Genius Loci. The archive of italian generativity

Genius Loci

Launched in September 2010, the project aims to identify the social, cultural and economic “generative” dynamics of values, ideas, principles and practices, strongly rooted in the specific character of Italian cultural tradition.

Drawing inspiration from the work of Luigi Sturzo, who took notice of scattered but real and fervent social forces at a time of critical transition in Italy’s history one hundred years ago, the Istituto Luigi Sturzo and a special working group intends to make its contribution to the cause by identifying and reactivating positive energies in Italy in today’s world. The group is coordinated by Mauro Magatti, and is made up of members Andrea Simoncini, Luigino Bruni, Chiara Giaccardi and management consultants Johnny Dotti, Andrea Granelli and Stefano Santini.

The work group is developing a national research project dedicated to the idea and distinctiveness of a “generative Italy” which, as it develops, operates by responding to needs of a theoretical and methodological nature, to create a network that highlights the social, cultural and economic “generative” structures of values, ideas, principles and practices, strongly rooted in the specific character of Italian cultural tradition.

More concretely, the work that is being done aims to research the many widespread energies in Italy in order to become familiar with them, enhance them, put them on the web and spark dialogue. To this end, an archive of Italian generativity will be set up over the course of the next few months, intended as a virtual location hosting generativity histories to illustrate the history of contemporary Italy.

The collection of a series of narrations - not celebratory but scientifically founded and told with clarity – will serve as the basis for learning about the strengths and weaknesses of existing paradigms and as the basis for essential lessons in change. The Archive will make available material to help understand what can be learned from positive experiences in terms of business organisation, the Public Administration and civil society, and to reflect on the most appropriate structural and institutional conditions to help our country find its place in the context of globalisation.

Moreover, the archive is an opportunity for meeting and exchange: Knowledge of new stories stimulates Knowledge; good experiences lead to good practices; and so on. In other words, the archive will be an incubator of new relations, networks and synergies; a facilitator of dialogue and reflexive processes; promoter of the experimentation of original solutions.

A multitude of repercussions are expected to come about as a result of this endeavour.

The project intends, first and foremost, to do its part to reconstruct a memory and to rediscover a “constructive" Italian tradition, providing additional value to what is already happening in Italy and supporting the reconstruction of a common fabric of principles, ideas and practices.

In the second place, the archive of generativity will be a knowledge base of unquestionable value available to people aiming to promote new hypothesis not only in terms of research, but also concrete work in a number of fields. The knowledge base will primarily be of use to regions, businesses and governmental bodies to innovate and strengthen their capacity, allowing them to draw not on theories but on concrete examples of successes and lessons learned. They will promote self-awareness, thus anchoring the path to change to real cases.

In the third place, the archive will be an important opportunity for comparison and dialogue, and will open new avenues of reflection, proposals and action. Some subject areas have already emerged: the potential of civil economy as the “Italian way” to globalisation, the emergence of new environmentally-sensitive business models, the social human context, the risks and opportunities of political-institutional federal and European reorganisation, the new ways of combining demand and supply for the management of common goods, the reconfiguration of welfare systems and similar. It follows that the expected returns from this path should not be expected exclusively at the national level, but also – and with all probability more easily – at the local level. And this is because the territorial dimension is crucial in the process of value generation.

Italy, a historically generative country that tends to produce value has always sought to capitalize its best tradition and the genius of its people. Today, however, the particularly critical global economic situation demands the ability to instantly revitalise new paths of growth and guarantee widespread, solid and lasting wellbeing.

The Archive of generativity will bring a passionate and competent vital contribution to initializing the discovery, narration and capitalization on this inestimable value.

Dr. Alessandra Gatta
Tel. 0668404251
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