Torino 2025 doubles up and presents a new University challenge with the 9 “mind disciplines” of BRAINstorm

The first worldwide challenge for “athletes of the mind” officially starts at the Salone Internazionale del Libro. In 1959, the then president of the CUS Torino Primo Nebiolo invented the Universiade and from that moment on, they were inextricably linked to Torino, the city that guards the Flame of Knowledge (like Olympia with Olympic fire) and will return to host them in its winter version in 602 days’ time: from 13 to 23 January 2025.

On those days, in addition to the sporting competitions that will take place in the arenas of Torino, Pinerolo and Torre Pellice and on the slopes of Bardonecchia and Pragelato, the first world edition of BRAINstorm will be held. A challenge for University students developed in collaboration with the four Universities in Piemonte and included in the special projects of the World University Winter Games, assigned by FISU to FederCUSI.

During the intense days of the Book Fair, many curious people were able to get to know BRAINstorm by visiting the Torino 2025 stand, with the closing conference this afternoon in the Sala Bronzo detailing all the stages of the challenge, which will consist of 9 sports (just like the 9 sports that will be played on the snow and ice), which have been selected by the Università di Torino, Politecnico di Torino, the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo and the Università del Piemonte Orientale. Approximately 1,000 students from all over the world will compete with medals up for grabs, like any self-respecting sports competition.


The meeting was addressed by Alessandro Ciro Sciretti (president of the Torino 2025 Games and Edisu Piemonte), Riccardo D’Elicio (deputy vice-president of the Torino 2025 Games and president of CUS Torino), Alberto Rainoldi (vice-rector of the Università di Torino), Donatella D’Amico (General Manager Edisu Piemonte), Enrico Macii (lecturer at the Politecnico di Torino), Paolo Pomati (Head of the Rector’s Staff and Communication at the Università del Piemonte Orientale), Lorenzo Bairati (lecturer at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo). Special guests were the two student-athletes both career winners at the Universiade: the skier Giulio Bosca (gold medalist in giant slalom in Almaty 2017, silver in super combined in Granada 2015 and silver in giant slalom in Trentino 2013) and the snowboarder Elisa Fava (gold medalist in parallel giant slalom in Lake Placid 2023). The meeting was moderated by Paolo Verri (Head of Special Projects of the Torino 2025 Games).

On the official website www.wugtorino2025.com you can find all the information you need to become a knowledge athlete: challenge, announcement and regulations. In this first phase, the selection of students enrolled at Italian Universities who will participate in the selection to make up the Italian National Team of Knowledge has begun.

The Università di Torino, under the guidance of Professor Cristopher Cepernich, has proposed three themes relating to society:
Sustainable Society
Retooling Democracy
Public health and quality of life


The Politecnico di Torino, under the leadership of Professor Laura Montanaro, proposed three topics concerning the future and space:
Space: the final frontier
City of the Future: to move, to live, to grow
Green energy for a new Eden

The Università del Piemonte Orientale, under the leadership of Professor Davide Porporato, proposed 2 topics concerning society and inequalities:
Inequalities
– Aging


The Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo, under the guidance of Michele Antonio Fino, proposed one topic on food:

From “food of the future” to “food for the future”

The speakers’ speeches follow:

Alessandro Ciro Sciretti (president of the Torino 2025 Games and Edisu Piemonte): “Our University system in Piemonte has networked and I am proud that in such a prestigious context as the Salone del Libro, the pride of our city, we are presenting the new BRAINstorm challenge and its nine sports. We will spread this challenge throughout Italy thanks to CRUI and throughout Europe thanks to EUCA, with which we signed a memorandum of understanding a few days ago. It will be a great competition, which will exalt sporting and University excellence from all over the world”.

Riccardo D’Elicio (deputy vice-president of the Torino 2025 Games and president of CUS Torino): “The mission of the Torino 2025 Fisu Games is to diminish and if possible erase the gap between culture and sport. Thanks to virtuous realities such as the Healthy Campus, the modern University student can and wants to reconcile a University career with a sporting one. It is great that Torino, cradle of the Universiade thanks to Primo Nebiolo, is inventing something new that involves more and more students like the BRAINstorm project, which has already been enthusiastically welcomed by FISU and FederCUSI”.

Alberto Rainoldi (vice-rector of the Università di Torino): “BRAINstorm is an opportunity to make an extraordinary event like the Universiade even more innovative, with the desire to highlight champions of knowledge, as well as of sport. We thus have the opportunity to make ideas compete, before people, in order to contaminate them and make them mature; to connect talents, therefore, to increase the potential for creativity and innovativeness developed through the acquisition of scientific knowledge. In the same way, we also have the opportunity to give substance to a large international network of students with the desire to get involved to design the future, to give new horizons to the development of tomorrow’s society’.

Donatella D’Amico: “For Edisu, it is a pleasant novelty and an innovation compared to the past to take part in the Universiade also under the cultural aspect through the BRAINstorm challenge. It will certainly be engaging for the students hosted in our residences and I hope for rewarding results for everyone’.

Enrico Macii (lecturer at the Politecnico di Torino): “For some years now, the Politecnico has been successfully involving its students, aggregated in multidisciplinary groups, in challenges, real technological challenges on topics proposed by companies or by the students themselves. It is therefore with great enthusiasm and conviction that it has joined and is contributing to the BRAINstorm project, proposing to all students from universities in Italy and around the world compelling topics on which to debate with the same spirit and fairplay that is typical of sports competitions. Furthermore,  BRAINstorm will help strengthen the link between sports, technology and University study in which the Politecnico has believed and invested for years”.

Paolo Pomati (lecturer at the Università del Piemonte Orientale): “The two challenges we are proposing reflect two major themes that our University is dealing with. Aging, i.e. the scientific and social challenge of ageing, is the Department of Translational Medicine’s project of excellence and, under the name ‘Age-IT’, one of the fourteen extended partnerships funded at national level under the PNRR. The issue of inequalities is an equally excellent subject studied by the Department of Humanities. We look forward to reading the projects that will come directly from the students in order to involve them in our debate”.

Lorenzo Bairati (lecturer at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo): “I think food is at the center of a series of dynamics and relationships, which involve many areas. It’s not just the concept of food in the strict sense, but we also talk about sustainability, rural development, tourism, the theme of consumers. Even with sport there are many points in common and, from the study of gastronomic sciences, potential for reflection and use can be developed. We are ready for the BRAINstorm challenge”.

Giulio Bosca (gold medalist in giant slalom in Almaty 2017, silver in super combined in Granada 2015 and silver in giant slalom in Trentino 2013): “I took part in four Universiade editions and all of them, for different reasons, represented a turning point in my life, not only in the snow, but also in my everyday life”.

Elisa Fava (gold medalist in parallel giant slalom in Lake Placid 2023): “For me, the Universiade was a challenge, a way to get out of my comfort zone, to put myself on the line and overcome my limits. Going thousands of kilometres away from home, alone, in a place I did not know was a sporting and existential growth that forced me to measure myself against myself, to live with my doubts and fears that I had always shared with coaches, teammates and parents, and made me realise the potential I have. Sometimes you just need to ‘pick up and go’, to throw yourself into the unknown, because you cannot know what you are capable of until you cross that imaginary line you have set for yourself. Can you fail? Of course, but if you try and succeed, even if you don’t become number one, you have achieved your goal”.

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