CUL­TURAL CITADEL PRE­PARES FOR THE FU­TURE

An­to­nio Danieli is the Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Fon­dazione Go­linelli (Go­linelli Foun­da­tion), a phil­an­thropic body founded by Marino Go­linelli aimed at pro­mot­ing ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture and in­tel­lec­tual growth amongst to­day’s youth, with an eye to the fu­ture. Th

All About Italy (USA) - - All About Italy - Go­linelli Arts and Sci­ence Cen­ter

In a scene in Paolo Sor­rentino’s film “Youth”, Har­vey Kei­tel is ex­plains to a young screen­writer how perspectives change be­tween youth and old age. To do this, he uses the metaphor of a binoc­u­lar, show­ing how in youth it is used to put the fu­ture into fo­cus, while in old age it is used to see the dis­tant past. In the case of 96-year old en­tre­pre­neur Go­linelli, the op­po­site is true. With a mind and vi­sion more youth­ful than many of his con­tem­po­raries, the busi­ness­man from the Ital­ian re­gion of Emilia-ro­magna looks for­ward, think­ing of how to mo­ti­vate the fu­ture gen­er­a­tion.

De­spite be­ing suc­cess­fully es­tab­lished, this self­made man is not ready to sit back and re­lax. Go­linelli was born from a fam­ily of mod­est means in the low­lands near the city of Mo­dena. Af­ter grad­u­at­ing in phar­macy, he founded his first com­pany. That was the be­gin­ning of a path that led to the cre­ation of what is to­day the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant Alfa-sigma, a com­pany with a 900-mil­lion-euro turnover. Fond of art and cul­ture, in 1988 he cre­ated the Go­linelli Foun­da­tion, a unique ex­am­ple of a fully op­er­a­tional pri­vate foun­da­tion in­spired by the model of the Amer­i­can phil­an­thropic foun­da­tions - a ver­i­ta­ble citadel of cul­ture to nur­ture the in­tel­lec­tual and eth­i­cal growth of young peo­ple and so­ci­ety.

“We have al­ways de­bated how to move for­ward in the fu­ture, try­ing to ex­plore the connection be­tween arts and sciences.”

It was ex­panded in 2015, when he inau­gu­rated the Opi­fi­cio Go­linelli, opened in what was once the Sa­biem Foundry.

But the changes do not end here. On 11 Oc­to­ber 2017, the 97th birth­day of this pa­tron en­tre­pre­neur, a new wing of the foun­da­tion was opened, the Go­linelli Arts and Sci­ence Cen­ter. This pow­er­ful artis­tic struc­ture, de­signed by ar­chi­tect Mario Cucinella, was cre­ated in the area op­po­site the Opi­fi­cio. It is a citadel ded­i­cated to in­te­grated ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and cul­ture, in or­der to nur­ture the in­tel­lec­tual and eth­i­cal growth of young peo­ple and so­ci­ety. Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the Foun­da­tion since 2011, An­to­nio Danieli com­mit­ted to this idea, and em­braces his role in a heart­felt and pas­sion­ate man­ner, pro­pelled by his ex­pe­ri­ence in non-profit and phil­an­thropic so­cial en­ter­prises. Danieli sat down with us to talk about what to ex­pect from the new Foun­da­tion pro­grams.

What ac­tiv­i­ties are planned for the new Opi­fi­cio Go­linelli Arts and Sciences Cen­ter?

Art and sci­ence are among the cor­ner­stones of the Go­linelli Foun­da­tion. We have al­ways de­bated how to move for­ward in the fu­ture, try­ing to ex­plore the connection be­tween arts and sciences. As part of the de­vel­op­ment plan of our lat­est pro­ject, Opus 2065, it was cru­cial to find a place that would com­plete

the Opi­fi­cio Go­linelli, which would con­nect it with other ar­eas. The Cen­ter was born as a de­sign space for ini­tia­tives such as ex­hi­bi­tions and work­shops, and a re­search site. So, on one hand, there is cul­tural ac­tiv­ity that aims to involve peo­ple at the in­ter­na­tional level, look­ing to­ward the fu­ture while also stim­u­lat­ing cre­ativ­ity, and, on the other hand, there are im­por­tant ed­u­ca­tional and train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. With the Opi­fi­cio, we want to stim­u­late train­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and busi­ness de­vel­op­ment. This is an evoca­tive ob­jec­tive, but also a con­crete one: high-level ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and en­trepreneur­ship stim­u­la­tion.

Your busi­ness is highly fo­cused on the fu­ture, seek­ing to con­ceive and in­ter­pret it. How can the Foun­da­tion pre­pare young peo­ple to best pre­pare for it?

