In Italy culture is worth, and creativity even more

In Italy culture is worth, and creativity even more

16841-il-potere-della-meditazione-sulla-creativitàOn 25 June 2015 has been presented in Macerata, Italy the 2015 Report “Io sono cultura – l’Italia della qualità e della bellezza sfida la crisi” [I am culture – Italy of quality and beuty defies the economic crisis] drafted by the Fondazione Symbola. According to the Report the creative and cultural industries (CCI) in Italy in 2014 produced 78,6 billion euros and they have a multiplier effect in other economic sectors, such as tourism, of 1,7. This means that every euro spent in culture produce 1,7 euros in the market. This implies that the CCI contribute to the 15.6% of Italian GDP corresponding to 227 billion euros.

The Report analyzes the situation of the Italian CCI annually and it confirms also for this year that they are a pillar of the Italian production and Made in Italy. In order to understand what is considered CCI, due to the often really different classifications towards Europe, it is useful a brief explanation. The CCI are composed by four macro categories:

  • Cultural industries: film, video, mass-media, videogames and software, music, books and the press;
  • Creative industries: architecture, communication and branding, handicraft, design, fashion;
  • Cultural heritage: museums, libraries, archives, archeological sites and historical monuments;
  • Performing art and visual art: artistic performances, theater, entertainment, faire, conferences.

Creativity seems to be the key of success. The presence in the Italian territory of an emerging creative class represents a strong element related to economic growth, as affirmed also by Richard Florida in its book “The Rise of the Creative Class”. Indeed, in the period 2012-2014, on the one hand businesses that invested in creativity had an increase of 3.2% in productivity, on the other hand those that did not invest had a decrease of 0.9%. Moreover, businesses that invested in creativity improved their share of export of 4.3% compared to 0.6% for those that did not invested.

CCI impact also on employment with 1,4 million people involved, representing 5.9% of the employed people in Italy. Taking into consideration also the public sector and the non profit organizations, the share arrives to 6.3% of total employment in Italy. For 2015 it will be recruited more than 23.000 people, 7% more than 2014. The sector requires high professional skills and young and talented people. For this reason it is important that the Universities take into consideration this increase in demand of specific competences and skills that have to be developed during the academic years. Another opportunity for the development of these new competences could be the Youth Guarantees and the initiatives for the empowerment of the NEETS.

LabGov itself contributed to the development of a creative class that can improve the management of the cultural commons in Italy, as the experiments of collaborative placemaking of ReiventAda and collaborative cultural regeneration of ReiventAda+ in Rome demonstrate. Even more, the project developed in Mantova in 2014, started with the Call for solutions “Culture as a Commons“, conducted to the realization of CO-Mantova and its Collaborative governance pact for the commons.

From a geographical point of view, the CCI are located mainly in the Center and North of Italy, with Arezzo (Tuscany) in leading position. In the South the share of CCI is only the 4%, with some improvements for the Basilicata Region, also due to the forthcoming European Capital in Matera in 2019. Even if, interesting cultural phenomena are emerging mixing the traditional CCI with social innovation aspects and regeneration of urban spaces, the have been defined as “Sud Innovation” by Agostino Riitano and Stefano Consiglio. Some examples are the Farm Cultural Park in Sicily or the Catacombs of San Gennaro in Naples.

 

1700 opportunities

1700 opportunities

How many times did happen to you to be in a little station of a little town, with almost nobody around, in the Italian countryside in the middle of nowhere? It seems quite an unlikely scenario, in some fancy movie where the protagonists have just five euros, a backpack and one cigarette left, trying to get home. Unfortunately, this could potentially be the destiny reserved to everyone, who finds him/herself in one of the 1700 abandoned little stations in Italy.

The country of the small towns, always hold up as far away from technological advances, seems now to have too many technological tools within medium and little train stations. Just for briefly recap what happened: the automation of the controls and their “out station” activation in a single center has imposed a different allocation of human resources. This is a typical case of how the development and upgrading of technology can undermine and revolutionize the organization of pre-existing work. The main output of the so-called C.T.C. (Centralized Traffic Control system) on the management of human resources, was precisely to replace personnel who served in circulation stations.

Thanks to the technological innovation, medium and little stations are free from duties purely related to the railway, which became obsolete. They are now concentrated in few locations and carried out by a few men, with the help of computers. However, the new management carried out by more technological assets, indeed, does not mean that the stations have to remain without rail services, or that the lines have to be deleted, or that the railway stations have to be closed. These stations have still their traditional value of usage for the community: daily trains continue to arrive and departure again, the passengers continue to get on and off the trains, and to attend in the waiting halls, or to use the shelters.

