The States General of lively brains in a dying Italy

3 Novembre 2014

The time has come: the final match is being played and there won’t be any overtime. We can’t waste twenty more years. Not even ten, nor three. This time, history has cut in, sprawling on the tracks of our train, and won’t move. Derail or accept the burden, there are no other options.  Because we can’t be anymore defined as the country  rich in contradictions, corrupted but vital, in debt but able to grow, divided and scourged by different mafia organizations but still ready to react – the country that just over twenty years ago cancelled the First Republic. We don’t have kids to blame for the endless malfunctioning. Those children grew up: it’s us now. And we grew up with the ills of our country. In between were those twenty years that we know well and the new novelty that has a bitterly stale aftertaste. A new charismatic wave, fluent in contemporary language but apparently lacking awareness of the future and the need for a long term-vision, however risky, painful and unpopular it might be.
So, what to do? Disembark? Leave the country and try to lose every trace and connection with it? Float towards the routes of “the least worst”, maybe counting only on oneself and the benefits that can bring? Obviously, such a decision deserves to be respected. However, we took another one, and the road we are walking on now is Gli Stati Generali (The States General). We decided that it was time to do something instead of complaining, to give voice to men and women that can actively improve our existence. We believe they will give us back the word “future”, freeing us from the anxiety of ultimate failure. We believe that this era of lethal dangers could also offer a glimpse of incredible opportunities, encourage and reward those who stick to duty and freedom, in a country plagued with conformist permissiveness. We think that just when rentier and vested interests run the risk of paralysing our society for good there is a chance for truly incisive action: gathering those who have something to say, offering an open space of information and exchange of knowledge. This will offer their ambition and generosity a new platform, free from what is nowadays crystallized in an intolerable oligopoly.
For all these reasons we thought of creating a space where authoritative voices, perspectives and knowledge could interact amongst themselves, with us, with the reality  we live in and with our cities.  We conceived and built a system ofintellects that, from different perspectives and backgrounds, can shed a light on hidden needs and values that are still very much alive in our society. We hope to give voice to the numerous talents which have for too long been neglected and marginalised. We obviously still believe in journalism and its foundations: the ability to find and narrate stories, to produce reportage offering complex truths to aware audiences, to carry out rich analyses and give informed opinions. We’ll try to give you all this regularly on Gli Stati Generali. But while we never forget the high and precious value of our work, we really cannot ignore anymore how the world has evolved and how the massive access to means of information production has completely revolutionized the relationship between those who are qualified to produce relevant content and those who are rightfully interested in accessing it. Stati Generali is therefore based on the selection and editing a few journalistic elements but also  on plurality of free and strong voices. These voices are building up our own quality social media, “brains” that will explain Italy and the world thanks to their skills, experiences and sensitivities. In brief, we decided to create –  thanks to the trust of a dozen  funding partners  and to the work of programmers and engineers that invested their own time and skills – a new organ of information, which is naturally a company, sharing the financial and entrepreneurial objectives of any company.
Like any other company,  it has to face the hurdles of Italian bureaucracy and a system (public-private) that is really hostile to anyone who strives to achieve something new. And like any other real company, its aim is basic and pragmatic: financial stability. This, in our case, cannot be based on purely quantitative measurements that are a legacy of the past. Nowadays, these measurements often lead new media to failure rather than accomplishments. That is why – believing that enterprises can be by definition an acme of collective intelligence – we aim to offer new spaces of native advertisement. Here, the firms themselves can communicate directly, on their own behalf and in their own interests, trying to grab the attention of readers with specific passions, interests and civic needs. These “consumers/readers” are tired of being chased after by invasive banners exploiting viral – and therefore necessarily ephemeral – editorial features).
We are aware it’s a huge challenge, ambitious and with a tad of hopefully healthy folly.  But these are the foundations on which a fruitful and reasonable public discourse can be revived in our country. Without ambition, patience and the willingness to endure and suffer in the name of a vision for tomorrow, Italy will miss the last train for the future. We need, even more now than before, critical, independent voices and a new relationship between skills and action, protest and proposal, between those who know and those who act. From today we will therefore try to open this space of new information and citizenship, together with those who have decided to devote an active hope to Gli Stati Generali. We want to thank them from the very start: for their time and energies, and because, like us and those who founded this Republic which is now stifled by rentier and vested interests, they believe that building the future starting from ourselves is a right. Those who try to strip us of it, beware.

(traduzione dell’editoriale di apertura de Gli Stati Generali)

TAG: General estates, Gli Stati Generali, italy, journalism, social media, user generated content
CAT: Legislazione, Media, Startup

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