IT'S CITTASLOW TIME!
On behalf of our President, Mauro Migliorini, I am preparing as every end year to write greetings from the Orvieto Headquarters, the Coronavirus pandemic has brought confusion, pain and uncertainty everywhere. Let us not forget that due to the virus all the other tragedies of humanity are also magnified: an FAO report estimates that in 2020 between 83 and 132 million more people could suffer from hunger due to the economic recession triggered by the COVID-19 emergency. ...
Even our Cittaslow communities have been put to the test and have suffered and are still suffering: however we have also been able to react strongly to the challenge, each for himself and also in solidarity with each other, and we have once again found ourselves more resilient than others. Being "slower" certainly helps us, and they are noticing it everywhere, even outside our association. The same genetic mutation of the virus tells us that we must be able to live with and react resiliently to the new threats that we have largely created with our behaviors and mistakes of the recent past.
As you will remember, it was 1977 when the economist and social philosopher John Kenneth Galbraith was the first to explain to the world what it means to "live in the age of uncertainty" in global terms ... As it reminded us all in an important document the German Cittaslow Network's position, the “environmental issue” and the need for a global Green deal is the priority for building a future of quality, for the health and well-being of every terrestrial. Our planet - we know - is the only one we have and we share it with all other living beings: in this regard, thanks to Greta Thumberg - who will turn 18 on January 3, 2021 - and to all the very young citizens for the loud “scream" launched towards adults …
The principles, the words, the projects of Cittaslow now fortunately echo also in the planning documents of the UN, of the EU, of China, and in recent times also of many large and small countries. As Mayors and Cittaslow communities, dedicating it
to our founder, the great Paolo Saturnini, former Mayor of Greve in Chianti (I) who left us prematurely last summer, we must be aware and proud of our historical role as pioneers of "environmental and social sustainability" and commit ourselves to do more more.
As Cittaslow we know very well where we are now and in which direction we are going, but it is not enough and as a community we must take on additional responsibilities: in 2021 we all try to transform risks into opportunities by using Cittaslow even more and better in each country. As Cittaslow grows in many countries, so does our collective responsibility.
With the entry as Cittaslow Supporter of Izmir (TR) metropolitan city, Mayor Tunç Soyer, Coordinator of Cittaslow Turkey Network, today we reach a catchment area of about 20 million citizens in thirty countries.
For the whole of next year we will inevitably have to limit our movements and in-person meetings as much as possible, but our online platform and new IT means allow us to continue sharing ideas and projects and maintain a strong connection between us. As announced by our President Mauro Migliorini, Mayor of Asolo (I), at the last Coordination on December 17th, for next year we will propose a calendar of thematic webinars in which you can all collaborate and participate. The 2021 General Assembly, set online on 12 June 2021, will also be preceded for the first time by a series of online technical and scientific meetings coordinated by the Orvieto Headquarters and organized by various Cittaslows around the world in collaboration with our Committee Coordinator scientific, Giuseppe Roma. By the scientific Committee in collaboration with Jacek Kostka, Mayor of Górowo Ilaweckie (PL), and the Polish Cittaslow Network, as well as Bon Sohn and Hee Jung Jang of Cittaslow Corea Network, the great strategic project of Cittaslow Academy takes its first steps, which we will be able to talk about together in the coming months and which will involve all networks..
Essential, today more than ever, are the exchange of information and best practices in the Cittaslow cities and new projects between the each Cittaslow to create opportunities for economic and social development in our communities: among these extremely important tools are the EU Next Generation fund about which Coordinator Cittaslow Italy, Stefano Pisani, Mayor of Pollica (I), has dedicated a well-prepared scheduled plan, and the European Group of Territorial Cooperation, the Cittaslow EGTC, coordinated by the Vice-President, Arnoud Rodenburg, Mayor of Midden-Delfland (NL). For these reasons it is advisable to launch as soon as possible a project-action that will make young people co-protagonists in the choices of Cittaslow for the future.
We propose as key point for the next Cittaslow 2021 General Assembly will be the involvement of young people in Cittaslow International programs.
I am attaching a note as a "bookmark" to put on all your Mayors' agendas in 2021: I await your information and contributions on the matter.
Meanwhile, also on behalf of the President of Cittaslow International, Mauro Migliorini, and of the whole team of the Cittaslow headquarters in Orvieto and of Eurodesk in Olsztyn in Poland,
we send you our Best Wishes for Christmas and Year to come,
Pier Giorgio Oliveti, Secretary General
"In ancient times, to make the light of virtue shine throughout the universe, one began by rearranging one's country, one began by rearranging one's family.
To rearrange one's family, one began by perfecting oneself.
To perfect oneself, one began by making one's heart straight.
To make one's heart straight, one began by making one's intention authentic.
To make one's intention authentic, one began by developing one's knowledge,
and he developed his knowledge by examining things.
It is by examining things that knowledge reaches its maximum extent.
It is by perfecting oneself that one tidies up one's home; it is by rearranging one's home that one's country is rearranged;
and it is when the countries are in order that great peace and harmony are achieved throughout the universe"(Confucius, VI-V century BC)
“What we are looking for is not a convincing sequence of exceptional events but an explanation of their tendency in terms of human institutions" (by Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation, 1944, p. 7)