Sustainable Development Festival: sustainability keeps the future bright

Sustainable Development Festival: sustainability keeps the future bright


Sustainability keeps the future bright. For a paradigm shift to occur, there needs to be projects supporting a new culture that makes the benefits and opportunities of an equitable and inclusive society that leaves no one behind increasingly clear.

Which is why we are proud to have joined the Sustainable Development Festival, organized by the Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development (ASviS), from the very beginning. The festival, currently in its seventh edition, has an international scope that aims to highlight hundreds of initiatives promoted by civil society, companies and institutions in Italy and around the world. The festival has been recognized for its relevance by the UN Campaign for Action on Sustainable Development Goals.


Shared values for society’s sustainable growth

Again this year we joined the “Partecipo perché” campaign, confirming the values we share with ASviS. At the introductory press conference held in Rome on May 4, Filippo Nicolò Rodriguez, Enel’s Head of Sustainability Italy and Managing Director of Enel Cuore, spoke of our support of the ASviS Festival, which from its inception has proven itself to be a space for debate, discussion, learning and planning of the possible trajectory of our country’s sustainable development.

As in years past, the 17 days of the Festival, falling this year on May 8-24, are intended to represent the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the UN’s 2030 Agenda, the very heart of the itinerant program organized in collaboration with local governments and universities. The program will arrive to five major Italian cities with a calendar full of meetings, debates, and moments of outreach, discussion and sharing. Each stage is dedicated to delving into a specific aspect of sustainability including social, environmental, economic, cultural and institutional.

Our Group has joined this mission with a series of initiatives and events geared towards demonstrating the many opportunities that sustainable development can offer to the Italian economic system. From corporate volunteering to sustainable tourism, from combating school dropout rates to guiding young people into the trades of the future, we want to contribute to the realization of an increasingly environmentally-friendly, inclusive and equitable society, where people and their daily choices are active participants in the energy transition and social progress.

When we talk about sustainability, we are inevitably also talking about community. Being sustainable means creating a system and partnerships capable of coordinating and optimizing a common goal, as Nicola Lanzetta, Head of Country Italy, pointed out during the Festival’s opening event in Naples.

An itinerant festival that brings the message of sustainability into cities

It all kicked off in Naples, where from May 8-10 the Sustainable Development Festival focused on the role and importance of territory and people in reaching the 17 SDGs. The program for the Naples events specifically focused on the opportunities offered by technological innovation in support of agri-food sustainability and on ways in which action can be taken to address gender inequality and disparities in education.

In the capital of the Campagna region, our contribution also came in the form of a lighting design installation. From May 8-10, the SDGs color wheel logo, the official symbol of the Sustainable Development Festival, was projected onto the Castel dell’Ovo monument thanks to Enel X’s mapped LED lighting technology. 

From May 11-14, the festival moved to Bologna, where the focus shifted to an emphasis on initiatives and policies of Italian cities aimed at curbing climate change and the fundamental role that schools and universities play in teaching new skills and raising awareness among young people. As part of this stage, Nicola Tagliafierro, Head of Sustainability Enel X, reiterated the centrality of energy in the fight against climate change and the importance of metrics, such as the Circular City Index, for measuring the real and concrete impact of actions implemented for the energy transition.

The stage of the festival in Milan, from May 15-17, was instead dedicated to the need for shared policies and strategies for sustainable development, delving into the new economic and geopolitical challenges that have emerged over the past year, highlighting the opportunities for growth, progress and social harmony offered by the increasingly systemic use of renewable resources.

From May 18-22, the festival will be held at the Turin International Book Fair (Salone del Libro), the ideal backdrop to emphasize how culture and communication can be active participants in building a society that is more sustainable and inclusive. The focus will also be on creating the new ABC’s dedicated to ecology, health and inter-generational justice and to identifying ways to achieve an ethical and conscientious use of artificial intelligence.

The last stage will take place in Rome, at the Italian Chamber of Deputies, where May 23 and 24 the institutional aspects of sustainable development will be explored. Specifically, the set of regulations and policies needed to steer Italy and the European Union towards a shared path that is capable of combining environmental sustainability with economic growth.

The festival presents a comprehensive program of events where, once again, we have contributed with our initiatives, sharing the Group’s commitment to the energy transition and the circular economy

Among our initiatives are those dedicated to training through the program #EnelUp4Education such as the WE Project, which in Palermo and Bari aims to promote schools as a driver of sustainable education for neighborhoods and cities. This happens thanks to the training provided by high-level professionals who are asked to share their experience and their ideas for the future they want to build. Also included in the Festival schedule is the corporate volunteer program that includes projects such as Illuminiamo Le Tavole with the Quartieri Tranquilli Association and Beach and Park Litter in collaboration with Legambiente in several cities. 

Our strategy aims to create spaces for awareness, training and dialogue, but also for solidarity and social inclusion. For example, the collaboration between Enel Energia for the free market and the Italian National Agency for the Protection and Assistance of the Deaf, from which instruments such as the Veasyt simultaneous interpreting device were born. The device allows our operators to get into contact with Italian Sign Language video remote interpreters in order to interact and communicate live with deaf customers. The project will be showcased on May 18 during the “Parla Che Ti Ascolto” event in Cosenza.

A new feature of this edition is the dedicated New Pathways (Nuovi Percorsi) section of the website where it is possible to view all the initiatives launched by our Group, as well as the 2023 Festival’s many other partners who are working to contribute to the transformation of Italian society in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda. This includes the video “Così fa il silenzio" created by Enel X and co-produced with Giffoni Innovation Hub that tells the story of the sustainable future of cities through electrification. 

Culture, policies, information. With the Sustainable Development Festival we are keeping the future bright, reiterating the need for an increasingly direct and proactive involvement by civil society in the creation of a more equitable, inclusive and environmentally-friendly world. Because only with the contribution of each of us can we usher in a new phase of social and economic progress.