There are two di­men­sions: re­search and train­ing. For us, they are closely in­ter­con­nected. The Foun­da­tion has a range of ac­tiv­i­ties in­volv­ing young peo­ple, rang­ing from chil­dren as young as 18 months all the way up to univer­sity age. We try to ac­com­pany their growth. We want to shape new dis­ci­plines. We are waiting for the right time to cre­ate a PH.D pro­gram that doesn’t yet ex­ist, which is why we need to lay the groundwork and help per­son­al­i­ties de­velop, through some­thing like a cul­tural re­search cen­ter. All of this is linked to the ed­u­ca­tional work we pur­sue, com­bin­ing the­o­ret­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ences with lab­o­ra­tory ones. This vi­sion is quite new in Italy - new and nec­es­sary.

Do you think there are short­com­ings in school ed­u­ca­tion in the for­ma­tion of our young peo­ple?

The Go­linelli Foun­da­tion is 30 years old.

For a long time, un­til 2015, the Foun­da­tion had a sub­sidiary ap­proach, typ­i­cal of Ital­ian phil­an­thropic bod­ies. Since the cre­ation of the Opi­fi­cio, how­ever, the Foun­da­tion has de­cided not to be sub­sidiary, and so no longer pro­vide re­sponses to gaps in the school sys­tem, but in­stead sit at a ta­ble with pub­lic in­sti­tu­tions and share work­ing pro­to­cols with them to build path­ways, with re­spect for each other’s roles. For us, this is fun­da­men­tal be­cause we be­lieve we can act pos­i­tively in pub­licpri­vate di­a­logue for the de­vel­op­ment of our coun­try. In ad­di­tion, as Go­linelli has said for 30 years, it is nec­es­sary to de­velop the way of teach­ing that has been done for decades. Here I re­fer to con­tent more than any­thing else: for ex­am­ple, I’m think­ing of the im­por­tance of dis­sem­i­nat­ing dig­i­tal cul­ture. Teach­ers must also de­velop and, although there are many good ones, they need to be sup­ported and helped. Per­haps I would say that the tra­di­tional school ap­proach is a bit too the­o­ret­i­cal: one has to com­bine the know-how to do things. Con­tent changes rapidly, but hu­man be­ings, with their pe­cu­liar­i­ties and imag­i­na­tion, do not: we have to work hard on these as­pects.

What can we ex­pect from the struc­ture of the Cen­ter for Arts and Sciences cre­ated by the ar­chi­tect Mario Cucinella?

Mario un­der­stood what our goals were from the start. His style has al­ways com­bined so­cial, en­vi­ron­men­tal and eco­nomic sus­tain­abil­ity. When we talk about the fu­ture, we think of a sus­tain­able fu­ture, and so cul­tur­ally it was au­to­matic for us to turn to him. The cen­ter needed to com­bine struc­tural sim­plic­ity with the evoca­tive power of the whole Foun­da­tion. The venue had to be de­signed to be flex­i­ble and suit­able for many dif­fer­ent func­tions. The metaphor of an in­ner heart con­tained in an outer retic­u­lar struc­ture is cer­tainly strong and it is the sym­bolic fig­ure of our Foun­da­tion: a con­tin­u­ous work in progress be­cause our mis­sion is made up of con­stant ten­sion to­wards re­newal and re­search. We are re­ally happy with the con­cept pro­posed by Mario.

The cre­ation of the Fund Utopia is also among the lat­est de­vel­op­ments. What is this?

This Fund was cre­ated with a spe­cific ob­jec­tive: to sup­port new en­tre­pre­neur­ial ac­tiv­i­ties in the fields of health and well­ness, with some spe­cial fea­tures that we hope will open new paths for­ward. So, on one hand, it is a fi­nan­cial in­stru­ment, but on the other, there is also the for­ma­tive di­men­sion of these star­tups, which are not only in the dig­i­tal sec­tor, but also in the sci­en­tific re­search area. Fur­ther­more, we want to help stop the brain drain from Italy and also at­tract other skilled peo­ple from around the world, to cre­ate a sort of ‘Made in Italy’ Sil­i­con Val­ley Made. In Prin­cipia Sgr we found an ideal part­ner that is very at­ten­tive to this type of vi­sion. Our dream is that the Opi­fi­cio Go­linelli is in­creas­ingly a cul­tural hu­mus that be­comes con­tam­i­nated and cre­ates an en­abling en­vi­ron­ment to ac­cel­er­ate de­vel­op­ment.

Marino Go­linelli in­side the Opi­fi­cio Go­linelli

An­to­nio Danieli, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of the Go­linelli Foun­da­tion

An­drea Zan­otti, pres­i­dent of the Go­linelli Foun­da­tion with founder Marino Go­linelli and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor An­to­nio Danieli

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