Speech by Brunello Cucinelli to the World's Great Leaders on the occasion of the G20
Our idea of Humanistic Capitalism and Human Sustainability
Rome, 31 October 2021
I am honoured to be here among you, the authoritative rulers of our wonderful Earth. I will try with some emotion to express to you my idea of Human Sustainability and what I mean by Humanistic Capitalism.
I spent the first part of my life in the country, we were farmers, we did not have electricity, we worked the land with animals, we collected rainwater, we had a great respect for the earth. The Greek philosopher and poet Xenophanes stated: “Everything comes from the earth”, and we lived in harmony with Creation. The first bale of grain we harvested went to the community at my grandfather's behest. From there I learned the great theme of life: the balance between profit and giving back; that period of my life is still a gift to my soul.
Brunello Cucinelli at the G20 in Rome, October 2021
As a boy, I saw my teary-eyed father, as he was subject to humiliation and offense at work, and even today I do not understand why he should be humiliated and belittled; however, inspired by the pain I read in those eyes, I decided that the dream of my life would be to live and work for the moral and economic dignity of the human being. I wanted a company that made healthy profits, but did so with ethics, dignity and morals; we are listed on the stock exchange, I wanted a company that had a balanced and gracious growth. I wanted human beings to work in slightly better places, earn a little more in wages and feel like thinking souls at work. Let us try not to turn our backs on poverty.
I wanted a small part of the company's profits to go to beautify all of humanity and I wanted people to work a fair amount of hours and be online the right amount of time, so that Technology and Humanism could be harmonised and a healthy balance between mind, soul and body could be restored, because the soul and body also need nourishment every day.
We try to respect the laws of every State, and thanks to my esteemed President Draghi, our Italy has regained its credibility.
Our business is located in Solomeo, a small 14th century medieval village near Assisi. We work in old factories built in the past century, some have been restored and embellished to make them modern, others have been demolished and the land has been reclaimed for agriculture, especially vineyards, olive groves, orchards and wheat; so finally we can say that we have not consumed our beloved land. We have restored the village by listening to the wise word of our masters and we have built a theatre that we consider to be a secular temple of art, then a monument to the Dignity of Man and an immense park called "Project for Beauty".
And now we are going to build a universal library; for this idea we were inspired by the great Ptolemy I of Alexandria and the Emperor Hadrian when he stated: "Books showed me the way of life; when I grew up, life made me understand the content of books. Whoever builds libraries will have built public granaries for future generations".
This is our idea of Human Sustainability and what we call Humanistic Capitalism. In greeting and thanking you, I hope my heart has suggested the right words for a request addressed to you, I like to believe, on behalf of the whole of mankind: "Oh my esteemed and powerful temporary guardians of Creation, you who are responsible for the beauty of the world, please show us the way to life. May Creation protect us and enlighten us towards a new universal Humanism".
Immensely thank you,