We have met him many times in the past years and his nickname as “modern storyteller” is perfect to describe him: we have got involved in his sensitivity about narrating stories, about his capacity of describing one story after the other by letting us identify ourselves in many of his narrations.
Roberto Bonzio is in Meda to present his new book “Italiani di frontiera” and we will meet him on Thrusday, 23rd June, at 7.00pm in our BertO showroom. Before attending this event we asked him some questions.
The book is just a part in a wider project. A small presentation, nothing is given for granted?
Well, the idea of this book “Italiani di frontiera” was born by chance. I decided to spend some time off work in America with my family; my children were teenagers by that time and this DIY experience was a great challenge for all of us, but above all, it brought extremely important changes to my personal and professional life. I had the chance to collect a huge number of interviews and stories during the meetings along this trip and I could have used all the material to write a book or put it in blog. But “Italiani di frontiera” became a multimedia project and I decided to give up my job (yes, in Italy 2011!) as a journalist (“Il Gazzettino”, “Il Giorno”, Reuters Agency”). Thanks to these stories I understood the power of a new narrative multimedia experience, the storytelling, by using images and music. I got the feeling of an increasing, almost “desperate” need just by travelling around Italy: the need for optimism, pride and positive hopes for our future and for our children, seen through a global perspective. I heard and wrote the stories of some Italians who have been working in the Silicon Valley or had worked on the Western frontiers, and this must give us a new hope: we should not be afraid of facing new challenges, we should try to understand how important we could be for our country and what we could change in our homeland to give a new value to the talented Italian people.
The book had a great success. Do you think something has changed from the first presentation of the book?
First of all, I am very proud of the success of this book and of people reactions to it even if they never attended to my live presentation. I was really worried about that, my doubt was about keeping the same emotional feeling even during the live presentation of a book. This book is not just about a collection of stories but I tried to narrate them following the meaning of my personal life: an extraordinary experience from Sesto San Giovanni to Palo Alto, California. My family and I were not aware about our coming future but then we discovered a new world of great adventures and meetings.
Starting from the first presentation of the book, almost sixteen thousands people have attended our meetings about the storytelling of “Italiani di Frontiera”, in Italy and around the world. The force and the empathy generated by these narrations have created a great network of extraordinary people. The book allows me to meet excellent Italians, working in different fields and of all ages: they recognize the value of this project and they work in team. Such a great potential value we still have to discover!
Explain us what is your meaning for “frontier”.
It is a line that determines a limit. A lot of people today, maybe too many, identify this line as a protection for our identity.
But to me this means a new challenge to face every time, we have to beyond this limit and be able to look ahead for new experiences. This requires courage but also imagination and creativity. And my curiosity was the reason for my long journey in America: it gave me the chance of meeting two kinds of people of different “frontiers”, the innovative one in the Silicon Valley and the past generation in the West. This was the right move: at the end I understood that the concept of this famous limit is only inside us. Innovators and researchers, coming from all around the world, had to go beyond the cultural “frontier” they had in their mind: they were sure that there is always something new to discover. And this research requires courage, perseverance and, above all, curiosity, but it allows us to understand who we really are. And it makes us better.
Is there a story you have not told yet but you would like to?
I hope there will be some young people inspired by the stories narrated in the book “Italiani di Frontiera” who wish to face his coming life as student, businessman or innovator in a more courageous way. I would like to write about someone’s story who decides to give himself a challenge as a narrator in order to transmit his inspiration to others, maybe by using more innovative instruments and ways than I do. It would be a great story of passing the baton!
Thank you Roberto, see you in Meda.