Pontecorvo and Magliano invited by the Obama Foundation to illustrate their empowerment projects

In Chicago, Barack and Michelle Obama led the first-ever Obama Foundation Summit, discussing for two days (Oct. 31 – Nov. 1) activism and leadership with nearly 500 young community organizers – from 61 countries – nominated by community organizations in their home countries or invited after applying online at Obama.org. Two of these participants were the Italians Roberto Pontecorvo, from Praiano on the Amalfi Coast, and Valentino Magliano, from Milan.

Magliano, who is involved in education activism in Italy helping to prepare students to become public speakers, was invited after organizations in Milan recognized him as an enterprising youth leader. On the other hand, twenty-seven years old Pontecorvo applied online at Obama.org, and he was chosen among more than 20,000 applicants.

Pontecorvo, who has a three-year degree in International Relations from the university of Forlì, spent his Erasmus Year in Lyon, got a Master in European Studies in Siena, and has been a researcher in Krakow and Brussels, recounts: “Everything started in 2013 from a territorial development idea for my hometown, Praiano, on the Amalfi Coast” – called Agenda Praiano. “We transformed it into an open-air museum, with an App, and a guide for the 150 works exhibited. The success went beyond expectations. So, we derived a model of national territorial development.” In Chicago, the Obama Foundation was looking for world-class leaders in reference to projects or experiences that took place at local level all over the world – “I very humbly spoke about mine”, he said.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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