The history of the Adriano Olivetti Foundation begins in January 1962, in an Italy that is experiencing, thanks to the policies of the first center-left, the programming that Adriano Olivetti has reasoned about for so many years. Two years after the sudden death of Adriano Olivetti, the closest family members and some collaborators set up the Adriano Olivetti Foundation in Ivrea, taking on the task of coordinating and continuing his initiatives in the social, cultural and political fields and protecting his figure and work.
The Adriano Olivetti Foundation exists so that its value heritage is a creative tool for activities which, by deepening the knowledge of the conditions on which social progress depends, contribute to the realization of the Olivetti vision of society. Commemoration is not part of its grammar.
Community development, training, promotion of philanthropy in Europe, impact of new technologies, environment, innovation, social function of art and architecture, conservation of the legacy and cultural dissemination are just some of the issues addressed by the Foundation during its sixty years of activity 1962 | 2022.
When the family founded it was 1962; the panorama of the Foundations then was not that of today. There was only the Cini Foundation and the Mazzotta Foundation. The allocation of a large amount of money to “promote the cultural and social work aroused by Adriano Olivetti” (as the statute recalls) was an important philanthropic act of which I am proud. My generation, which inherits a mission from the previous one, lives at the same time the privilege of a history that has become of Humanity and the need to completely escape the regret of a bygone era or the hagiographic celebration. This is the spirit with which, in my way, I try to respect the mandate of my mother, who was one of the founders, and to look to the future with hope, while maintaining the independence that the Foundation has always had.
Although not a business foundation, our institution is based on a value heritage closely linked to the business world. A (unique) case in Europe on which a recent research by the Center for Family Business Management of the Free University of Bozen has also focused.
Issues such as welfare, training, culture and sustainability are not only preserved and protected through our archives but also at the core of important projects aimed at companies.
The Statute, drawn up in 1962 and still in force, testifies to the highly experimental identity that distinguishes the Adriano Olivetti Foundation.
The Foundation aims to promote, develop and coordinate cultural initiatives and activities, which are aimed at achieving the well-being, education and training of citizens, through the progressive spread, in harmony with the principles of the Constitution, of community forms, responding to the urban, productive, social, environmental and cultural configuration of the community, according to the ideas of Adriano Olivetti. To this end, the Foundation provides for the conservation of the Historical Archive of the Foundation itself which collects the Archives of Adriano Olivetti, Camillo Olivetti and the Olivetti family, as well as funds from donations and deposits and a large library and newspaper library.
The symbol of the Foundation and the hallmark of its activities is the traditional bell with a scroll bearing the inscription Humana Civilitas.
Statute, comma 5, art. 2
In order not to disperse the testimonies on the history of the Foundation, the research project Nel Segno di Comunità was launched, curated by Vanessa Roghi and Francesca Limana, which traces through interviews the evolution of the Foundation from 1962 to today. All publications are only in the Italian version.