The birth of Nesta Italia, a Foundation devoted to social innovation
The new institution derives from the collaboration between Compagnia di San Paolo and Nesta, the London-based philanthropic Foundation
26 ottobre 2017

October 17th marked the official start for Nesta Italia, an innovation-driven private Foundation aiming to bring to the Italian Third Sector “a proper revolution in the tackling of social problems”. This brand-new institution is the result of the collaboration between Nesta, the philanthropic Foundation based in London with global scope, and the Italian Compagnia di San Paolo, ranking amongst the biggest private foundations in Europe.

Nesta Italia’s aim is to promote innovation in education, find adequate solutions to social integration, contribute to solve health-related challenges, endorse art and cultural heritage, all whilst applying to each sector the original and proven methods already in use in the United Kingdom.

Specifically, the newborn Foundation will bring forward an entirely new approach in order to tackle the great challenges of our time and our country, measuring itself with most urgent needs such as the consequences of the increasingly ageing population, the migration fluxes, the inadequacy of several public services and the swift transformation of the labour market. To achieve its aims, the Foundation will employ knowledge, social networks, financing and skills gathered through collaborations with partners across Italy, including government authorities, businesses and non-profit organizations.

“We’re delighted to work with Compagnia di San Paolo for the creation of this new reality with the aim to solve the most pressing social problems” stated Simon Morrison, Nesta’s Deputy CEO. “Combining skills, resource networks and the scope of our organizations, we believe we can contribute to solve problems in areas such as education, labour, integration and sustainability, which concern the whole world”.

Marco Zappalorto, the Director of Nesta Italia, explained that “Nesta Italia is a result of Nesta and Compagnia di San Paolo’s shared vision on innovative social philanthropy”. He also gave some insight on the methods that will be used by Nesta Italia: “on one hand, we shall replicate in Italy some of the successful experiences that took place in the UK, adapting them to the Italian context and verifying the outcomes; on the other hand, we want to learn from purely Italian experiences and contaminate them with our working method”.

Francesco Profumo, President of Compagnia di San Paolo, stated that “Nesta Italia, with its valuable international network of partnerships and skills, is an important part of the picture that is building up to the future. The expertise created upon the 25 years and 20.000 financed projects is what the Compagnia di San Paolo will bring to Nesta Italia, so that we can experiment together with new hybrid forms of financing, through grant, equity, loans and impact finance”.

The Compagnia’s General Secretary, Piero Gastaldo, added that “our Foundation always considered itself a European Foundation and always invested noticeably in international collaborations with other Foundations. This fostered the conditions for this result, of which both the Compagnia and Nesta are extremely satisfied”. Other than Director Marco Zappalorto, Nesta Italia’s board is formed by Geoff Mulgan (President), Helen Goulden, Mario Calderini, Marco Demarie and Eleonora Rajneri Karageorgevitch. To them the whole research group of “Percorsi di secondo welfare” sends their best wishes for their work!


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