Assisi, although a small town located in a quiet area of Italy, will be the venue of the next Emergenetics Brain Summit in October 2015. The touristic appeal is a key reason for such a choice, of course. In addition, there are some further thoughts and feelings behind this decision, which are related to the Emergenetics purposes and approaches.
Before diving into the link between Emergenetics and Assisi, let’s look at a few things about this small and lovely town.
Assisi (Italian pronunciation: [asˈsiːzi], from the Latin: Asisium) is a town and “comune” of Italy in the Umbria region, located exactly in the centre of the boot peninsula, between Rome and Florence. The region of Umbria is also called “The Green Heart of Italy”, for its position, shape and rich variety of forests and natural beauties.
Assisi has a long history. Around 1000 BC a wave of immigrants settled in the upper Tiber valley as far as the Adriatic Sea, and also in the neighbourhood of Assisi. These were the Umbrians, living in small-fortified settlements on high ground. From 450 BC these settlements were gradually taken over by the Etruscans. The Romans took control of central Italy by the Battle of Sentinum in 295 BC. They built the flourishing municipium Asisium on a series of terraces on Monte Subasio. Roman remains can still be found in Assisi: city walls, the forum (which is now Piazza del Comune), a theatre, an amphitheatre and the Temple of Minerva (which has been transformed into a church).
Later Assisi became a flourishing medieval town, but most of all a renowned religious and artistic attraction. St. Francis of Assisi was a key figure in the history of Christianity, and had a revolutionary impact on the following development of this global religion. His personality was so relevant, that immediately after his death the most important artists of that age (one name for all: Giotto) came to Assisi to magnify this man and his gestures. This is the reason why visitors can now find so many artistic heritages in Assisi. UNESCO collectively designated the Franciscan structures of Assisi as a World Heritage Site in 2000.
Let’s now look at the idealistic links between Assisi and Emergenetics. Assisi, thanks to the exploits and speeches of St. Francis, has become the “City of Peace”. Popes, but also other important politicians from all over the world, have designated Assisi as the place to have global meetings for all religions. Very famous is the first of these interreligious meetings, which was strongly desired and then finally organised by John Paul II in 1986.
Why is Assisi considered the “City of Peace”? The reason lays on the fact that, in 1219, St. Francis journeyed to Egypt to meet with the Sultan Malik al-Kamil. Most likely the original purpose of his visit was to convert the Sultan from Islam to Christianity. The sources, however, indicate that Francis saw his role as that of a peacemaker and that he was following in Christ’s footsteps by crossing the threshold of “Us” and “Them”, showing his love for his enemy, and a transcending of the divide between “enemy” and “friend”. Francis was not afraid to die for his love for God; peace and nonviolence lay at the heart of his calling and his message as a follower of Christ.
Nowadays we can recognise and admire the humility and willingness of having a dialogue, among religions, cultures and diversities.
Ultimately, this is the purpose of Emergenetics. Give people the possibility of understanding each other better, and by doing this creating the basis for interpersonal respect and dialogue, beyond any differences of sex, age, nationality, beliefs, etc. More than that: enhancing and harnessing differences.
Let’s go to Asisi with an open spirit, enjoying the local artistic and historical beauties together with the exciting programme of the Brain Summit. Let’s use this opportunity to remember the deep value of dialogue among human beings.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ferruccio has more than 25 years business experience in international management, general management, marketing and human resources development, aided by a fluency in Italian, English and German. As Country Representative for Emergenetics International’s Italian operations, he leads the strategic development and business operations in Italy. A fully certified Emergenetics associate since 2010, Ferruccio grew as an advanced associate and is now candidate to become a master associate. He was a trainer and the director of the business school founded by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna of Pisa.
Ferruccio has a MBA from Milan Publitalia ’80 Business School and was graduated summa cum laude in Economics at the University of Perugia. He serviced as a trainer at the Academy of Guardia di Finanza, and is currently an international trainer at AFS Intercultural Programs, a voluntary, non-governmental, non-profit organization that provides intercultural learning opportunities.