Gaetano Giunta

Fondazione di Comunità di Messina (Italy)

'In 1988, after earning my PhD in theoretical physics, I refused job offers in France and USA to return to my city of birth, Messina, in Sicily, Southern Italy. Messina was, and still is, the place where I wanted to work. In the early 90’s, after the mafia murders of the most important Italian anti-mafia judges and a long period of killing, in Sicily we thought we could change the world only with the enthusiasm of our activism. We tried, but we didn’t completely succeed. We understood that to have a real change we also had to change the economy. This is what the Messina Community Foundation is trying to do in the Evolved Social District developed by the Foundation since 2010. The District has in its DNA the fight against the mafia and it refers to socio-economic models that I would define as patient, male and female, inclusive and able to set the individual rights of the weakest people and the growth of their capabilities, as well as environmental sustainability, as external constraints to profit maximization.

The experimentation with these models and the relationships established by the Foundation with important national and international partners (such as Banca Etica, Caritas Italiana, REVES - The European Network of Cities & Regions for the Social Economy - and Sefea, the European Company of Ethical and Alternative Finance) helps us to promote their mainstreaming. It also leads us to some impacts that we would be glad to share at the Global Summit for Community Philanthropy. Most of all, we are very excited to participate in this event and look forward to further developing the connections between us. On our side, we will try to play an active role in this.'

People Behind the Summit