Faith and business are powerful forces for peace

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Leardo Ravaioli


About Ghisamestieri: Ghisamestieri stands for technology, design, culture and sustainability. The goal of Ghisamestieri is simple but very ambitious: transforming design works in decorative elements that increase the quality of life.


Global Business & Interfaith Peace GOLD Medalist

Leardo Ravaioli, CEO of lighting company Ghisamestieri, worked with Italian Rotary Clubs and faith leaders to bring sustainable sources of water, food, education, and light (through solar power) to people of all faiths in Sierra Leone after its civil war. His interfaith commitment continues as his company sponsored Italy’s first annual interfaith festival in 2017.

Acceptance Speech

(ENG) “The “Global Business and Interfaith Peace Awards” is the recognition of a value of the human relationship that, as a businessman, I have always tried to put at the center of my work. This award convinces me that in “bringing light” through beauty and technology means placing the value of the meeting among people of different religious communities at the center of the public space. In countries such as Senegal, Libya, Tunisia, India, Chechnya, in the Middle East where Ghisamestieri works, our  task is to build again meeting places in public spaces, facing with the civil and religious authorities of those countries. In the squares, in front of the main places of worship such as Grozny, Medinah, Doha, Dakar, Tripoli, Tunis, Kuwait City, Rome, Venice, Milan, as in the streets and large neighborhoods like Bangalore, but also in the villages of huts of Africa as we have proposed in Sierra Leone, our commitment will be to respond to the will of religious communities to once again have spaces where they can rebuild a tissue of relationships that, sometimes in the past, have experienced conflict and contrasts.”

(ITA) “Il “Global Business and Interfaith Peace Awards” è il riconoscimento ad un valore del rapporto umano che, come imprenditore, ho sempre cercato di mettere al centro del mio lavoro. Questo Premio mi convince che nel “portare luce”, attraverso la bellezza e la tecnologia, significhi porre il valore dell’incontro tra uomini di diverse comunità religiose al centro dello spazio pubblico. In Paesi come in Senegal, in Libia, in Tunisia, in India, in Cecenia, in Medio Oriente dove Ghisamestieri opera, il nostro compito è tornare a costruire luoghi di incontro nello spazio pubblico, a partire dal confronto con le autorità civili e religiose di quei Paesi. Nelle piazze, davanti ai principali luoghi culto come a Grozny, a Medinah, a Doha, Dakar, Tripoli, Tunisi, Kuwait City, Roma, Venezia, Milano, come nelle strade e nei grandi quartieri come a Bangalore, ma come anche nei villaggi di capanne dell’Africa come abbiamo proposto in Sierra Leone,il nostro impegno sarà di rispondere alla volontà delle comunità religiose di tornare ad avere spazi dove ricostruire un tessuto di relazioni che, a volte in passato, hanno conosciuto il conflitto e la contrapposizione.”


Bio

Leardo Ravaioli born in Sorbano (FC-Italy) on 09/15/1951. In 1970 he graduated at Cesena High School Technical Institute for Commerce “Renato Serra”. From 1970 to 1985, he was employed at “Cassa di Risparmio di Cesena” Bank. From 1985 to 1993 he covers the charge of Sales Manager in different companies in Forlì: the most important of them was “Fonderie di Forlì Spa”, part of “Gruppo Bartoletti Spa”. In 1993, with other partners, he started the entrepreneurial activity establishing Ghisamestieri Srl, based in Bertinoro (FC). The company deals with the production of poles for urban lighting and furniture. Since 2001 he is Chairman of the company itself, which today is developed on three production centers: Bertinoro (FC) with 43 employees; Specchia (LE) with 8 employees and Acerra (NA) with 10 employees. In 2004, he becomes a founding partner of the “Forlì Tre Valli Rotary Club”, of which he was Chairman between 2005 and 2006. Since 2006, he covers the charge of Chairman in Ghisamestieri Iron Craft, whose headquarters are located in Ning-Bo (China), a Chinese manufacturing company, but entirely of Italian ownership: 51,5% Ghisamestieri Srl and 48,5% Simest Spa. From 2008 to 2017, he becomes Sole Director of Ghisamestieri Srl.


More Detail

The project involved Ghisamestieri s.r.l. with the partnership of three Rotary International Clubs from Romagna district. The fulfillment of this project foresaw some changes and assistance in four vital areas in Makeni, in Sierra Leone, that got out of the civil war exhausted and endured the pain of child-soldiers. The procedure has been made possible thanks to the partnership with Dom Giorgio Biguzzi S.X., bishop of Makeni. The war has torn apart the country and the citizens: economic activities collapsed and many children were kidnapped from their families and from their education because they were needed at the front. Thanks to the help of bishop Biguzzi, the project intervened on behalf of four fundamental areas for the rehabilitation of the country: “Light, Water, Bread and School”. Light: the project provided for the installing of solar panels in strategic locations of the villages and the city itself. Water: water resources in Sierra Leone are quite relevant, but due to the dreadful condition of the water network/ water pipes extraction and distribution proves hard. The project expected five new wells in the district and the training of new employees that have the technical knowledge for the essential maintenance work. Bread: the goal of this project was to instill the knowledge of modern cultivation techniques in order to reach sustainability through respecting the production capacities of the soil. School: the project aimed to build middle and high schools, that have been juxtaposed with the already existing primary school. The real wish was to leave a concrete sign on the future leaders of Sierra Leone.

Ghisamestieri s.r.l. also sponsored from 2nd to 4th of June 2017 Italy’s first annual interfaith festival in Bertinoro (FC), titled “Between earth and sky. A life in research Festival “, organized by the Interfaith Museum of Bertinoro Foundation. A “Life in Research Festival” aims to rediscover reason in relation to the religious sense and the awareness that the profession of a faith cannot be limited exclusively to the private life, but it can give a live and positive contribution to the construction of a new model of relationship among people in public life. Since the Festival is organized by the Interfaith Museum, it also aims to achieve the goal of bringing the dialogue back to what it actually is: not a simple issue, but a living practice made of evidence and friendship. Finally the Festival aims to boost the value of hospitality, bringing it back to be a practical meeting and real relationship with each other. The intention is to go out of the common place of defining others by a single theoretical point of view, in order to make the other become a real – life person, with no ideal projections. The Interfaith Museum of Bertinoro is the only Italian exhibition devoted to the discussion and dialogue among Judaism, Islam and Christianity. From over 10 years the Museum has promoted the knowledge of different identities of the monotheistic faiths as a tool to promote the meeting among religions; it’s also the only Italian exhibition devoted to discussion and dialogue among Judaism, Christianity and Islam at present.


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