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From the mountains a stimulus for reflection

Di Antonio Caneva, 1 Ottobre 2015

A surreal light enveloped the mountains under low clouds.
I entered the large hall, which, unexpectedly, was already crowded.
Carlo Cotarelli, the former Commissioner in charge of the Italian spending review, was to present his book with the emblematic title “the shopping list” (La lista della spesa).
He was introduced by Michil Costa, the well-known owner of the Leading Hotel La Perla in Corvara.
He started with a provocative question: what is economy? Is it the ability to make profits at all costs, he wondered, or rather the ability to manage business activities with care and sensitivity to people – adequately remunerated – and the environment, although a view to results?
He definitely chose the latter reply, as was already suggested in an interview he gave a couple of years ago, when he explained his company’s philosophy, where people are called upon to contribute not only their work, but also their participation in collective decision making.
It is a nice way to approach economy, viewed as profit making but also, and above all, as the opportunity to play a social function.
I wish Michil Costa had presented his vision in person on these pages (I would have gladly given up the space of this column to him). He would have certainly been able to convey values that also derive from living in the mountains , with a need for solidarity and care for the environment. I tried to contact him through the communication manager of his hotel, but did not receive a reply. So I resorted to summarising these few ideas myself.
Carlo Cotarelli then spoke entertainingly about his experience as Commissioner, reporting a few episodes from that period, and actually convincing me to buy his book.
That afternoon, however, it was Michil Costa’s presentation that struck me most, and made me think about what we do (and how we do it), and wonder whether our approach is always correct.
Then, as I went out, the sky had brightened up.

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