As part of our search for ways of doing social entrepreneurship, last week we had a meeting at Cascina Cuccagna where Beniamino Saibene, founder associate of esterni received us to tell us about their project and its development.
esterni is a non-profit, cultural association born in Milan in 1995. It was the idea of Beniamino Saibene and Lorenzo Castellini which at the time felt they needed to give something back to the city in which they lived in. For this they thought about using the public space as a place for people to meet. Their main idea was to bring people out of their houses and use the street as a place to relate and make new connections. They, mostly, work on the idea of "public design", which is rethinking and redesigning public spaces and creating events where social aggregation is the key.
After sixteen years of work in Milan and Italy first, and in other countries after, esterni has a really positive case history in the field of self-sustainable socially oriented businesses. Now a days with approximately 30 workers within the organization and various freelances collaborating, esterni organizes a series of events.
Within the events they organize we can find:
- Milano Film Festival: This is one of the most important film festivals in Italy. It's a platform in which independent and young film makers can showcase their work. More info on: http://www.milanofilmfestival.it/
- Public Design Festival: As part of the events for Salone del Mobile, with this initiative they pretend to design and think for public spaces. They think about the public spaces at all levels, redesigning them to create new spaces and interventions within the city of Milan. More info on: http://www.publicdesignfestival.org/
- Cascina Cuccagna: With the idea of giving spaces back to the city, this 15th century abandoned urban farm is being refurbished and it will serve as a space in which various cultural events will be taking place. More info on: http://www.cuccagna.org/
Other initiatives worth mentioning are Audiovisiva, an event for contemporary music and video art. And the brand new Animation Film Festival still in it's first edition but aiming to grow at a good pace in the coming years.
As part of our learning experience, this meeting helped us to understand new ways of developing social enterprises, ways to find funding for them, and a series of initiatives that can be developed within the social entrepreneurship arena.
For more information on esterni visit http://www.esterni.org/
Thank you Beniamino!