What is the Moleskine Foundation?
The Moleskine Foundation is a non-profit organisation that pursues a mission of ‘Creativity for Social Change’. Its purpose is to inspire, encourage and connect young people to transform themselves and their communities through creativity. It does so by providing unconventional education tools and cultural experiences that help fostering critical thinking, creative doing, life-long learning and a changemaking attitude. A central belief is that creativity is key to producing positive change in society, reducing inequalities and driving our collective future.
Who founded the Moleskine Foundation?
The Moleskine Foundation was founded in 2017 by Maria Sebregondi, Roberto Di Puma and Marco Belpoliti. It was previously named lettera27, an unconventional cultural incubator founded in 2006 by Maria Sebregondi, Francesco Franceschi, Daniele Marfori, Marco Belpoliti, Roberto Di Puma and Mario Baruzzi. All founders are external to Moleskine S.r.l. and have chosen to dedicate their knowledge and bring success to the Moleskine Foundation.
To find out more about our team, visit Our People page here
Why there was a need to create the Moleskine Foundation?
As a Foundation, after more than ten years of activities, lettera27 has felt the need and desire to renew itself and make a big quality step in its capacity to produce social impact and the visibility of its unique projects. At the same time, Moleskine Company has felt the need and the desire to enhance its CSR in line with its development and the envisioned future growth. It was hence a natural and exciting mutual agreement.
What is the relationship between the Moleskine Foundation and the Moleskine Company?
While sharing the core brand values around creativity and culture, the Moleskine Foundation operates in complete independence from the Moleskine Company from an organisational and operational standpoint. The brand’s financial contribution sustains the Foundation, allowing 100% of the attracted resources to go straight to social impact. The Foundation’s policies, operations and program decisions are determined solely by its Executive Board and its President and CEO.
What are the Moleskine Foundation's aims?
Moleskine Foundation aims to inspire, encourage and connect young people to use their creativity to transform themselves and their communities by providing unconventional education tools and experiences that help fostering critical thinking, creative doing, life-long learning and a changemaking attitude.
What does the Moleskine Foundation do?
The Moleskine Foundation believes that Creativity for Social Change is a process that brings about positive change by supporting individuals to become creative and active players in their communities. It developed an approach to inspire change through creativity, starting from two main criteria: inclusivity and relevance. The first principle guides the Foundation to support youth and communities with unconventional education tools and experiences that otherwise would not have access to similar opportunities. The second principle guides the Foundation to operate within contemporaneity (zeitgeist) in its programmatic choices, ensuring to bring its resources wherever it can create the higher impact.
To find out more, visit this page
What is the focus target for the Foundation?
The Moleskine Foundation specifically focuses on youth (18-27 y.o) with the belief that if people are empowered with critical and creative thinking skills from a young age, they can find solutions to our most complex problems and drive our collective future. This is our focus, but it is not our limit; some of our initiatives are open to other targets and age groups, in line with our life-long learning credo.
Why is Africa the focus of the Foundation? Will you only operate in Africa?
The Moleskine Foundation developed an implementation that has moved away from a nation-states/regional approach. Nevertheless, we still have a unique focus on the African continent. The Foundation’s network within the African Continent remains one of our more valuable and unique assets. It is also where most of our unconventional programming started. The African continent, considered in its complexity, remains an essential element in developing our strategy. We believe the African continent to be a unique point of departure and constant inspiration. It provides a chance to foster innovation, develop new and unconventional thinking, and programs relevant to the world.
Why focus on Quality Education?
Education transforms the lives of individuals, communities and societies. Quality education provides all learners with critical thinking capability, creative doing and a life-long learning approach. These skills are key to socially conscious citizens developing sustainable livelihoods, contributing to peaceful and democratic societies and enhancing individual well-being. Quality education provides the Foundation for equity in society.
“Education is the great equaliser of our time. It gives hope to the hopeless and creates chances for those without…”
What is your educational offer?
We have developed an unconventional educational offer dedicated to youth from marginalised communities. It is structured into two main programs: AtWork and WikAfrica Education, which works on unlocking creative youth potential and building a new generation of creative thinkers and doers, thus transforming their community. AtWork is an itinerant educational format conceived by Moleskine Foundation and Simon Njami that unlocks the creative potential of young people through critical thinking, growing their sense of self-awareness and self-confidence, and stimulating their changemaking attitude. The format is structured into a 5-day intensive workshop for about 25 participants, conducted by a unique creative mind. The participants debate the chosen topic and produce a final creative output – getting At-Work – by personalising a notebook, which becomes their answer to the question posed.
