n.10 June 2006

The decline in political and civic engagement, immigration and the growing role of religion are Robert Putnam’s central themes of reflection. Putnam recently addressed a conference organised in Rome by the Foundation for Active Citizenship in the framework of the 2006 edition of the “Euro-American Colloquia on Citizenship” programme. He invites civil society to invent new forms of cohesion.

Japanese at risk of anorexia. The most long-lived population, with a healthy diet and untouched by the excesses of American junk food is catching up with the West as far as eating disorders is concerned. The alarm was started by an investigation by Japan’s National Institute of Mental Health, commissioned by the government: “From 1980 to 1998, symptoms of anorexia among young women increased tenfold”, the center’s specialists stated, “and soon they will reach the American level”.

Fabrizio Lori’s Nuova Pansac is the tangible proof of how a company operating in a mature market can become competitive and successful globally. Even “Business Week” has labelled it one of the best performing European companies. What is its secret? There are quite a few, as I was told in the interview with its CEO, who is used to challenges and making choices that buck the trend.

An Italian company holds 80% of the world market for getters for television and computer cathode ray tubes, and 99% of its turnover comes from exports. A series of noteworthy industrial discoveries mark its 60-year history. Paolo della Porta, an eclectic and persevering engineer, has led the company for over five decades. Paolo’s son Massimo, who now steers the group, continues to focus on advanced research.