Brunello Cucinelli, honorary research doctorate at the Sapiena in Rome: 'Transform fear into hope'

The entrepreneur receives recognition for having given life to 'a humanism of the enterprise'. And he lashes out at the students in his speech: 'Listen to us adults only when we talk to you about immense things'

  brunello-cucinelli-doctorate-honoris-causa-sapienza-rome-1920 Brunello Cucinelli at Sapienza in Rome Photo Video

Rome, La Sapienza University. The great hall of the rectorate is packed with students, in absolute silence when Brunello Cucinelli avoids reading the lectio magistralis that he had prepared and speaks off the cuff. It's the big day. His is the honorary research doctorate, much more than a degree, in management, banking and commodity sciences: in understandable words, as Cucinelli himself explains, it means business management, banking and commercial sciences. Motivation: 'For having been able to combine a successful entrepreneurial story with respect for the vocation of the territory and social values, giving life to a humanism of the enterprise' - Photo | video

Brunello Cucinelli: 'We need less education and more education' Brunello Cucinelli: 'We need less education and more education'

Brunello Cucinelli: “We need less education and more education

“SUSTAINABLE LEADER” – King of cashmere they call it, but the term is absolutely reductive. «Cucinelli is a great enlightened entrepreneur», says Alberto Pastore, director of the Management Department. And yes, because he managed to bring together the three great dimensions of sustainability: environmental, social and economic. «I like to call him a sustainable leader», concludes the academic. His is, even before the company, 'the idea of ​​a life in harmony with creation'. Cucinelli addresses young people: «I know it can be difficult to understand, but I got the gift of poverty from my parents. I lived in the countryside, in harmony with the land and the animals. Accompanying the sun as it goes down and up again. It was a joy.' The idea of ​​beauty, which the entrepreneur celebrates first of all in the ancient village of Solomeo, near Perugia, headquarters of the company and of a professional school of high craftsmanship, comes from his father: «I had the task of driving the oxen and I had to make sure they always stayed inside the groove. “Because like this”, he reminded me, “the ruts are more beautiful”. He passed away last April, advising me: 'Acknowledgments do you credit, but never forget that you come from a peasant family. And then remember to always be a good person'.

“MY UNIVERSITY WAS THE BAR” – From the countryside to the city, the father becomes a worker. Brunello then frequents the bar, among his friends the prostitute Lalla: «The bar was my university of the soul and this because it was a place rich in humanity. There is always someone willing to listen to your pains.' He is passionate about philosophy. He quotes Kant and his wonderful teaching of him: «The starry sky above us and the moral law within us». He tries to enroll in university, Engineering, but it's not his way. He starts making cashmere pullovers: «Because I liked the idea that things can be handed down from father to son». He pursues one goal: «To work by creating welcoming conditions. We make our places beautiful. Let's imagine them tidy, clean, bright. More amiable, together with higher salaries for a more dignified life. This is what we mean by humanistic capitalism». Today the Brunello Cucinelli company exceeds a turnover of 700 million euros, exporting 85 percent of its production worldwide.

Brunello Cucinelli, images of the ceremony – guard

“KEEPERS OF THE BEAUTY OF THE WORLD” – Here it is again addressed to young people, with words that really don't seem to belong to an entrepreneur: «If you have inherited fear, transform it into hope. Try to be humble and courageous, because this is how creativity explodes. Study the right and dedicate time to the soul. Make jokes like I did, not vulgar. And in great ideals, try to be inflexible. Feel guardians of the beauty of the world, listen to us adults only when we talk to you about immense things'. Thunderous applause and even emotion. In the front row, the unexpected entrepreneur: Gianluca Vacchi, best known for his performances on social media. What are you doing here?, we ask. «We have been friends with Brunello for twenty years. He needed a consultant, even a financial one, and a friend put us in touch. We haven't parted since then.'