Wars, economic crises, mass migration, extreme weather events, social problems left ungoverned… Real tragedies, on a much different scale than the usual “difficulties that make you grow” that can set energies in motion that would otherwise be channeled into an unfruitful routine.

And yet…

And yet that is precisely the first thought that comes to mind when reading the summary of this issue of Converting. Despite adversities and tragedies that hit hard, the packaging printing &converting industry seems to be gearing up, not only in managing the present moment, but also looking ahead to new horizons and tools.

The main directions of development that are opening up in the Future are today clearly outlined. We’re talking about sustainability, digitalization, corporate social responsibility and convergence, and these new paths manifest themselves as difficulties to be faced, or rather challenges that require the implementation of new visions and tools.

Companies are working on it, even though this is no big news, because they always have, and the stories you will read in this dossier testify to it once again. Business associations are also working on it – and this really makes headlines- precisely by their nature and mission to design change, collaborating with Governments on industrial policy making. These institutions have not always been keen for dynamism and vision, it’s a well known fact, and it is therefore with great enthusiasm that we look to the “awakening” of these intermediary organizations. Following recent activities of the Federazione Carta e Grafica (Federation of Paper and Graphics) and the associations that constitute it – documented in the following articles – we see how the difficulties posed by “unfriendly” politics and by a market that puts pressure on the industry to assume a clear and responsible role in leading a change, have revitalized the business and triggered ideas, initiatives and collaborations until recently unimaginable.

In the middle of all this, alongside companies and trade associations, we find organizers of fairs and events. The reference is Print4All, the innovative Italian Printing &Converting fair, the sector’s new bet to hold its own international showcase event. To create and design the event, organizers from Acimga, Argi and Fiera Milano are working on creating a growing network of representative forces from this dynamic industry, in the spirit of Convergence.

The key word to open up to the future, on everybody’s mouth for a long time to come.