Recession in Southern Europe has been on the world’s radar for the past year, with Greece and Spain’s economies brinking on insolvency. Italy straddles the line; with its renowned outward cool, the country is perhaps gearing up for that smashing, game-changing save that will surprise everyone.
On these pages, we explore the talents and minds that show the spark of innovation and creativity is alive. In fact, perhaps the challenges of the times will inspire profound resourcefulness in an entirely new phase.
I am personally wowed by what I see in the entrepreneurial realm. As Alberto Onetti writes, Italians are embracing entreprenurialism more and more (“The Wake Up Call to Start Up, page 22). The intense difficulties in establishing a business in Italy – a myriad of regulations and legal checkpoints akin to a high security airport – force these entrepreneurs that to become resiliant and purposeful.
In Rome, I’ve met in particular dozens of Italian women who are branching out on their own, utilizing the internet and social media in new business models– both of which are counter-intuitive to the highly interpersonal Italian way of life.
It’s wonderful to present Tim Parks on Zabaldone in this context of our theme of “Cultural Regeneration”. He quotes Leopardi who expresses the fundamental desire for constant reinvention:
“It’s sad indeed when a man reaches the moment when he feels he can no longer inspire anyone else. Man’s great desire, the great drive behind his actions, words, looks and bearing right up to old age is his desire to inspire, to communicate something to his spectators and audience.”