Since 2001 the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa has organized the 'Colloquio De Giorgi', a series of colloquium talks named after Ennio De Giorgi. The Colloquio is addressed to a general mathematical audience, and especially meant to attract graduate students and advanced undergraduate students. The lectures are intended to be not too technical, in fields of wide interest. They must provide an overview of the general topic, possibly in a historical perspective, together with a description of more recent progress. The idea of collecting the materials from these lectures and publishing them in annual volumes came out recently, as a recognition of their intrinsic mathematical interest, and also with the aim of preserving memory of these events. ?