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Views from the field

Messina Community Foundation Fully Embraces the SDGs

The Messina Community Foundation has been, for a decade, at the forefront of social and economic innovation and transformation, by mobilizing citizen-led action for the utilisation of a wide range of assets (including those previously under Mafia control) for public good. Here Gaetano Giunta, Secretary General of the Messina Community Foundation, describes how the SDG framework helps highlight social, cultural, economic and environ­mental interdependence and the need for coherent, inter­disciplinary action to promote justice, equality and environmental sustainability.

‘The introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 presented the opportunity for Fondazione Comunità di Messina to provide a name and a universal framework to communicate what they had already been developing and implementing at a local level.

Since the very beginning, the Fondazione Comunità Messina’s vision was based on Amartya Sen’s theoretical work on sustainable human development. Established in 2010, as the result of a previous participatory process that lasted almost 10 years, Fondazione Comunità di Messina is a philanthropic foundation that, rather than merely granting funds, provides sustainable human development policies. Located in one of the most vulnerable area of Europe, a city with a high rate of poverty and unemployment and with considerable urban housing problems, the community foundation experiments new sustainable economic welfare practices (capitale personale di capacitazione, that is individual empowerment capital), educational experiences, innovative models on technology, renewable energy and governance, and disruptive arts and cultural proposals. The ultimate goal is to eliminate inequalities (civic, cultural, economic, environmental, and social ones). Every action of Fondazione di Comunità di Messina aims at a radical transformation to promote justice equality and environmental sustainability.

The urgency of counteracting climate change issues which are deeply interconnected to the economic and social transformations of our society, cannot be understated. The Agenda 2030 provides a powerful framework to deal with the complexity at a local level: the transformative capacity of the foundation in its community and beyond is deeply linked with the ability to embrace at the same time all the SDGs, as interdisciplinary and interdependent, and acting coherently’.

James Magowan

Co-ordinating Director

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