This poses new management problems of the vast real estate assets that the Ferrovie dello Stato (the Italian State Railway Agency) have to deal with. As already said the unstaffed stations are 1700 considering all the national territory.

On the one hand, the giant costs of maintaining small stations all around Italy emerges, with all that this implies for the State. One the other hand, the traditional value of each station has to be considered with its functions for the community that everyday lives the station.

When the resources are lacking but at list, some assets are available, there come in place energies and ideas. More than ever, the Kennedy’s way to say: “don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”, seems to be the right path to follow.

This is the reason of the agreement signed by the Ferrovie dello Stato and CSVnet – National Coordination Centers for Voluntary Services (March 14th 2013) – for developing innovative measures of social support of the whole country. An action that is part of a Memorandum of UnderstandingsUs with some major associations (CSVnet, Italian Association for Responsible Tourism, Legambiente and Legacoopsociali) and through which the Ferrovie dello Stato intends to make an innovative system of management of unused real estate assets at National and European level.

The idea is to give the disused spaces to the ones who would take care of them, in particular to volunteers’ associations, which have the right attitude and the need to have spaces where to operate with their social and communitarian projects. The agreement indeed, is about making these spaces available for meetings and promotion of volunteering. That is not all. The formula used to revitalize these areas is that of the contracts in free loan with a duration of 5 to 9 years: municipalities, local authorities and non-profit associations can use the stations to accommodate social activities, institutions, associations, and to initiate projects. This new way of management has a positive impact on the territory and the quality of the stations themselves. Thanks to the sale of loan, the community is enriched with service facilities and this guarantees at the same time positive effects in terms of quality and decor of the stations.

Some examples of the implementation of this project date back to September 2014 and are continuously taking place. Lazzaro di Motta San Giovanni (Rc), location assigned to the Association “InHoltre“, will host a center with educational and recreational workshops for children with disabilities. At Condofuri (Rc), the Association “Europa Unita” will organize daily activities of land conservation. At Maddaloni (Ce), assigned to the CSV of Caserta, it will be promoted voluntary activities on the territory. At the station of Pineto (Te), assigned to “non-profit Pros Pineto“, it will implement the social and health service transport, assistance and delivery of drugs at home in the province of Teramo. At Eboli (Sa), for example, inside the building of the former cargo warehouse it was opened a rehearsal room for local bands.

These are just few of the stories that are bringing back to life the Italian railway stations. What is important to understand it is that in a situation of decline there might be an opportunity. Opportunities, as we saw, do not have costs. Instead, they have a variety of unexplored way of collaboration.

Fondazione CON IL SUD: call for the regeneration of 14 commons in the South of Italy

Fondazione CON IL SUD: call for the regeneration of 14 commons in the South of Italy

Logo_FondSudFondazione CON IL SUD, an Italian Foundation operating in the south of Italy, has just launched a call for proposals entitled “Bando storico-artistico – il bene torna comune”. With this initiative the Foundation wants to regenerate 14 assets  according to projects made by the local communities, enterprises and institutions. CON IL SUD granted 4 million euros in order to enact such propositions aimed to allow the community to enjoy such common goods in a sustainable way. This is the third edition of this call that previously managed to enforce 21 projects with a cost of 8 million euros.

The Foundation asked to the cities of the south of Italy to propose some buildings and places eligible to this end, and 14 out of the 22o proposed were chosen. Five of those are in Sicily, seven in Puglia and two in Campania. The legal availability of these assets will be granted by the owner to the organization that would win the call for that asset for at least 10 years. The requests made for the financing of the renewing of a commons regeneration cannot exceed € 500.000. On their website is it still possible to see the full list of the urban commons that are part of the call and everyone can present an idea or a project, even when the call will be over on 14th of July 2015. This experiment aims to make clear that every community wants to cooperate and to put their efforts together in order to achieve a better lifestyle and a better world for everyone to enjoy.

**************

La Fondazione CON IL SUD alla sua terza edizione per la riqualifica dei beni comuni; terza edizione con I fiocchi

La Fondazione CON IL SUD vuole, lancia la terza edizione del Bando storico artistico – Il bene torna comune Con questa iniziativa la Fondazione intende rivalutare 14 beni comuni presenti in Sicilia, Puglia e Campania, grazie ad un fondo di 4 milioni di euro. Grazie a questo bando i progetti scelti saranno sovvenzionati fino ad un massimo di 500.000 euro per le spese di ristrutturazione e i vincitori avranno la proprietà del bene assegnato per almeno 10 anni. Sul sito internet è possibile consultare la lista completa dei beni comuni scelti e, anche dopo la chiusura del bando il 14 luglio 2015, sarà possibile proporre idee e progetti.

