An event by
Under the patronage of
Assessorato Crestica Culturale Roma Capitale

Cultural infrastructure and the need for self-disruption
Rome, 24 March 2017 – from 4.30 pm to 8.00 pm
LUISS ENLABS, via Marsala 29h, Rome


A united Europe was born 60 years ago in Rome. It is one of the most ambitious and successful political experiments ever conducted. Its mission of peace and prosperity has been a political and socio-cultural unifier in the region as well as a catalyst for positive change globally. The recent wave of populism and nationalism – unlike traditional conservative or socialist parties – do not appeal to socioeconomic class but instead to identity and culture, and threaten the very existence of the European project. The angst that fuels this populism is complex but includes rising immigration, stagnating incomes with no grounds to hope for improvement, and the ‘shock of the new digital revolution. Statistics that divide us are easy to point to, such as the top 1% that retains 45% of wealth. Any system which allows this unequal share of hope will lose trust and it is unsurprising that data point to an implosion of trust across the board, both in government and the private sector. The frequent and easy targeting of the EU as ‘the cause’ (some may say scapegoat) of all this upheaval nonetheless reflects a growing detachment from its very soul – the people of Europe. Its best chance of renewal is if it takes charge of its own disruption and identifies a new agile capability for delivering on its promise of peace and prosperity fit for purpose in the 21st century. It needs to define a social contract with its people that is resilient to demographic imbalance, technological disruptions, and economic shocks. Yet at a global level and within the EU, any such rebirth will require cooperation and trust. How can we build the ‘cultural infrastructure’ necessary for such an ‘alternative’ reconstruction, where a new EU commands both trust and respect on the global stage? What role for Italy?

Four themes:

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With the media partnership of
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