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Poker of Aces: 5 questions to 4 entrepreneurs of Made in Italy – TLon

This month we interview Maura Gancitano, writer-philosopher and co-founder of the publishing house TLon.

conjointly 1. The TLON project focuses, among many other themes, on freedom and the flourishing of the human being.  For years Italy has been defined, and perhaps still is, a country not very suitable for young people who, to take up the botanical metaphor, are the sprouts of the societies of the future. Demographic data also clearly speak of an aging population and very high rates of inactivity. Why don’t we bloom anymore? Or rather, what are the characteristics of those who flourish in our country? 

This is not a new fact, unfortunately, but one that is now showing itself in all its problematic nature. We are a country in which we talk about young people but not to young people, who are portrayed in a belittling way, as if they were never committed enough. A country in which some professions are considered second-class because they are new or because they belong to sectors that are never seen as productive and capable of generating value, such as the cultural sector. 

We are also a society that, when someone excels or succeeds in achieving, spreads suspicion and slander, suggests that “success” did not come through merit, but through third-party elements, generating a culture of envy that leads to the belief that if someone succeeds, they are somehow taking something away from you. Obviously dismantling these and other elements that do not help to flourish in our country is complex, there are structural conditions to be changed in order to access the job, for example, but it is also important to work on ourselves so as not to be influenced too much by the opinion of others. 

Kağızman 2. Philosophy pervades the way we position ourselves in relation to the interpretation of the world. However, it is often the case that we are faced with totally opposed philosophical approaches, so it is difficult to find a single orientation that can identify us. In the evolution of people and communities, how can we maintain the necessary balance so as not to get lost at the mercy of the oppositions typical of our time? 

It is not wrong to maintain a position, but there is a risk of losing contact with those who are different from us, those who have a different perspective but not necessarily a wrong one. The inability to listen to different points of view, unfortunately, is the result of the tendency to close in on one’s own community, which is emphasized by the “bubbles” of social media, but especially by politics and the media. Philosophy in this sense allows us to listen without judging, to be open to diversity, to understand opinions different from our own without immediate polarization, but trying to understand the reasons of the other. When we are confronted with someone who thinks differently from us, it is essential to have interpretative charity, that is, to try to understand what the other person is saying and to take it seriously, that is, to consider it credible. It is therefore necessary to make the different positions more understandable for everyone, to integrate the different opinions, to initiate dialogues that are not limited to supporting opposing theses without listening.

http://dzikibez.pl/?klew=singiel-35-lat&a22=1b 3. Today, more or less militant environmentalism seems to be a scenario capable of uniting different generations and cultures. However, when we talk about sustainable development, it is sometimes the new generations from countries in the South of the world that do not believe in the concept of sustainable limits to consumption and production, claiming a right to infinite growth from which Westerners have benefited for centuries. In your opinion, how can we make people believe in a concept of limits that is not punitive? 

I believe it is profoundly mistaken to attribute responsibility to those who spread that model of success and growth, i.e. the colonialist and capitalist countries of the North of the world. In fact, we risk once again judging poor countries as “backward” because they do not perceive the urgency of sustainability and follow a model that we ourselves have “exported”. Moreover, an environmentalist culture is not yet truly shared in any country, and for this reason I believe that change must first and foremost be social and cultural, accompanied by a positive narrative of change and concrete practice in daily behavior.  

4. Following on from the previous question, with the spread of working from home in partial response to the Covid emergency, the boundary between work and personal life, between reachability and privacy, between private and collective spaces has been lost. Do you think we will return to establishing the same limits as in the past, or new limits to personal and professional action? 

I don’t think there can be a one-size-fits-all formula, although balancing is the high road. It’s about creating dialogue and understanding what is best for that company, for that company population, for that person and for that moment in their life. It’s a listening skill we’re not used to, though, and it’s not part of the classic corporate culture. That’s why, here too, a cultural change is needed. What has happened in the last two years, in fact, has been an increase in pressure and performance anxiety related to goals and rhythms, as well as a breakdown of the boundary between work space and personal space. I don’t find it’s so much a question of boundaries, though, as it is one of respect. Rather than rigid policies, we should seek a balance that is the result of listening. More than a limit, therefore, for me it is an ethical question. 

5. Finally, the last question: in your experience, do NOs to situations that we do not find interesting or YESs to situations that we do not find interesting but from which we hope to learn something?

It’s great to compare these two, and I think it’s helpful to find a measure. Defining oneself on the NOs pushes one to see only the critical issues. Saying only YES means accepting to be measured, priced. We need to find the right discernment. The basic question, in order to find the balance, is to ask yourself what you want to do. Not everyone has to have an independent project, but everyone has to decide what to do, understand what is a YES and a NO, and cultivate respect for oneself, one’s skills and one’s desires. 

Thanks for reading and….to the next ASSO!

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