participation and satisfying the needs of the greatest number of people, including those who are potentially excluded (the poor, the elderly, the disabled, etc.); and the circular economy, based on producing and consuming in a sustainable way, avoiding waste and reusing resources.

The exhibition's curator in Italy is professor Leonardo Previ, chairman of Trivioquadrivio, a company specialised in promoting innovation through cultural and artistic events. The Fondazione Giannino, which promotes "responsibility in innovation", has also provided considerable support as a partner of WAVE in Italy.

WAVE has been organised in partnership with L’Atelier BNP Paribas Group's technology and innovation tracking unit, which has offices in Paris, San Francisco and Shanghai.

The WAVE tour began in Paris in September 2014 and after Milan, it will take in Senegal (Dakar), India (Mumbai) and China (Hong Kong).

Alongside the exhibition, WAVE is presenting an interactive game developed for the exhibition by the MIT SENSEable City Lab, and a free mobile app “WAVE by BNP Paribas” which allows an interactive visit of the exhibition.

The 23 events in the WAVE programme are being organised with the support of many partners, including De Lab, CFMT (Centro Formazione Management del Terziario), con-essere, Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, MUBA (Museo dei Bambini Milano), Polifactory del Politecnico di Milano, Università Cattolica di Milano, Avanzi, InnovAction Lab, Il Saggiatore, lʼHUB, MWH Global, Edra, Haltadefinizione, Confartigianato Imprese and NCTM Stiudio Legale.

About BNL

BNL was founded over 100 years ago, and is one of Italy's biggest banking groups and one of the best known brands in Italy. With around 1,000 points of sale across the country, including branches, private banking centres, "Creo per l’Imprenditore" business centres, and centres for corporates and public sector clients, BNL offers a wide range of products and services, from traditional banking products to innovative solutions, to meet the many requirements of its clients (individuals and families, businesses and government agencies). Since 2006, BNP has been part of BNP Paribas Group, which is present in 75 countries and has 185,000 employees, including 145,000 in Europe, where it has retail banking activities in four domestic markets: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. BNP Paribas has leading positions in two main sectors of activity: Retail Banking & Services and Corporate & Institutional Banking.

About BNP Paribas

BNP Paribas has a presence in 75 countries with more than 185,000 employees, including 145,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its two core activities: Retail Banking & Services (comprised of Domestic Markets and International Financial Services) and Corporate & Institutional Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Institutional Banking and International Financial Services activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia-Pacific.