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Claudio Vanni

Unicoop Florence International Relations Director

BACKGROUND / Academic and professional background.

  • Director of social policy, director of communication and director of international relations for Unicoop Florence and the Il Cuore Si Scioglie non-profit foundation.


ACHIEVEMENT/ What is the project/initiative/startup/company you will be presenting at the Positive Economy Forum all about ?

  • Development of a project to support and promote an employment startup in Burkina Faso, which specifically involved building and opening bakers/pizzerias.
    Three workshops/shops have been opened in the past few years, making bread and pizza and creating jobs for three cooperatives of young Burkinabés.
    Profits from these businesses will be donated to orphanages, training centres and youth detainment centres. A two-month project in which our volunteers will train and launch the Burkinabés managing the businesses, is included as part of the project.


LOCATION/ In which city, country, part of the world do you conduct your activities ?

  • I work from offices in Florence, the projects I have been involved in for years are located in: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, India, Kenya and Palestine.
    We started working on an immigration project last year, in collaboration with UNHCR. It targets children attending lower and upper secondary schools in Tuscany.
    We have been involved in and supporting San Patrignano projects for three years. I am also active in Tuscany, obviously, in a collaborative project with Caritas to help the new poor.


IMPACT/ What is the positive economic, social, political, environmental…of the activity, project, initiative, startup, company ?

  • The impact, or better still, the ability of these projects to build economy and also to create a positive culture, lies in the participative process. All supported projects are built on a fundamental premise, which is to promote participatory networks.
    The financial support available – of which there is a large amount – is worth nothing if there is no participation. The distinctive feature of all our projects is the active participation of the people, first and foremost the members of the cooperative, volunteers of the Foundation and, more generally speaking, volunteers from other partner associations.
    Our Foundation raises more than one million euro every year, and it does this through the participation of thousands of people who collect impressive sums of money through a variety of cultural and recreational activities.


QUOTE/ A saying, quote or reference phrase that tells something about you :

  • A promoter of solidarity is how I see myself.
    It means being constantly active in promoting an ethical culture that helps to build a more cohesive society and counter the culture of individualism and solitude that is a way of life for many people nowadays.