Gaddo Della Gherardesca, entrepreneur and CEO of The Good Life, the first hybrid magazine of business & lifestyle.
We were fortunate to meet Gaddo della Gherardesca in our showroom in Meda a couple of months ago for a design project: meeting him, we were immediately fascinated by his personality and extraordinary life experience.
We went to see him in the editorial office and that meeting resulted in a pleasant discussion the contents of which you can see in the article and today, in our blog. Read this unmissable interview which covers many themes, from traditions to current affairs.
The beauty of his vision is evident right from the first phrase he pronounced, speaking about this period:
”We must go back to being that which we have always been. We are the children of a great civilisation, we must never forget this.”
We spoke about the present, the future, the rebirth of our country and also about Made in Meda.
How would you describe The Good Life and what projects have you got for the future? What is it that makes you so proud of this project?
I would describe The Good Life as an opportunity resulting from the crisis. As usual there is someone who says that when the wind blows, some people build walls while others build wind-mills.
So in a sector which is now out-dated, over-ripe, populated by people who, here in Tuscany, we call “Il giro del ciuco di mele secche” in other words the mule who always walked around in circles, we have imagined a different itinerary.
We have re-elaborated the contents also thanks to the fact that with IDEAT – a French editor – we have reached a licensing agreement and we have created a completely innovative product. Not innovative in the sense that we have invented the Gutenberg press because that was invented hundreds of years ago. Instead we have arranged the elements in a different way.
A cookery recipe is not valid for the ingredients it contains but rather for the way in which they are composed, for the various percentages in which they are used. Quantity is not necessarily quality. It’s the thought which makes for quality.
We have re-organised the contents to bring them more up-to-date for today’s needs. Long term thoughts and in-depth articles still belong to the press. The press re-organises the contents, something that the Internet doesn’t do. In internet there is everything and it is all live.
The press cannot do this and it mustn’t. The duty of the press is to organise the contents for those who do not imagine them.
Society has changed a lot. There are people who have had access to information for centuries. And there are others who, until about 30 years ago, didn’t have this possibility, only recently have they has access to the media and have been able to read, analyse and look at life in economic terms.
The media has a didactic duty and that is what we are trying to do.
That which makes me so proud of this project is that we are a word of optimism: The Good life, The Good Trip, The Good Italy.
BertO is part of The Good Italy, that healthy part of the country which has created – and is still creating – opportunity, which has created this vein of intelligence, the desire to achieve that belongs to the great majority of Italians. In these sad times, these dark days, we are a light of positivity.
How has everything that has happened recently influenced your thoughts, your strategy and your way of seeing the future? In your opinion what challenges must Italy face and what lessons can be learnt from the covid experience?.
I’ve thought about this and I don’t think we should change anything. We have always done what we thought was the right thing to do. We have based ourselves on human values, consistence and reality. We have never been vacuous, we have never resorted to useless vanity. I don’t believe I should change anything in my life. I have, as the recent meeting with Filippo Berto demonstrates, cultivated the human side of things and respect for other people.
All this is what we will need in the future. Indeed we should concentrate much more on this rather than on what society has been directed to do by occult persuaders.
These are the values of those who fought after the war. I am part of the generation of the 1940s even if I was born at the end of that decade. My generation has built Italy by mixing cement with our hands, bending steel for reinforced concrete, printing newspapers for publishing, inventing the un-inventable, moving throughout the world.
We should go back to doing what Italians have always done but unfortunately our citizens have a problem: leadership.
Our leaders are totally inconsistent.
The greatest affront is to hear someone say “that person has never worked”.
How could I go to Filippo Berto and start giving advice about how to make a sofa. How could I express an opinion about a sofa if I don’t understand how they are made?
First I would have to be an apprentice, then a trained worker, then a supervisor and finally the commercial manager. Only then would I feel qualified to give an opinion on how things should be done.
I, Gaddo Della Gherardesca, would never go to Filippo Berto and give him advice about sofas. I could talk to him and describe my ideas and see if they coincide but I could never go to him and claim the right to tell him how to make a sofa.
Our politicians feel they have the right to give us advice and orders without the slightest idea – and it was us who permitted this.
I respect the political figures who come from a civil society and Milan has had many such figures. Milan had given us a lesson in practicality, of how a society should function.
The lesson that Italy should learn is that we should go back to our origins and work, work, work.
I watched a programme on television about the Ferrari factories and about how the society has dealt with the Covid crisis. The precautions and the actions they have taken are fantastic: everything is organised to perfection.
We must go back to being what we have always been. We are the descendants of a great civilisation and we must never forget it.
What do you think about our territory and particularly Design made in Meda?
I think you are the protagonists of what Italy was, obviously through both good and bad times.
The times of globalisation and bedroom furniture bought from large-scale retail trade such as Ikea are finished.
You too have had to make radical changes. You were skilled craftsmen and now not only must you continue to be craftsmen but you must also keep up with mass marketing with your creativity. I believe that you must continue with the same spirit that you have always had. You are from Brrianza and the people of Brianza know exactly what they are doing. You must continue to cultivate your creativity and travel the world in search of new trends then follow them with your artisan workmanship and skill.
The brand name of Italy continues to sell and it has great value. When we are able to resume our activity, Italy will not have fallen behind. The world is waiting for us and waiting to see what Italians can do.
In other countries Italians are far more appreciated than we appreciate ourselves.
You needn’t do anything other than what you have always done. In Meda even more so. Made in Meda is a good name with a good meaning.
Meda can become an active monument, an “ashram” as the Indians say, a sanctuary of Design.
Meda is like the Chianti and Barolo of design.
The Good Life should use Meda as one of The Good Ideas.
As soon as things get back to normal we can have an intelligent discussion on this theme.
What do you think about our decision to invest in the magazine The Good Life for a society like ours?
Despite the fact that BertO is a society that invests 90% on the Internet, they understand the quality of a magazine like The Good Life and that also answers the first question in this interview: The Good Life has been created to give answers to curious people. People who realise that there is not just one road, who believe that Islamic fundamentalism does not exist but that it is possible to be part Buddhist, part Muslim and part Catholic. It is important to be good people with good intentions.
Our idea is to create a community which cares about The Good Life, not the magazine but a good life, a positive, active life, about creativity, friendship, human relationships and brotherhood.
This is all that Italy needs, not to fight over things of no importance. We must wake up the sleeping beauty.
The positivity of BertO must move in a positive medium. There are other magazines in this field but The Good Life is a positive medium.
BertO in The Good Life satisfies you desire for victory.
Thanks again to Gaddo Della Gherardesca for this splendid chat.
Sign up to receive updates on the latest BertO news. Subscribe to our newsletter!