On November 13 2017 at the United Nations in New York hosted by The Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations H.E. Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi and Pietro Bassetti, President of Globus et Locus, “Italics” as a Global Commonwealth will be discussed.
IB&II has decided to join the “wake-up call” by Pietro Bassetti. His notion of Italics and Italicity in his book, Let’s Wake Up, Italics! A Manifesto for a Glocal Future, goes beyond the “ius soli” of being an Italian. In his view there are 250 million individuals across continents and cultures that, one way or another, have been educated, exposed, influenced by the larger holistic paradigm of “Italy”. Bassetti calls them “Italics”, and he bases his convictions on the changes due to globalization that he has personally witnessed during his decades of cultural and political activity.
“Italics are not just Italian citizens in Italy and abroad. They are, above all, the people of Canton Ticino, Dalmatia, and San Marino, and their descendants; Italian Americans, those of the two Americas and of Australia; as well as Italian speakers and all those people who might not have a drop of Italian blood in their veins, but have nonetheless embraced our county’s values, lifestyle, and shared behavioral models.”
It is indeed an interesting topic and a fascinating numerical implication: 250 millions! In the United States alone, for example, there are 22 millions (other sources indicate 26 millions) of the so called “self identified Italians”. A third of the current Italian population. The political, economic and Geo-political implications of such a concept are significant. Universities, especially US based, devote significant attention and resources to alumni, and rightly so. To keep on competing, US colleges need funding as the cost of the “infrastructure” is barely covered by tuition. Donors and endowments become critical to survival and leadership. Successful wealthy alumni is the name of the game. According to Farran Powell of U.S. News, the 10 universities with the largest endowments accounted for by US$ 160 billion at the end of fiscal year 2016.
What about Italy recognizing the worth of this innovative 250 million commonwealth, aligning to this concept, formulate a strategy and nurture successful alumni Italics?
In a world that relies too much (and dangerously) on transactions and deal-making, Bessetti’s quest is noteworthy and to be followed. Bassetti has been around for a while. He was born in Milan in 1928. He graduated in Economics and Business at Bocconi University in Milan, he completed his studies as a Fulbright fellow at Cornell University (USA); as “Stringher” he later specialized in Economics at the London School of Economics. A life devoted to politics: first President of the Lombardy Region from 1970 to 1974, Member of the Parliament from 1976 to 1982. The world, and Italy in its own merit, craves for vision, leadership, competence and capabilities to execute.
Bassetti belongs to the world’s “elite”. One can only admire his vision, energy, passion and willingness, still today and despite the odds, to be an actor a change. A role model. For New Yorkers or happening to be in New York on November 13, it is once in a lifetime opportunity. Do not miss him.