A cultural incubator

The Moleskine Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in 2006 as lettera27 – an unconventional cultural incubator.

It takes lettera27’s heritage -people, values and projects - and brings it to a wider scale. The Moleskine Foundation embraces the experience of the founders of the Moleskine Brand, who are committed to applying the very values that led to the brand’s success to generate social impact. It operates in complete independence from the Moleskine company.

Our Purpose

We believe that Quality Education is key to producing positive change in society and driving our collective future.

We are committed to providing youth with unconventional educational tools and experiences that help foster critical thinking, creative doing and life-long learning, with a focus on communities affected by cultural and social deprivation.

To achieve this, we work at the intersection of three focus areas: innovative education, art and culture for social transformation, advocacy and cross-cultural sensitization.

With a special focus on Africa, the Foundation works closely with local organizations to fund, support and co-create a wide range of distinctive initiatives.

Together with our partners and grantees the Moleskine Foundation strives to catalyse systemic change through an open, participatory and cross-sectorial approach.

Ashoka Storytelling Workshop at ASE. Photo by Siphosihle Mkhwanazi

Our Approach

Projects and formats

We identify, develop and implement initiatives and we are open to partnerships with third-party organizations.

Grants and co-funding

We identify and support cultural organizations and projects that share the Foundation’s values and which are in line with its objectives.

Content hub

The Foundation gathers and curates a wide variety of content. This might be informative, educational and/or cultural. We take part in research, documentation and communication activities – both independently and in partnership with other organizations.

Maurice Pefura, "If You Can Swim", c7, 2012, courtesy of the artist

Innovative Education

The right to education is one of the basic human rights. But what kind of education? We believe in unconventional educational tools and initiatives that can be complementary to the institutional educational system, that is often limited and traps students within the boundaries of conformism.

We want to provide young people with different forms of learning and help them to think creatively and critically, to get out of their comfort zones, to be free to question their society. Over time many examples of alternative education have been created, and all have a common basis – breaking the rules, even if only temporarily.

Ashoka Storytelling Workshop at ASE. Photo by Siphosihle Mkhwanazi

Art and culture for social transformation

The Moleskine Foundation believes that art is an important lever for knowledge, exploration and experimentation. It supports the creative process as an amplifier of awareness and encouragement of critical thinking. Culture, in its broadest sense, is its playing field.

We are convinced that creativity has the power to transform society and produce positive, concrete change.

Arbre Palabre, SUD, Douala, 2010

Advocacy and cross-cultural sensitization

As part of its mission the Moleskine Foundation is committed to inspiring and engainging in critical debate with international cultural protagonists from a vast array of fields.  
We want to contribute to shaping the international debate on quality education, art and culture for social transformation, cross cultural interaction and other contemporary topics

We aim to contribute to reversing the dominant North-South knowledge production paradigm, thus opening new geographical, cultural and sociological perspectives. We do this by curating and aggregating content online and through organizing seminars, discussions and panels on relevant topics as well as pursuing innovative research projects that challenge conventional approaches.

Maurice Pefura, Portrait III, 2015. Courtesy of the artist.