Silvio Sangineto, 35 years old, from Paola (Cosenza), is a real talent. Of those who honor Calabria, a land as beautiful as stingy for many of its children, often forced to leave it to lay the foundations of their professional future elsewhere. He is, without a doubt, one of these. With courage, sacrifice and great determination he managed to realize his dreams far from the village of origin, a beautiful location overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, famous for being the birthplace of San Francesco di Paola.
Silvio Sangineto, from Paola to Silicon Valley
Silvio Sangineto, a graduate in Computer Engineering from the University of Calabria, left his country to travel the world, until he arrived in Palo Alto, in Silicon Valley (California), where he chose to live and work. Here he has enriched his professional experiences managing to become Principal User Experience Designer in Microsoft, the well-known US leader in the IT sector, founded by Bill Gates. A milestone achieved after accumulating years of international experience in User Experience Design for various companies (Macy, Bloomingdale, Lexus, Toyota, Bnp Paribas, Alabama Power). Not only. Silvio has been involved in over 60 projects on products, services and ecosystems used by over 150 million people worldwide. As if that were not enough, he boasts more than 150 positions as a speaker, mentor and judge in international contexts.
Silvio Sangineto, ambassador of Italian excellence in the world
Since January 2020 he has been an ambassador of Italian excellence in the world. He, who has always loved to travel and make new experiences, remembers with tenderness when, as a child, he went to the wardrobe, and opening it he pulled out a large suitcase, which he dragged with difficulty towards the front door, arousing the hilarity of the his parents. Silvio has always wanted to explore the world and conquer new horizons, aware that “nothing is impossible, you just need to believe it”. Today his personal mission is to allow individuals and companies from all over the world to realize their potential through design methodologies. He talks about this and his life in the interview that follows.
How these years away from home have been and what does it feel like to be at the top of a company known worldwide?
«It has been a busy year, I have built a lot and this is just another important part of my path. I am obviously happy, but I know very well that my particular mission is not complete. I still have many other dreams to fulfill, including my particular mission of giving tools to humanity so that it can reach its potential. There are still too many people living below their potential, not only in Calabria and Italy. This will be the next chapter in my life. “
Silvio Sangineto and his fascinating work
Can you explain to us, in simple words, what your job consists of?
«User Experience Design is truly fascinating. It combines the study of human behavior, technology and the business world. I am at the center of it. My role is to make sure that these hemispheres align, to design products or services that people can love, and make them easy to use. Beyond this, I deal – in various international contexts – with mentorship for startup, companies and people who want to build a different future or embark on a career in design ».
You have traveled a lot and known many cities, but what is the place where you feel at home?
«Definitely here in Silicon Valley so far. It is somewhat similar to Calabria, but I appreciate its mentality: reinventing itself, accepting ever greater challenges, the desire to dream and make one’s dreams come true. Just think that, lately, we have done a design workshop to “draw” the city as it should be in 2040, because here people are transformed back to all ages. In addition, the climate is wonderful, there are all possible types of cuisine (the Japanese one is my favorite). Nature is also fantastic».
«I miss affections from Calabria»
What do you miss from your homeland?
«I miss the people I met on my journey, the stupid conversations with my friends from high school and those with my university colleagues. I miss being able to go for a ride at Unical and see my professors, to whom I am still attached. By the way, one of them has become one of my best friends and works right in Silicon Valley. I miss being able to go to eat a pizza with my closest friends and chat until late at night even about nothing. I miss all the loved ones. “
In addition to computer engineering, what other passions do you cultivate?
«I love reading books, an indispensable source of energy. I love going to the mountains or walking around California, taking pictures. Traveling is another passion of mine, but I think I will have to limit it for a while. “
What is your typical day?
«Usually my day starts at 6 in the morning. As I prepare breakfast I read some articles on leadership, management or anything that catches my attention (Harvard Business Review is one of my favorite magazines), then I reply to the messages on Linkedin. My working day begins with checking emails, after which I draw up my daily agenda which includes an infinite number of meetings (at least 5 or 6 hours), followed by the rest of the work. Usually, I prepare lunch the night before (if I’m lucky). I try to eat healthily because of some regimes that I have to follow. In the evening, I usually try to carve out a few minutes to meditate and relax reading. It is the best time to exchange a few messages with my family, taking into account the time zone. It is crucial for me to start the day well. I spend time making long-term plans to understand if I am in the right path or I am deviating too much from what is my personal vision ».
Can you tell us about your family?
«My mother Katya is a model teacher in a Paola primary school. He loves his job and children. I think I inherited my resolve from her. My father was fundamental in my life: he taught me not to be materialistic, but honest, and to do what I like most. My paternal uncles live in Paola together with most of my cousins, with whom I try to always stay in touch. And my maternal relatives are scattered between Montalto, Rende, Cosenza and Milan. We managed to bring my grandfather Luigi here to California, at Christmas 2018. It was fantastic, he had a lot of fun. I think it has not been easy, over the years, for my family to see me go away, but I am happy to be able to offer today a window on the world to all the people who know me ».
Images from Silvio Sangineto Official Page