Translated with DeepL. Besides possible mistakes, images, links and format are missing. Please see the original in Italian.
On May 19, 2018, in a beautiful conference at the Province of Bergamo in which we discussed how to promote “smart land” territories betting on a transformative logic, Prof. Paolo Cacciari defined the Bergamo area as “the capital of the Italian solidarity social economy”, recognizing that land a role and a responsibility that was taken seriously.
Since then, starting with the collection of 9,000 signatures in favor of a regional law recognizing solidarity economies and passing through the wound that covid has meant for Bergamo, a path of convergence has been set in motion that gave birth on Sunday, September 19 to the District of the Solidarity Social Economy of the Bergamo area (Dess), founded on the very day of the “European Day of Sustainable Communities – Communities for Future!”.
The goal of the more than 50 realities that have joined Dess is to act on different fronts: economic, informative, cultural, political, educational and institutional, to enlarge the space of those who believe in a transformative action.
Dreamers with their feet firmly on the ground, who have embarked on a journey with the Gas, schools, producers, municipalities, associations and networks on the basis of some fundamental questions: what culture and what practices of transformation does the territory of Bergamo need, particularly today, after the experience of the pandemic?
How to expand the range of goods and services that Ess networks can offer? How to help “put in community”, to grow or relaunch goods and services of sectors such as responsible tourism, sustainable building, fair trade, reuse and recycling of materials, alternative mobility, welfare services, finance, energy saving? How can we move from a social solidarity economy, which in some respects is still too niche, to an Ess of community and territory? Dess was born precisely as a place to try to answer these questions together.
“The push for everything to go back to the way it was before the pandemic is too strong,” says newly appointed president Matteo Rossi, “but we can’t afford it. The challenge is not tomorrow, but is here and now, because in the territory of the Western world most affected by the virus, the meaning and the sense that we will give to our restart will have a universal value.
Never before, never now, the paradigm of integral ecology and the sustainable and participatory development of ours must be at the center of our commitment. This is precisely why the Dess Alliance was born.”
The foundation of the new network has seen, among others, the interventions of prof. sa Francesca Forno, who in Bergamo in recent years has participated in the network of Sustainable Citizenship, along with Diego Moratti and Simonetta Rinaldi, and who reiterated that today is the time to unite the many good practices and work to affect the choices of policy; Marco Zanchi, who starting from the experience of Biodistrict brought the voice of social cooperation fully protagonist of the path of Dess; the entrepreneur Gianluigi Piccinini of Ressolar who emphasized the challenge represented by energy communities that hold together sustainability and participation of the territories.
The journalist Diego Colombo, director of the monthly magazine Eco.Bergamo stressed the importance of the role of information in creating awareness and giving citizens news capable of telling the truth about the climate crisis. Other speakers included Francesco Perini of Fridays for Future, the president of Legambiente Elena Ferrario, Soana Tortora of Solidarius, President Ries Jason Nardi, the new vice-president of Dess Laura Norbis and the Mayor of the Municipality of Mozzo Paolo Pelliccioli, who emphasized the role of local authorities and announced that Dess would be promoting a meeting in November between the first citizens interested in working together with Dess on the occasion of the visit to Bergamo of a series of European institutions committed to the themes of ecological transformation.
Finally, the assembly expressed its full support to Fridays for Future for the demonstration of September 24 and the struggle of the GKN workers in Florence.