Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Economic Democracy: Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna region of Northern Italy--Bologna, Parma, Imola--after WWII, one of the most backward rural areas in Europe--now the 10th or so most prosperous region in Europe. It's a center for an effective but very complex devolving partnership of business, labor, and government. 8 million people and 60,000 manufacturing companies. Flexible networks, service centers, cooperatives producing 40% of the product of the region....

It's an intellectual center for economic democracy in the Economics Department of the University of Bologna, in various institutes, and in--as Prof. Zamagni says--the DNA of the people.

It's a model that those interested in sustainable development must know about and understand--easier said than done.

I'm going there for a week on the 10th for the second time with colleagues from the Charitable Trust Forum to meet with business, labor, governmental, and intellectual leaders to learn more.... I'll be writing about this in the days to come.