Putting the territory back at the centre, understood as local authorities but also nations. This is what the Strategic Localism theorized by Giancarlo Buffo, a Piedmontese entrepreneur and CEO of Cisla, a leading company in the hot forging sector that published the essay “Strategic Localism. A new development model”, edited by Hever (170 pg).
A current text which, by examining the local and foreign scenario in depth, draws attention to some crucial passages from an economic point of view which have led to experiencing a difficult contingency made up of inflation, constantly decreasing purchasing power, selling off abroad large Italian companies and groups, energy crisis and cultural and social impoverishment.
Economically we are experiencing the “perfect storm”: pandemic, war, energy surge, inflation. Are we facing the crisis of the globalized model? “The rupture – answers Buffo – of the international balances has produced and will produce a series of consequences with the need to rethink the development model, identifying new paradigms capable of recomposing the relationships between world players and establishing a different vision of the future in a framework of relations between public subjects, institutions and private individuals in which the expectations of the universal citizen can be recognized and satisfied. Globalization, like any other model of interconnection, produces different effects according to the greater or lesser degree of openness of societies. open society the balance between democracy and the market has different connotations than in autarkic societies; however, even an oligopolistic approach in democracies can produce effects, both in the medium and long term, contrary to the objective of increasing citizens’ living conditions. The universal citizen has gained an awareness of the benefits of mobility and interdependence, it is therefore a question of governing the process of globalisation”.
What do you mean by zero km logic, which is mentioned in your book? “The globalization process – says Buffo – has paradoxically brought the local management of relations with citizens back into the limelight. The contrast between the need to raise the decision-making level and that of keeping the individual communities still protagonists of their destiny is becoming a political problem -economic of fundamental importance for the resolution of the conflicts currently taking place in our society. The zero km is in fact not the grapes of Phaedrus’ fairy tales, but the awareness that wealth and well-being are not values that can be acquired and transported anywhere , in defiance of the limits imposed by the physical distance between the various parts of the earth.In this ambit, the large supranational institutions lose their role as absolute rulers of the system to assume a less apparent, but no less important, role of entities in able to ensure harmony between individual local realities, so that the expectations of one of quest and do not harm the possibility of growth of the others. Every citizen is given a series of rights which, however, very often are not guaranteed with the promptness that favors the effective enjoyment of the right. The logic of km. 0 both on the level of rights, and on that of the provision of services, and on that of the world of the production of goods, identifies a possible intermediate stage for solving the problem”.
Through Strategic Localism, Local Authorities are placed at the center of the decision-making and management process: are we sure that Italian Municipalities are really able to satisfy the needs of the territories? “Strategic localism – replies the author – must be understood in a broader sense and also concerns relations between nations. The great advantage of Italy compared to other countries is that it has a capillary structure of distribution and presence of the state, very branched on the territory, made up of 7,904 Municipalities (Istat data 2021). The Municipality is in fact the first link in the chain of the State. The widespread presence of the State on the territory, through the Municipalities and other territorial entities is a great resource and opportunity, and not exclusively a cost! It must therefore not be segmented and rationalized, merged and cut, but used, as it represents the spearhead of our country’s organizational system. The Italian state has almost eight thousand sentinels on the national territory, who are able to report to the central structure what are the effects of its decisions, from changes to the organizational structures to the provision of services, certifying them or not the functioning and approval by the final beneficiaries. The Local Authority is the first interface with the population and the first public body to create a relationship with citizens. If this relationship takes shape in positive terms and the requests made by citizens and businesses find attention and concrete solutions, a positive climate is built towards the State and citizens’ trust towards the institutions”.
The economic, financial world and society in general seem to be faster than the legislator. What should the government do? What do you ask the political class? “There is a lack of synchrony – underlines Buffo – between the times of politics and the times of civil society. It seems to me that the initiatives put in place by the Government especially in our country are an important sign of adjustment of the system. The season of reforms and the commitments on the Pnrr are important concrete actions that will make the Italian system make a qualitative leap. a collective commitment to make a contribution both in terms of ideas and concrete achievements”.
You also suggest that new parameters are needed to measure a country’s state of well-being. GDP is no longer enough: what is the welfare meter you are talking about? “On these issues – says Buffo – there is a large literature, different ways to measure the real well-being of citizens, the degree of satisfaction of their needs and expectations. It is a topic that necessarily involves several disciplines. I indicate some evaluation parameters that should integrate the current, in addition to the GDP for example the social progress index, the social marginal utility, the heuristic algorithm for the calculation of real well-being. In general, the possibility of dimensioning the perceived well-being in terms of value, which has a sense not a price”.