Find out more about our AtWork program here
WikiAfrica Education (WAE) is a platform of empowerment that amplifies voices from Africa to reflect the rich and valuable history, languages, people, and communities of the continent. The strategic focus of the WAE Programme is to inspire a new generation of African creative thinkers and doers by increasing production, access, and awareness of contextually and linguistically relevant knowledge resources from Africa.
Find out more about our WikiAfrica program here
What is the Moleskine Foundation Collection?
In 15 years of activity, we have created a Collection of over 1,300 “author’s notebooks”, unique works created by artists and thinkers on Moleskine notebooks and donated to the Foundation to support its activities, contributing to raise awareness on the theme of creativity as a tool for social change and to spread the culture of sharing and giving.
The Collection reflects the variety, richness and complexity of contemporary creative thinking, with contributions of artists, designers, architects, musicians, filmmakers, illustrators, intellectuals and philosophers, who – page after page – have filled the notebooks with thoughts, sketches, images, often transforming them into completely different artifacts from the original. The Collection also has a unique educational value, since it is a starting point of reflection and inspiration for the young people from the underserved communities all over the world who are the beneficiaries of our unconventional educational programs. The notebooks they create as an output of the workshops enter the Collection alongside the established authors. This horizontal and non-hierarchical philosophy characterizes our overall approach to creativity and education.
The Collection, stored in a dedicated place in Milan, has been catalogued and digitalised and it’s available online here
How do you measure your impact and success?
Every initiative has its impact measurement framework, where we measure the quantitative and qualitative indicators. Impact measurement connected to soft skills such as critical thinking, creative doing, and lifelong-learning approach is a complex science and is a potential area of improvement for most of the players in this field. These intangible parameters still lack straightforward measurement tools; therefore, part of our efforts will be to research them in collaboration with our partners.
Is the Foundation funded solely by Moleskine?
The Foundation is not solely funded by Moleskine – funds are received through memberships and other donations. The Foundation’s aim in ten years is to be half funded by Moleskine and half through public donations and memberships.
How will Moleskine’s funds be used?
Funds received from Moleskine S.r.l will mainly sustain the organisational structure of the Foundation. Donations and resources which are received through our membership and partnership agreements support our programs and initiatives.
How do you ensure the independence of the Foundation's governance from the Moleskine company?
As clearly stated in the Statute, the components of the decision-making organs of the Moleskine Foundation are utterly external to the Moleskine Company. The Executive Board has only one Moleskine representative in the role of a Participant.
Is Moleskine Company benefiting from the Foundation in any way?
The Moleskine Foundation operates in total independence from Moleskine S.r.l. As such, Moleskine S.r.l. is not benefitting financially from the Foundation. The benefit for Moleskine is immaterial: increased coherency with its values and its vocation of a cultural brand, creativity and self-expression enabler; increased satisfaction of its employees and stakeholders who will be involved in the non-profit projects that will make the company a better place to work; further loyalty motivations from Moleskine audiences, sensible to the topics of non-profit and of giving back by the brand that they love.
How can I support the Foundation?
You can join our Membership program on our website or opt for a donation via credit cards, bank transfers or PayPal. You can also contribute to our mission and our initiatives by sharing our work and donating your expertise, talent and time. Please find out more on our website here
How will my donation be used?
A hundred per cent of the money the Moleskine Foundation receives goes directly to finance transformative and unconventional educational programs and initiatives.
Find out more about here
The organisational model of the Foundation is quite distinctive. The Moleskine company contributes to sustains the Foundation’s structural costs and allows it to be sustainable and with/ a long-term vision. All the resources that come from the membership program can go directly to create social impact.
Is it going to be a granting organisation?
Not in a strict sense. Granting is only one of the ways we will operate. However, our main focus is on the co-creation of strong and impactful initiatives with our partners and being a content hub that aggregates and disseminates content on advocacy and cross-cultural sensitisation.
How can I partner with your organisation?
We are always looking for partners that share our values and mission. Together with our partners and programs’ beneficiaries, we strive to catalyse systemic change through an open, participatory and cross-sectorial approach. If you are a company or an institution that share our vision and wants to contribute to it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org