Piazza Vittorio Cricket Club: when sport helps social inclusion

Piazza Vittorio Cricket Club: when sport helps social inclusion

skaWhat we are going to write about today is a bit out of our standards, but it is a news worth spreading.

We are going to talk about a crowdfunding campaign for a documentary, a very particular one which is based on a true story set in Rome.

I will start by saying that “IT’S NOT CRICKET!”, and you have to read this exclamation in the sense given by McGraw-Hill Dictionary, namely “it is not acceptable!”

What is it that is not acceptable, or better, that is no more acceptable?
A very thorny answer must be given to this question. It regards immigration and immigrants, racism and social inclusion, and consequently it is about militant and productive antifascism, and forms of protest
which are so unique as to bring a movie director to decide to film a documentary about this story.

Let’s try to explain all these issues form the beginning.

This is a real story about Piazza Vittorio Cricket Club, a glorious cricket team that no longer exists, and about the attempt of re-establish it.

Here in Italy we are getting to know cricket thanks to the immigration streams that permit us to understand that soccer, together with few other mainstream sports, is not the only activity practiced during the weekend!

Actually, cricket is the second most practiced sport in the world and it is the most important sport in very populated countries such as India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. Here we have the first precious gift given to us by the immigration flows, that is the mixture of customs and habits of different cultures, the realization of a Melting Pot (that became popular thanks to Israel Zangwill’s play, first staged in 1908!).

Edoardo Gallo was the coach of Piazza Vittorio Cricket Club and, during an interview released in 2011 for the newspaper La Repubblica, he explained how the team was born and what are the principles behind the project. He affirmed that “the team was founded in 2006 and, at the very beginning, we have worked on the territory, trying to involve all the citizens from Piazza Vittorio neighborhood. Then we extended the possibility of participation to every young folks beyond Piazza Vittorio and we started organizing cricket games.”

Then he fully explained why they chose cricket among dozens of possible sports: “cricket itself has distinguishing features which foster respect for the opponent and for those who are different from us and far away from our culture. Our aim was to bring together these guys of different nationalities, and to realize a racial and culture integration through the cricket”.

The other coach, Federico Mento, thanks the UISP of the city of Rome and his project “Lo sport per tutti – Sport for everybody”, through which it was possible to use sport as a tool for the social inclusion of foreign communities in the Italian social fabric.

How does this beautiful story go on? In 2013 the project has stopped because, as we can read on the crowdfunding platform webpage, “the young men have now turned eighteen. Some of them play on pick up teams or in the streets, while others have stopped playing. The experience of the Piazza Vittorio Cricket Club today is just a memory, but it has been an important cultural training. At the end of this cultural experiment, all the boys sadly refused to integrate with the Italian culture and society. Almost all of them went back to their original communities, Bengali with Bengali, Sri Lankan with Sri Lankan etc. I would like to investigate the experience of everyone involved and try to understand why this project failed”.

So, the admirable aim of Jacopo de Bertoldi is to raise 15,000$ in order to film a documentary about this great story, and to make the audience look between the lines and think about diversity, inclusion, and issues of latest political relevance, such as the growth of neo-racist political parties in the European Union (as Matteo Salvini’s italian Northern League proves). And to make everyone scream: “IT’S NOT CRICKET!”

For the ones who have read the 2008 novel “Netherlands” by Joseph O’Neill, a parallel could easily be made.

Actually the main character in the book can be compared to all the people who want to give voice to the Piazza Vittorio Cricket Club social experiment. At some point in the novel, Chuck says: “All people, Americans, whoever, are at their most civilized when they’re playing cricket, and what’s the first thing that happens when Pakistan and India make peace? They play a cricket match. Cricket is instructive, Hans. It has a moral angle…. I say, we want to have something in common with Hindus and Muslims? Chuck Ramkissoon is going to make it happen. With the New York Cricket Club, we could start a whole new chapter in U.S. history. Why not?”