Italian Sustainable Development Foundation comment to Pope Francis’ Encyclical on “Care for our Common Home”

Italian Sustainable Development Foundation comment to Pope Francis’ Encyclical on “Care for our Common Home”

Screenshot 2015-06-22 09.25.24Few weeks ago, Pope Francis published an encyclical, a historic document through which Saint Peter’s successors communicate something important to his religious community.

With this last encyclical “Laudato Si’”, Pope Francis explicitly refers his words to the whole mankind. Maybe because he is realizing that we are slowly but seriously destroying our planet Hearth. Actually the full name of the document is “Encyclical letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on care for our common home”.

Almost every media of the world is talking about it, and two very interesting articles has been published on The Guardian. One of these articles describes the Pope as “Naomi Klein in a cassock”, referring of course to the worldwide famous activist, and author of the books “No Logo” and “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate, for her positions against corporate globalization and corporate capitalism. To be honest, the Holy Father should have cited Naomi Klein in his bibliography!

Of course, the encyclical is drawing the attention of Italian media and institutions too, and a precious comment on it has been made by Edo Ronchi, president of the Italian Sustainable Development Foundation.

In his comment, Ronchi really appreciates the encyclical since he comes to say that “after this encyclical, it will be difficult to be ecologists without being a bit Franciscan”.

Ronchi states that “the first thing of the Encyclical that affected me is its wide, updated and accurate exposition of the main problematic environmental issues of our time: from the environment’s pollution to the waste (with a precise reference to a necessary circular production model), from the issue concerning the availability and quality of water to the loss of biodiversity, from the seas’ pollution to the deterioration of the quality of life, even touching issues about urban mobility”.

Ronchi’s comment examines most of the themes in the Encyclical and, in my opinion, he identifies the most important theme of the Encyclical, that is clear when he states: “pay attention to do not misunderstand the word de-growth in the Pope’s proposals. Some activities and realities must de-grow (the ones with a high environmental impact), others must grow (the innovative ones with a less or zero impact), but always leaving the economic growth priorities myths without environmental and social quality. It seems strange that him (Pope Francis) does not explicitly name it, but it seems clear to me being the green economy’s vision.

Moreover, Ronchi writes something that is familiar with LabGov’s project: “Finally there is the most trenchant part of this Encyclical, the one that concerns all the grass-roots actions from local communities, from families, from good behaviours, from consumption models and from lifestyles.

In order to take care of our common home new laws are not enough, indeed everyone’s effort is essential.

The full Encyclical is available at this link.

CON IL SUD Foundation: call for the requalification of 14 common goods; third time is the charm.

CON IL SUD Foundation: call for the requalification of 14 common goods; third time is the charm.

Logo_FondSud

 

An Italian Foundation (CON IL SUD) wants to revalue some buildings (14 to be exact) according to projects made by the local communities, enterprises and institutions. CON IL SUD granted 4 million euros in order to enact such propositions aimed to allow the community to enjoy such common goods in a sustainable way.

This is the third edition of this call that previously managed to enforce 21 projects with a cost of 8 millions euros.

The Foundation asked to the cities of the south of Italy to propose some buildings and places eligible to this end, and 14 out of the 22 proposed were choose. 5 of those are in Sicily, 7 in Puglia and 2 in Campania.

The legal property of this good will be given by the owner (the region) to the organization that won the call for that building for at least 10 years, in advance of knowing what the use will be, and the requests made for the financing of the renewing of a public good cannot exceed 500.000€.

On their website is it still possible to see the full list of the public goods that are part of the call and everyone can present an idea or a project, even when the call will be over on 14th of July 2015.

This experiment aims to make clear that every community wants to cooperate and to put their efforts together in order to achieve a better lifestyle and a better world for everyone to enjoy.

La Fondazione CON IL SUD alla sua terza edizione per la riqualifica dei beni comuni; terza edizione con I fiocchi

La Fondazione CON IL SUD vuole, con la terza edizione di questo bando, rivalutare 14 beni comuni presenti in Sicilia, Puglia e Campania, grazie ad un fondo di 4 milioni di euro.

Grazie a questo bando i progetti scelti saranno sovvenzionati fino ad un massimo di 500.000€ per le spese di ristrutturazione e i vincitori avranno la proprietà del bene assegnato per almeno 10 anni.

Sul sito internet è possibile consultare la lista completa dei beni comuni scelti e, anche dopo la chiusura del bando che si terrà il 14 luglio 2015 sarà possibile proporre idee e progetti.