This article analyses low growth troubles that Italian economy faced in the last decade. The hypothesis is that global downturn meets the liveliest part of Italian industrial system in a difficult and still unfinished stage of structural change. The first part of article suggests some reading keys to understand underperformed productivity dynamic in Italian economy. For instance, the article deepens on persistence of structural and regional dualism in national economy, influence of flexibility and migration flows on labour productivity, the specificity of low R&D expenditure in national innovation system. In the second part of this article we try to outline five evolutionary paths of industrial development that several firms have already get on to face change of global competitive scenario. They are the research of excellence on manufacturing and tourism, technology development and integration, global value chains, the growth of knowledge intensive business services and a new proximity economy on wealth, culture and environment.
Keywords: Productivity, innovation, entrepreneurship