RENA 7th National Assembly in Florence

Theory meets practice, and young talents from many walks of life meet for the 7th Assemblea Generale of RENA. Rena is a network that originally started off as an informal gathering of alumni from the Università di Scienze Diplomatiche di Gorizia (most of them working out of Bruxelles), to then turn into a national network of professionals: public and private managers, consultants, journalists and (yes…) researchers.  Affiliates share a common drive to make a difference acting as positive actors of change, leading by example, with honesty and transparency.

I joined RENA a few months ago, and this is my first national assembly. Rena is launching a national drive to single out pioneers.. obviously to identify positive examples. Among the participants here in Florence, Oscar Farinelli, the founder of Eataly points out that Italy is missing out huge opportunities in food distribution, while given our type of exports this is not acceptable… Oh and by te way, argues Farinelli, learn about mayonnaise, and the process of making this sauce. You need the right ingredients, you need a clear method. AND if things go south you have no choice but to throw away everything and start over…


I was impressed by Sindaco Matteo Renzi’s introduction, and indeed Bill Emmott’s view of what Italy is going through right now is tremendously lucid (check out the trailer of my girlfriend in a coma). BUT: my favorite pioneer remains Enrico Loccioni, founder of Loccioni group. In 10 minutes he told us how from a contadino (peasant) background, trusting what the territory has to offer, you can truly start something new, of great value. Not only once, but everyday: “a permanent start-up”. I have never asked Mr Loccioni, but I think he would agree with Adriano Olivetti’s mantra: “the goal of a company is to reinvest profit into society” (I will ask him..).  We covered Loccioni in a little piece, which came out last year in La Repubblica.

And to close with fireworks, Ministro Passera connects from Rome to share with us his view on the pioneering spirit which is necessary to drive the Italian economy, politics and society out of the coma.