Vittorio Bianco

Fondazione Comunità di Mirafiori (Italy)

'There is a common saying in the world of urban agriculture that states that community gardening is 50% gardening and 100% community; while I have a fairly longer experience in community gardening than in community philanthropy, I guess that is pretty much the same with the latter. At least, this is what I like to believe. In a world where the frequent economic crises of the last years, just like rapid economic growth did before, have brought about thefurther polarization of an already polarizised world , increasing inequality. Philanthropy alone is not enough to bring on the dramatic redistribution of income and wealth that is needed; while empowering local communities, on the other hand, has a high potential in ensuring a durable, sustainable development.

In the last four years I have been in the board of Fondazione di Comunità di Mirafiori: a small community foundation based in an industrial district of the City of Turin, in Northwestern Italy. Or should I say a former industrial district: our main aim is to work together – local administration, non for profit organizations, local businesses, neighbors – all working towards a sustainable development in the context of de-industrialization.

It is an experience that has taught me so much on the importance of a local, bottom-up approach – and much more I still have to learn.  Still, the focus on community may lead to forget the wider picture, much more so when your community is as small as a city district. This is why I look with anticipation at the Global Summit on Community Philanthropy, as a wonderful opportunity to raise my sight and look beyond the daily, local issues; indeed, building stronger, resilient communities is not enough: if we really want to #ShiftThePower, we also have to build strong connections among our communities, a solidarity network of communities able to shift balance at a global level.'

People Behind the Summit