Sustainable Development, the necessary Festival

Sustainable Development, the necessary Festival



Philosophy, science and economics, energy and diplomacy, travel literature and street food. There are festivals all over Italy, but none on a global issue like sustainable development. This void will finally be filled this year, from the 22nd of May to the 7th of June, with over 200 appointments including conventions, workshops, exhibitions, films, theatre performances and guided tours lasting 17 days, matching the number of Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda. A unique festival, with events distributed across Italy and addressing not only specialists, with the aim of spreading knowledge on the Agenda 2030 and the culture of sustainability in every sector and at every level.

“Let’s design the future, let’s change the present” is the slogan chosen for the first edition, where Enel will play a central role, as it is natural for a Group in the frontline for the global integration of the UN sustainable development goals into its business strategies. As confirmed by browsing through the latest Sustainability Report 2017-2019, where actions and targets are planned based on the order of the 17 SDGs.

The Festival is organized by ASviS, the Italian Sustainable Development Alliance - established last year on the initiative of the Unipolis Foundation and the Tor Vergata University of Rome - which gathers 160 among the most important institutions, civil society and economic networks. The Festival is also Italy’s main contribution to the European Sustainable Development Week (30 May-5 June), the European reference event for this sector, which has been held for many years in several countries, in Europe and beyond.


“The Festival was folly: its organisation encourages us to think that trying to change the world is not such a crazy idea. The slogan we chose expresses very well the spirit of the event that is not just a Festival but it is the sign of an alliance”

– Enrico Giovannini, ASVIS spokesman


Three institutional appointments: on the opening day, on the 22nd of May, in Naples, an event on inequalities; on the first of June, in Milan, the “2030 Businesses and Finance” conference during which the major companies will sign a pact for sustainable development; Finally, on the 7th of June in Rome, the closing event with prizes for the schools participating in the ‘Let’s achieve 17 goals. Transforming our World: 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda’ contest.

The paths towards sustainable development

Sustainable development can be enacted in many ways. Enel Cuore’s the Fare School (Making Schools) project that will be presented in Naples on the 22nd of May, at the opening event of the Festival, combines the social dimension with quality school environment: colours, shapes and lights to turn on children's creativity and improve learning. Sustainability becomes culture at An evergreen story, the exhibition that Enel's Historical Archive hosts until the 7th of June: projects, photographs and historical films show the evolution of various forms of green energy (hydro, geothermal, photovoltaic and wind) within Italy’s electrical industry.

On the other hand, at the Giro d’Italia green mobility is linked to the relationship with local areas and the protection of landscapes: during the Valdengo-Bergamo leg, the Zogno hydroelectric plant, in Brembana Valley, will be open to visitors.

For the Festival, Enel will organise events throughout Italy. Including the photographic exhibition “Men machines and dams” at the Milan Polytechnic (23 May-7 June), visits on boat to the Nazzano sul Tevere natural reserve (27 May), the inauguration of the DMV plant in Mignano, in the province of Vicenza (27 May) and the visit to the dam at the Casteldoria hydro plant with a walk in the new Littu Municipal Park, Sassari (3 June).

We will also participate in several events, such as the CSR and Social Innovation Salon in Genoa and Bologna (of which once again this year we are an institutional partner), the meeting "Laudato dì: Sustainability between Communication and Innovation" and the Conference on "Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainable Development" (both May 30 in Rome), the event at the University of Tor Vergata about "Energy for the Future Climate Change and Technological Innovation "(June 6), the workshop promoted by the University of Genoa on ‘Sustainability and University’, held in Savona on June 7.


The UN Agenda 2030, with the 17 goals set in September 2015 and signed by 193 countries, is the polar star of the Festival, which Enel sees partner for the dissemination of messages aimed at the awareness-raising and promotion of the culture of sustainability. The Festival will have other corporate and media partners, it will be supported by the Ministry of the Environment. Several international ministers and guests at the institutional events will participate, with the presence of the highest-ranking state officials on the closing day.


“A more sustainable and equal world presents a perspective of less risk, a more favorable environment for those who invest. Our presence at the Festival is natural: SDGs are the lighthouse that drives our business model and the way we are a corporation. Today we have implemented 70-75% of of the four goals for which we have made tangible commitments, to be achieved by 2020”

– Andrea Valcalda, head of Sustainability di Enel

Enel has already formally committed to four objectives: securing access to clean and economically accessible energy (SDG 7), supporting educational projects (SDG 4), promoting employment and inclusive economic growth (SDG 8), enacting specific ​​ actions aimed at decarbonisation by 2050 (SDG 13). Projects such as the one providing solar panels to the Entebbe Emergency Hospital, the partnership with Barefoot College in South America or Crowd4Africa show our commitment to sustainability around the world. We will bring this experience with us to the first Sustainable Development Festival.