We do want to stop political and social criticisms against such important and innovative experiments. Not with arrogance or violence, but by making people meditate on the issue of diversity.

In my opinion, touching the issue of diversity could only implement the awareness of being citizens of the world and, most of all, social relations can be tighten up thanks to initiatives like this.

This is a clear example of an intangible, cultural Commons, that must protected and enhanced.

These guys deserve more attention and full support; here you are the link to donate.

Please, share!

Pictures for this article have been taken here, and here. Please, follow the links for further infos.

Pubblichiamo l’articolo per supportare la lodevole iniziativa del regista Jacopo de Bertoldi, il quale sta raccogliendo fondi per realizzare un docu-film sulla storia del Piazza Vittorio Cricket Club, una squadra romana di cricket nata nel 2006 e le cui avventure sono sfortunatamente terminate nel 2013.
Lo scopo della creazione della squadra, supportata dalla sezione romana dello UISP, era quello di favorire la coesione e l’inclusione sociale, tenendo bene a mente alcuni temi fondamentali come l’antirazzismo e l’antifascismo come argine ai movimenti politico-sociali in espansione in tutta l’Unione Europea.

Food Sharing: changing old habits is possible

Food Sharing: changing old habits is possible


Expo2015 is closer than ever. As every Italian knows the issue at stake will be: “Feeding the Planet: Energy for Life”. We still do not know if it will be a success or not, but what we already know, as LabGov, is that there are few topics of such relevance.

In our society, according to one of the last report from FAO, we are told that each year 1.3 billion of tons of food are wasted (or trashed). Consequences are, as easily understood, not only from an economic perspective; but also in terms of the environment, of use of resources and so forth. Let alone the gigantic moral question…

Citizens, network of people, are trying to solve this issue which is more radicalized in our daily life than one would expect. Germany is certainly a pioneer in this field. In many urban centers (Berlin, Colonia, Munich and other) familes decided to join their effort to tackle this issue. They decided to create an online platform (foodsharing.de) where people can simply signal their food excess. Food exchanges are also possible. What is the rationale behind food-sharing? Encourage people not to trash the food they are not going to use. Simple as that.

The platform in Germany evolved faster than expected. Right now it involves also firms, restaurants and supermarkets which are usually the places where the majority of food transits, get processed and eventually wasted.

What about Italy? In our country every household, single included, trashes on average 35 kilos of food every year (Rapporto 2014 Waste watcher – Knowledge for Expo). The economic value is impressive: some 8 billions euro. According to Coldiretti, this mountain of food would be enough to feed 44 millions people. Each year.

This is the reason why also here, food-sharing needs to gain momentum. This phenomenon is one of the many case in which collaborative economics, with eco-friendly spillover, can promote the change in the whole production and supply chain of an entire sector.

To date there are at least two important platforms where you can start to share your food:

ifoodshare.org and scambiacibo.it.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Il food-sharing per sconfiggere vecchie abitudini


Con l’avvicinarsi di Expo2015, che avrà come tema “Nutrire il pianeta: energia per la vita”, LabGov vuole introdurre un tema che all’estero sta prendendo molto piede, nella speranza che sia replicabile anche qui da noi: il food-sharing.

Ogni anno sprechiamo oltre 1 miliardo di tonnellate di cibo; le conseguenze sono enormi sia in termini economici, che ambientali; per non parlare di quelle morali.

Le buone pratiche dell’economica collaborativa però ci stanno offrendo una soluzione al problema: la condivisione del cibo. Nata in Germania, dove ha preso piede in alcune grandi città, così come in piccoli centri; anche in Italia è oggi possibile fare riferimento a diverse piattaforme online per la condivisione delle eccedenze alimentari.

L’obiettivo, come da tradizione di LabGov, è quello di mettere in luce ogni tipo di fenomeno collaborativo che possa determinare un cambiamento di approccio e soprattutto una correzione alle distorsioni dell’economia che le istituzioni non sono in grado di affrontare da sole.


