a curious Yankee in Europe's court

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Finding the future in Calabria, Italy

Posted on the February 4th, 2010

Intelligence — pure and alive — is not confined to one gender, one socio-economic class, one country, or one culture. It can be found anywhere, seemingly random, in the world around us. It’s often in places, in people, where the ruling elites of society either blindly assume it doesn’t exist, or care little if it does.

A remarkable man in a tiny, dying village in Calabria, Italy had an extraordinarily intelligent idea several years ago. It was also kind (but does true intelligence exist that isn’t also kind?). Driving along the coast that runs past his home town of Riace, Domenico Lucano, a teacher, saw 300 Kurdish refugees making their way to shore from the boat they had just arrived in.

What would you have done in Lucano’s shoes? What would I have done? It’s the kind of story that raises such questions.

Lucano did something revolutionary, and he saved his town:

Lucano welcomed the Kurds into his village. Other refugees followed, the flotsam of wars and poverty around the world. He decided to create a place where the refugees and local inhabitants could work and live side-by-side — a global village, in the poorest corner of one of Italy’s poorest regions, a land of shattered dreams. He established an association and gave it an ambitious name: Città Futura (“City of the Future”)

Read the story  here (‘City of the Future’ by Juliane von Mittelstaedt, Spiegel Online International, Feb 4, 2010).


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