Two people meet at a dinner between friends and while partaking of the delights of the table find they have shared a love for culture, their territory and entrepreneurship.

Marco Zamboni and Michelangelo Muraro are the two friends and their idea is that these three things are strongly connected. Sustainable development is a local issue related to local culture and traditions and the competitive advantage of new business draws on these factors.

They realized, then, that these concepts, so simple in reality, are not common. There are thousands of associations, initiatives and ideas but each lacks a momentum of dialogue and meeting between business people who are often very different. They did not think much more about it but after a few days, the association Convivio Italia was founded with the aim to be this meeting place: a network between culture and business that operates as a “synapse trigger” through “dinners”.

Where are better ideas and connections made? At the table, in a “feast”. “The best deals are at the table” said Oscar Wilde, and this is where you agree and you can see ideas and make less obvious decisions.

Dinners and meetings are organized in enchanting places like the famous Venetian Villas, so beautiful but also so little valued. On these evenings one can enjoy good music, good food and at the tables meet interesting people all ready to look for business opportunities.

One could argue that the formula is not new, the Rotary or the Lions already experimented successfully for years and “informal meetings” are very widespread in the Anglo-Saxon world, but the difference is remarkable. The desire to open up new initiatives is in Convivio always linked to the development of the local area and culture. Business also follows a sustainable ethic and the dream of enhancing the historical roots as a way to increase competitiveness in a global market.

And to emphasize the non-competitivity but, rather, their synergy, Convivio together with the Rotary organized the prize ConvivioItalia for new business ideas. The awards are to be presented in a conference-banquet “The Venetian Villa as model and a seed for culture and business.”

The awards are Bosse Buffona donated by Energitismo, an association that internationalizes entrepreneurs, artisans and territories through telling their stories. The Bossa Buffona embodies an example of how you can create a link between past and future. It is a “punctured” carafe (wine jug) from which it seems impossible to drink. Friends and colleagues are challenged to take the test. It was used in weddings and dinners but it had fallen into oblivion. Revived and reactivated by Energitismo in some celebratory dinners, it has attracted a lot of attention and fun.

And just as the Romans said “Before you know a person well, you have to eat a pound of salt together,” Convivio Italia must organize many other dinners to give birth to desire by Italian entrepreneurs to cooperate (something for which our country is not very well known!).

Ad majora!