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A corporate story

Narrating Giuliano Zuccoli’s vicissitudes as a means to better understand the history of a crucial Italian sector

 

The meaning of doing business can be grasped through the stories of those who used to do business – stories full of humanity, dreams, projects, failures and victories; stories, even so – stories telling of how ingenuity can serve a purpose (not necessarily that of profit at any cost); stories we should all know about, as stories are also the elements of good corporate culture.

This is why reading the book that Biagio Longo has dedicated to Giuliano Zuccoli – the Italian energy sector’s undisputed protagonist for decades – can be very useful. Entitled Giuliano Zuccoli. L’energia che ci manca (Giuliano Zuccoli. The energy we lack), and recently published, its lengthy subtitle tells it all: Una vita per l’autonomia energetica del Paese dalla Falck a Sondel, dalla Aem alla Edison e A2A (A life dedicated to energy independence for Italy, from Falck to Sondel, from AEM to Edison and A2A). A book published in a special period with regards to energy, no doubt, though this should not be the only reason for reading it, as Zuccoli was an entrepreneur with vision who, starting with a hydroelectric plant in the Valtelline Valley, ended up founding what today is the second energy and environmental hub in Italy: A2A.

Longo, however, has not merely produced an essay on industrial economy or energy, but has accomplished something more significant – he narrated a life. As such, readers are led along a path that saw a young engineer working in a local dam in the Valtelline Valley rising, step after step, to the national and international summits of such a delicate and strategic sector – the story of a life, then, throughout which the author juxtaposes Zuccoli’s personal vicissitudes to his professional ones.

This also helps us understand the extent of Zuccoli’s achievements, especially today, as we face a global energy and environmental crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine: circumstances that seem to add prophetic power to the engineer’s words and actions.

When the narrative turns into essay, readers are regaled with a complete collection of documentation that also includes Zuccoli’s main communication tool, through which he disclosed, stage by stage, the progress of his industrial project: the “Letter to Stakeholders” that used to accompany the Annual Reports, through which we can glimpse in between the lines, year after year (from 1996 to 2011), the unique industrial plan he devised with the aim of inspiring and actualising energy independence for the country. A book by Biagio Longo that certainly demands careful reading.

Giuliano Zuccoli. L’energia che ci manca (Giuliano Zuccoli. The energy we lack)

Biagio Longo

Guerini e Associati, 2023

Narrating Giuliano Zuccoli’s vicissitudes as a means to better understand the history of a crucial Italian sector

 

The meaning of doing business can be grasped through the stories of those who used to do business – stories full of humanity, dreams, projects, failures and victories; stories, even so – stories telling of how ingenuity can serve a purpose (not necessarily that of profit at any cost); stories we should all know about, as stories are also the elements of good corporate culture.

This is why reading the book that Biagio Longo has dedicated to Giuliano Zuccoli – the Italian energy sector’s undisputed protagonist for decades – can be very useful. Entitled Giuliano Zuccoli. L’energia che ci manca (Giuliano Zuccoli. The energy we lack), and recently published, its lengthy subtitle tells it all: Una vita per l’autonomia energetica del Paese dalla Falck a Sondel, dalla Aem alla Edison e A2A (A life dedicated to energy independence for Italy, from Falck to Sondel, from AEM to Edison and A2A). A book published in a special period with regards to energy, no doubt, though this should not be the only reason for reading it, as Zuccoli was an entrepreneur with vision who, starting with a hydroelectric plant in the Valtelline Valley, ended up founding what today is the second energy and environmental hub in Italy: A2A.

Longo, however, has not merely produced an essay on industrial economy or energy, but has accomplished something more significant – he narrated a life. As such, readers are led along a path that saw a young engineer working in a local dam in the Valtelline Valley rising, step after step, to the national and international summits of such a delicate and strategic sector – the story of a life, then, throughout which the author juxtaposes Zuccoli’s personal vicissitudes to his professional ones.

This also helps us understand the extent of Zuccoli’s achievements, especially today, as we face a global energy and environmental crisis exacerbated by the war in Ukraine: circumstances that seem to add prophetic power to the engineer’s words and actions.

When the narrative turns into essay, readers are regaled with a complete collection of documentation that also includes Zuccoli’s main communication tool, through which he disclosed, stage by stage, the progress of his industrial project: the “Letter to Stakeholders” that used to accompany the Annual Reports, through which we can glimpse in between the lines, year after year (from 1996 to 2011), the unique industrial plan he devised with the aim of inspiring and actualising energy independence for the country. A book by Biagio Longo that certainly demands careful reading.

Giuliano Zuccoli. L’energia che ci manca (Giuliano Zuccoli. The energy we lack)

Biagio Longo

Guerini e Associati, 2023