Young Sparks Symposium

Solomeo, September 4-7, 2023
Organized by the Università degli Studi Perugia, Brunello Cucinelli SPA and Indire.

A press conference with the participation of many journalists, in the prestigious setting of the Sala del Dottorato of the University of Perugia, to present the “Young Sparks Symposium” in Solomeo, a meeting of the so-called “Young Sparks”, that is to say two hundred students from different universities and from all continents, accompanied by their professors. The program of the event was illustrated today by the Magnifico Rettore, Maurizio Oliviero, by the humanist entrepreneur of the Fashion House of Solomeo, Brunello Cucinelli as well as by the Coordinator of the National Agency Indire Erasmus+, Sara Pagliai.

The Symposium, organized within the framework of the Erasmus+ Project by the University of Perugia, Brunello Cucinelli Spa and the National Institute for Documentation, Innovation and Educational Research (Indire), will take place on September 4-7, and the hope is that it will leave a significant mark of inspiration and passion on the young participants.

During the first three days, some crucial aspects of our time will be discussed, such as the relationship between people and science, humanism and technology and people and territory, while during the morning of the final day, on Thursday 7, the humanist entrepreneur Brunello Cucinelli himself will be called to dialogue with the young people present, together with Andrea Pontremoli, CEO of Dallara Automobili, with the aim of drawing some conclusions on the results achieved thanks to the many interesting “Life Stories” that have emerged from the various testimonies of the invited protagonists.

Also speaking to the young people will be prestigious and internationally renowned “keynote speakers” from the world of institutions, science, philosophy, literature and journalism as well as music and sports, including: Sonia Guajajara, Manuela Dviri, Giovanni Malagò, Sari Nusseibeh, Mauro Ferrari, Giovanni Caccamo, Andrea Pontremoli and Brunello Cucinelli himself.

The various actiities, that will take place mainly in Solomeo, but also in Norcia, Assisi and Perugia, are intended to stimulate reflections, ideas and questions from the students, who, divided into working groups, will receive and share knowledge, just as it happens when sparks, with their small and delicate flame, start a fire, in this case represented by the greatest humanistic and technological landmarks. In the afternoon of the last day students will draft the “Young Sparks Statement,” i.e., a Programmatic Statement, a “Good Manners” Charter aimed at laying the foundation for a radical rethinking of the relationship of human beings with the scientific-technological knowledge. Such a commitment of young people and for young people, inspired by the philosophical symposia of classical Greece, will be declined in the universal dimension of a contemporary and integral humanism and represents the hope that if applied to everyday life, what was received during the event will increase the hope that women and men of today and tomorrow will be able to live a more balanced relationship with science and technology.

Within the Symposium, activities will be alternated with convivial moments, with the participation of musical groups and prestigious ensembles such as the Erasmus Orchestra, which will perform at the Auditorium of S. Francesco al Prato in Perugia in a concert organized by the Municipality of the Umbrian capital on the evening of Sept. 6 or the Jazz Orchestra of the Perugia Conservatory “Francesco Morlacchi,” which will joyfully close the Symposium on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 7, in Solomeo.

Maurizio Oliviero said:
The Young Sparks Symposium will be an extraordinary celebration of humanism, in all its forms.
We have made a commitment, shared with the other participating institutions, primarily Indire and Brunello Cucinelli Spa, to create and nurture a community of people capable of embracing diversity as an enriching factor, promoting dialogue and mutual understanding. A community that believes in people and humanity as a whole. The great international personalities who will speak to the students have all demonstrated extraordinary commitment and passion in inspiring positive change in the world. Their stories remind us that each of us has the potential to make a difference. By listening to their voices, we will learn how to overcome the challenges ahead and build a better future for all. The participating “young sparks” from all over the world, however, will be the real stars of this initiative. We want to address them directly since they will be the future leaders of the world, the innovators, those who can bring about real change and help build a better society in which human sustainability can guide our every action.
For this to happen, however, it is necessary to share knowledge, to break down the walls of intolerance and indifference, to patiently build bridges between cultures while promoting a deeper understanding of “the other”. We must become the best version of ourselves, cultivate our full potential and contribute to the common welfare.
We place high hopes on the Young Sparks Symposium: that it will be the beginning of an extraordinary journey that leads us to work together for a better future. We are ready to embrace this challenge, guided by the spirit of humanism, human sustainability, sharing and mutual enrichment.

Brunello Cucinelli commented:
With the Symposium of Young Sparks, in agreement with our esteemed University and with the prestigious Indire, we have imagined a great celebration of humanism in Solomeo, for all of Umbria and for our beautiful Italy. Our main theme and goal is to celebrate, together with future generations, the harmony of human beings with Creation, toward which, more than ever, it now seems necessary to have a real social contract encompassing every animate and inanimate entity that is part of it. I am increasingly convinced that humanity cannot be governed by science alone, and that, rather, we must return to thoroughly balancing science and spirit, strive to find the right equilibrium between technology and humanism. I like to imagine that each of the young participating students will be able to take home with them a precious gift: the desire to listen, to dialogue, to respond. Throughout my life, I have always tried to realize the dream of being a pro tempore custodian, in accordance with a saying by my great teacher Adriano Imperatore: “I feel responsible for the beauty of the world.” Being able to share this dream with young people, whom I like to call the ‘future sentinels of Humanity,’ makes it immensely more fascinating.

Sara Pagliai’s statement was:
The event in Solomeo,” says Sara Pagliai, coordinator of the Erasmus+ National Agency INDIRE, “is part of the cycle of initiatives dedicated to the theme of environmental sustainability, one of the strategic objectives of the new European program. The main objective of the three-day event is, in particular, to raise awareness among the more than 200 participants, including students, researchers, and referents of international Erasmus+ projects on certain priorities and themes, linking together respect and protection of the environment to universal themes of humanism, such as science, technology and their integration with mankind and territories.

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