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What should mobility look like in the 21st century and beyond?



We recently launched our very own podcast dedicated to exploring the present and future of human mobility. Hosted by Piaggio Fast Forward’s Chief Visionary Officer and Co-founder Jeffrey Schnapp, it covers a wide range of topics from robotics and tech to the design of walkable towns and cities, always with an emphasis on the human factor: how can we move about the world more enjoyably, efficiently, and sustainably? And how, in turn, can we reshape the built environment to foster a sense of community, freedom of movement, and the quality of life?

We wanted to find a way to bring you conversations with leading experts on the topics of mobility, autonomy, robotics and their impacts on society. Right now, we can’t think of a better way to bring you unique points of view from people who sit in a variety of spaces that all point back to mobility in some way. 

To get started, you can download and listen to a range of conversations up now at or anywhere you stream your podcasts. 

Our first guest was noted neuroscientist and author, Shane O’Mara. Shane explores brain systems supporting learning, memory and cognition, and brain systems affected by stress and depression.  Shane and Jeffrey delve into the cognitive, social, and cultural benefits of walking.  Additionally, Jeffrey and legendary long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad talk about the movement she most recently co-founded called The EverWalk, the biggest walking initiative in America.  She shares her perspective on the value of walking on this earth and igniting a “walking revolution” in the United States in the name of health, a renewed sense of community, and self-empowerment. 

Designers Sara Hendren and PFF's own Mitchell Weiss join Jeffrey to talk about what they have learned and about their creative process when designing things that move for and with people. Sara teaches design for disability at Olin College of Engineering and discusses some of the key arguments of her forthcoming book, What Can a Body Do? How We Meet the Built World, from the affordances of ordinary objects such as ramps to how disability opens up new perspectives on the design of cities and the built environment. Mitchell Weiss provides listeners with an overview of the challenges presented by the development of robots, like PFF's own gita robot, that operate in unstructured environments like towns and cities.

We speak of urbanists shaping our cities with policies and processes including conversations with authors Kristian Kloeckl and Ben Green. Kristian and Jeffrey discuss the implications of a shift from traditional planning-centered approaches to the design of cities to ones that embrace unplanned, dynamic, and emergent phenomena. While Ben studies the social and policy impacts of data science with a focus on algorithmic fairness, municipal governments, and the criminal justice system. Ben talks about the powers and limitations of the "smart city" approach to urban design, emphasizing what he calls "smart enough" alternatives that leverage the power of technologies in the service of a holistic vision of social justice and inclusion.

If you have an idea for a podcast guest or would like to join the conversation, please send us an inquiry to

Tune in to the Mobility+ Podcast.