The role of the Ethics Foundation



In summary

Fondazione Etica (FE) is a fnational, independent and non-profit organization, established in Milan in 2008.

It works as an applied research center, mainly dealing with innovation of public administrations, transparency and prevention of corruption, innovation with social impact.

Its goal is to contribute to creation of public value.

For this reason, it is a partner of World Bank for Social Accountability program, European Commission for the quality of public governance,  Central and local administrations to improve efficiency and transparency, Caritas and the Social Italy Foundation for social innovation.


A new approach to social issues, to be seen as an engine of development

In the social sphere, FE has launched its activity to deal with the continuous growth of the numbers of material and non-material poverty in our country. Numbers that have led her to take a stand on the need to radically rethink the very concept of social policies: no longer to be limited to emergency interventions, but to be extended to the objective of removing the very causes of poverty. An idea of social policies, therefore, to be approached also as economic policies, in which public financial resources spent on welfare are no longer conceived as a mere cost, but transformed into an opportunity for economic and social development for the entire community.

The Italian legislator intervened in 2016 to confirm that anticipatory position of Fondazione Etica, which with the approval of the so-called "Reform of the Third Sector" introduced important innovations that go in the direction of that "de facto movement" which, in all the world, it is called “Social impact innovation and investing”. It is a formula that has now become fashionable, but which FE began experimenting in the field as early as 2015, when it embarked on a path that led it to implement the first social impact investing pilot project in Italy, drawing inspiration from what was already carried out in Great Britain in 2010 and in the United States in 2012. The first because it is entirely financed with an innovative financial instrument – inspired by the Solidarity Securities envisaged by the aforementioned reform – with the active and responsible involvement of private savings.

The project, titled "Lights in the Park" and inaugurated in 2020, it concretely demonstrates how an innovative social and economic investment can be made, measurable in the impact produced and replicable. Starting from the regeneration of a disused public building in a naturalistic park in Tuscany, FE has involved public institutions, non-profit organizations, business and trade associations, not to set up a nice social project, but to first experiment, and then systematise, a new way of making social policies. In fact, Luci nel Parco was not created for charity, but to start social and economic activities that have created jobs in the name of ESG sustainability.

From there was born brand "LIGHTS", with which Fondazione Etica promotes and implements the social impact design, training and supporting those who want to practice social innovation in practice.

Thus was born the support to common house project, conceived by the FoQus Foundation and supported by Guber Banca: in it FE takes care of the innovative part of the planning based on the "LUCI" model, the structuring of the innovative financial instrument, the supervision and the connection between the activities of Guber Banca and those of the Foundation FoQuS functional to the realization of the Common House.