Co-designing #OrtoLUISS!

Co-designing #OrtoLUISS!

27- 28 marzo 4


Today at LabGov we’ll co-design the #OrtoLuiss. After the co-design session with Daniela Selloni last week, we will implement the knowledge acquired in term of co-designed services. We will try to draw and translate in practice the idea we have about the #OrtoLuiss as a place of collaboration, an educational space and a stage where many kind of events could take place. This time our challenge will be also to make the co-design process as spread as possible among the LUISS community. In the second part of the workshop, we’ll have another co-design session for the AMUSE project, which consists in a collaboration between LabGov, AMUSE and neighborhood for the requalification of the Piazza Ungheria’s flowerbed.

On Saturday, Labgov students together with LUISS professors and staff, will continue the experiment of the cooking course, with the help of LUISS canteen chefs. In the afternoon, all all those who have a passion for gardening, are invited to participate to the gardening course at #OrtoLuiss from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., in Viale Romania 32.

The FabLab innovation: where do we stand?

The FabLab innovation: where do we stand?

The stagnation of the economic growth and industrial development could induce us to believe that the time of fabrics has come to an end. Conversely, the emergence of the mounting trend of the so-called “start-up” phenomenon is modernizing the way of doing business. Moreover, the scenario comprehends a different category, namely the one of the FAbLabs.

Although it is difficult to classify strictu sensu the different typologies of Labs, there are common qualities that can be traced for all. Indeed, it is not difficult to accept as a common denominator that those LABs represent a melting pot for the fabrication of social energy. To put it alternatively, citizens, machines, methods and ideas altogether create a tangible output for the surrounding community within this co-working spaces.

In this sense, the added value is represented by the contribution of multiple stakeholders, especially citizens, which eventually inject novel inputs in the mechanisms.

So for example, the idea of the FAbLabs entails the possibility to create a physical and digital hub whereas people can work together exchanging ideas, projects, competencies and experimenting innovation as consequence of autonomous initiatives.

In a sense, the path opened by the culture of co-working LABs is a good premise for designing and developing new practices for social inclusion and community growth.

Nonetheless, bringing the concept of social innovation to the market has also the effect of redefining the roles and the objectives of enterprises, municipalities and even universities. In fact, it is not uncommon that even universities try to install ideas and incubate projects in order to produce high quality series of tangible and intangible products.

This is for instance the case of affiliation with European Universities, as in the case of VUB in Bruxelles (see more here).

FabLabs are indeed a sort of Fabric of Labour, as well as a space for cultural innovation, knowledge production and eventually a place for nurturing social cohesiveness.

But more surprisingly these spaces, even if limited in number, are slowing popping-out as a good alternative to fit the needs of a socio-economic renovation.

In Italy for example, there are at least 43 relevant spaces for running this kind of social innovation, as showed in the map here.

Besides, supporting institutions and policies can set a milestone in terms of social innovation, for example through the recognition of the co-working method as a referential practice of governance.

However, in relation to FabLabs, there are still lot of dynamics and themes that have to be further investigated and those are briefly the following:


1) Fundraising and accession criteria

2) Added value of the social enterprise

3) Governance method and redefinition of public spaces

4) Pact of collaboration with the public administration

5) Census of actors and activities

6) Real estate speculation

7) Political project – civic targeting- social dialogue


That said, there are also good instances of social planning, as the one envisioned in 2014 by the Lazio Region within the “Lazio Creativo Planning”.

But other examples can be easily found, for instance in our previous article here.

_ _ _ _  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


La recente evoluzione del fenomeno dei FabLab, si ricollega alla necessità di rilanciare le economie di produzione , tenendo in considerazione allo stesso tempo il valore delle dinamiche socio-culturali.

Laddove le fabbriche non sono più in grado di sostenere la crescita economica e le start-up non sono ancora sufficientemente radicate sul territorio, la categoria del FabLab si inserisce allo stesso tempo come strumento di innovazione sociale e di sviluppo industriale.

