“Italy’s new start with corporate culture”, wrote Professor Carlo Bellavite Pellegrini (historian with the Università Cattolica of Milan) recently (20th February) on the comments page of Corriere della Sera. A serious topic, which is worth taking up for the readers of our blog. Corporate culture as a “framework of values and principles” This applies to companies who are naturally lead players and also to the country as a whole, above all at times of major crisis. In fact Bellavite Pellegrini notes that in the current context of progressive debasement of our national memory, history and identity, the corporate culture of some companies in Italy can usefully become a tangible sign and world standard, instantly recognisable, for communicating to markets and to the world the extraordinary talents, creativity and taste which have always had a permanent place in Italy. Identity becomes a driver of competitiveness and representation of the past and future. The historian mentions the historical archives of Fondazione Pirelli, Intesa San Paolo and Mediobanca as testimonies of the positive efforts of large companies, not only in the preservation of memory but also in communicating to all stakeholders and to the market the set of values which the company has interpreted and intends keeping alive. A symbolic and functional system also has to be built together of relationships between creativity, artistic and scientific research (a new frontier with many of the more innovative contemporary artists, such as Saraceno and Nicolai, as lead players, the brains behind works of great critical and public acclaim at the Hangar Bicocca), an interpretation of the changes in trends in tastes and markets, decoding of social and therefore also economic changes. A relationship with the local area (Bicocca for Fondazione Pirelli) also has to be strengthened. Bellavite Pellegrini also notes that culture and art are shared values in the history of a nation and as such represent factors of stability, civil confidence and social cohesion, essential prerequisites for the maintaining of an adequate social capital necessary for the proper working of the markets. In this respect corporate culture represents a positive external factor benefiting the country, also through the redevelopment of towns and suburbs according to the missions which corporate cultures perform in favour of the communities where they are located. Business is therefore culture also from this point of view.