For-profit businesses are all alike; every non-profit is peculiar in its own way.

The Free Thinker Association (ALP) is an olive tree, born shortly after the tsunamis that marked the start of the new millennium. Relatively young, therefore, on the olive-longevity scale. Nonetheless, different branches already grow from its trunk - each expresses the common genetic inheritance by carrying out, in its own personal direction, the only activity that makes sense: searching the sun.

 

What is my vision for this olive tree?
To begin with, providing a home for the ideas (projects, creativity, desire to do) of each of you, not just mine: what sense would it have, otherwise, to call the association "Free Thinker"? Vittorio Gorini – the original free thinker and popular philosopher, the root of our olive tree, so to speak – a certain act of thinking is liberating; thinking can free us from our limits, make us grow as human beings, and the association exists for this. So that each of us, if s/he desires, could get involved. Express oneself in the cultural field or in that of sustainability, in the field of training or (obviously) in the midst of olive trees. Each branch of our tree can be more or less developed, it can direct itself to the sun with its own peculiar angle, but basically it does the same thing as the others: it brings people together. To craft ways to free ourselves. To grow as human beings.

On what soil does this olive tree grow?
The cultural sphere is the oldest branch of the association, which in fact was founded in 2009 as an "unrecognized cultural association". The initial impulse, the "root", was Mr. Gorini and his unique philosophy of life. We set up an organization to be able to do a work of cultural archeology: an "excavation" of a plethora of audio, video, text, and image materials between post-WWII Umbria and that of the 90s – now comprising the archive of the Associazione.
The fruits have been many: books, documentaries, cultural events under the banner of "creative folly", exhibitions, fairy tales, theater performances for children, and a micro-publishing house that is now approaching the dozen published books. Today, in 2022, we hope to generate a new sprout from this branch: despite the negative response from the Municipality of Perugia, we want to open a Museum of Eclecticism dedicated to Vittorio Gorini in Perugia. In Umbria. 

Expanding from cultural archeology to sustainability
This, a few years ago, has been a natural development: was not Gorini an ante-litteram ecologist? What else does cultural archeology deal with, if not territory? The idea, in this case, is to develop economic activities that can contribute to the sustainable development of the region we live in and deeply love: Umbria.
Hence Babalù the bamboo toothbrush.
Hence O-live Life.
Then the Sustainable Food Network.
Hence Il Dono del Pane and the restoration and re-ignition of the historic collective oven of S. Biagio della Valle (PG). Solid objects, in addition to words; experiences that involve us and the other as active participants (hell is being a spectator, reader, audience).

The younger branch: adult training.
A funny anecdote tells of its definitive affirmation within the association. Towards the end of 2019, together with an actor, I began to build a training program * in person * based on theater and aimed at developing the communication skills of entrepreneurs, professionals, managers, farmers. When the program was completed, it was April 2020, full pandemic: we were forced to cancel the initiative entitled (alas!) Distances. And since we do not want to miss anything even from a symbolic point of view, we had adopted as a logo the sublime (but absolutely illegal) fingers of God and Adam by Michelangelo, barely touching on the vault of the Sistine Chapel. After a few months we held Distances… at a distance, bringing it totally online. In the two years since the strange apocalypse of 2020, online training experiences have sprouted themselves, together with the years-long experiences of in-person training. The topics, the same as always: how human beings communicate; how they do business; how can Umbrian agriculture become sustainable; how to develop soft skills. The idea: to create opportunities for collaboration outside our region. Thus, in 2022, the ALP officially became a member of the Erasmus + and European Solidarity Corps network with the aim of participating and / or organizing initiatives for the exchange of experiences and non-formal and informal training around the issues that are important to us.

Just like the other ones, I encourage you to actively participate in the development of this branch of our olive tree, as co-organizers, trainers, or even simply by taking advantage of the numerous free training opportunities offered by the Erasmus + program of the European Community. To remind us that if we talk about the uniqueness of our territory and our roots, it is to become more open to the uniqueness of others. Not less. If we develop activities with an economic dimension, it is to try to systematize a human management of resources. Not a Human Resource Management. If we work on Gorini, this is for what is universal in him. Not parochial. And the circle, as they say, comes around. 

Angelo Fanelli
(Linguistic Coach, trainer, consultant)
President, Associazione Libero Pensatore

Perugia, November 2022