Il concetto di base è quello di creare spazi di collaborazione, ove il comune cittadino – e non solo – possano sperimentare tecniche, metodi, idee e pratiche di produzione di qualità.

L’idea principale del FAbLab, cosi come delle sue varianti, è quella di creare un hub fisico e digitale che possa produrre output tangibili per la comunità circostante.

In Italia per esempio esiste già un rigoglioso ambiente per sperimentare l’ innovazione sociale, supportato spesso da politiche di pianificazione ed inclusione sociale, tra cui il piano Lazio Creativo.

Smart City Expo World Congress: Multinational companies lit the fire of hope

Smart City Expo World Congress: Multinational companies lit the fire of hope

Articolo LabGov SmartCities

On November 18-20 2014 there was the 4th edition of theSmart City Expo World Congress” (SCEWC), and it took place in Barcelona.
The topics covered during this event were: Smart Society, Technology, Governance, Energy, Mobility and Sustainable City.
It was an event full of discussions, projects  and a lot of great ideas were discussed around such topics; the “Smart Society” theme was focused on the fostering of creativity, innovation, economic development and collaboration inside the boundaries of the cities, bringing the population to the center of decision-making in order to make urban and social development more democratic. Cities must be reinvented and transformed so that they become more sustainable, and improve quality of life and economic performance. This should be a shared vision and the way forward for citizens, public and private organizations and multi-stakeholders.
This topic is growing in importance in modern society, and recently there was also an European call, “Horizon 2020”, that was focused on the attempt to bring the population closer to the European mechanisms, in order to foster the collaboration between citizens and governments, and create a network of Smart Cities all around Europe.
All the topics that formed the “core” of this were deeply covered, and all seemed to express a common will to shift the modern view and use of energy, technologies and governance towards a collaborative approach, were the citizens cooperate with the governments in order to produce and support a lifestyle focused on the sustainability of energy, lifestyle, governance and technologies.
As a matter of fact, consumers are in a demanding shift, asking for a new energy model, environmentally and economically sustainable, making better use of local scale and renewable resources, while having a global focus and a strong partnership between governments and companies. The marketplace for wind or solar energy is shifting and reaching the mainstream. Every industry is regulatory and subsidy dependent. Clean energy in short will be able to deliver to local stable energy and subsidies will decline over time, as many of the renewables are able to be paid by themselves. This technological revolution is an opportunity of real change in how cities are operated and therefore a possible way forward for economic and social development.
This congress was a great example of how the modern societies’ demands managed to influence the economic and political spheres, and the fact that more and more multinational companies like IBM, Philips, Nissan, BNP Paribas, Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco became more concerned about such topics and aware of the possible available solutions is indeed a beacon of light into the grim darkness of the “non-collaborative future”.
The 5th edition of the SCEWC will take place on the 17-19 of November 2015, and given the growing success and importance of such event, it is possible to hope for some real projects to be proposed regarding the topics of sustainability.


Smart City Expo World Congress: Le Multinazionali accendono il faro della speranza.

Nella quarta edizione della SCEWC si sono discusse tematiche fondamentali quali energia, tecnologie, Smart Cities, governance e sostenibilità.
Dalle conferenze e dai workshop è emerso che la società sta cambiando e che desidera sempre più spostarsi verso una società più attenta e proiettata alla sostenibilità e alla governance comune.
Il ciclo di conferenze ha dimostrato come la società moderna riesce ad influenzare la sfera politica ed economica; il fatto che numerose multinazionali del calibro di IBM, Philips, Nissan, BNP Paribas, Microsoft, Oracle e Cisco abbiano preso parte a questo evento dimostrandosi sensibili alle tematiche sopracitate ci rende più fiduciosi riguardo al futuro.
La prossima edizione del SCEWC si terrà dal 17 al 19 Novembre del 2015 e si potrebbe azzardare la speranza di vedere una serie di progetti concreti prendere forma.